Igniting Connections and Fostering Innovation: QOOT Cluster’s Summer Gathering
In a spirit of collaboration and shared drive, the QOOT Cluster hosted its very first Summer Gathering on August 5, 2023. This first event of its kind aimed to cultivate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networking among the cluster members – agrifood entrepreneurs and professionals -resonating with the cluster’s core values of growth, competitiveness, and visibility.
Learning and Growing with Starmanship & Associates
The event started with a captivating session led by Starmanship & Associates, a renowned provider of learning and development programs in Lebanon and the Middle East. Andrew Haddad, a seasoned facilitator, and business consultant guided the members through an enlightening discussion on behavioral styles. The entrepreneurs delved into ways to foster relationships within the QOOT cluster and with stakeholders along their entrepreneurial journey. The interactive session prompted enthusiastic engagement, with attendees eagerly connecting the insights to their individual businesses.
“We joined QOOT for the collaboration. Lebanon’s businesses are too small in relation to the global scale, so we need each other to win. Thanks to QOOT, we were able to penetrate new markets like UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Belgium and gain compliance in those countries. I acknowledge how hard the QOOT team is working, and I kindly request that you keep up those activities, especially international exhibitions.”Wassim Kaakour, Managing Partner of Orchards of Laila
Embracing Collaboration: The Heart of the QOOT Cluster
Dr. Marc Bou Zeidan, the cluster manager, highlighted the event’s significance in the context of collaboration—one of the cluster’s fundamental pillars. This year, collaboration takes center stage as QOOT focuses on unity among its members, alongside other key objectives. The event’s dynamic atmosphere echoed the spirit of collaboration as attendees mingled and exchanged innovative ideas.
Unveiling Internationalization: QOOT Cluster’s Ambitious Vision
Mrs. Nadine Khoury, the cluster president, unveiled QOOT’s bold plans for internationalization, underlining the aspiration to propel the QOOT brand and its members onto the global stage. She articulated that collaboration and innovation are symbiotic, encouraging attendees to explore synergies for mutual growth.
An exciting announcement followed as Mrs. Khoury shared QOOT’s recent MOU signing with the PIC hub of European clusters. This strategic partnership promises increased exposure for QOOT members in the European Union, extending the cluster’s influence beyond borders.
“It’s hard to pin down the one thing QOOT does well, whether it’s the matchmaking, events, contacts, distributors, exporters, or the Agrifood Innovation Awards that sets you apart from the competition. It also puts you in contact with a circle of amazing like-minded entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector.”Chris Hindy, Sales Manager of The Good Thymes
A Culinary Journey: Food and Drink Contributions
The event’s finale celebrated collaboration through the culinary contributions of the QOOT members, creating a sense of camaraderie of QOOT’s essence: food. Members generously shared their creations, adding diverse flavors to the gathering. Special recognition goes to the following members for their contributions: La Société naise de Boissons Spiritueuses s.a.l. (Val Vodka), Gudtolli (Raviolli Pasta), Cave Des Ours (Apple Wine), Agridev (Kanafar), The Three Brothers (Gin), Alcart Sal (Wine), Château Cana (Wine: Red, White, and Rosé), SOLER’S (Crackers), Dry and Raw (Cheese), and Orso Bianco (Ice Cream).
“I met my French distributor through QOOT Cluster, which has opened up successful exporting opportunities for my olive oil products.”Sami Saifan, Said Saifan s.a.l.
A Future of Synergy and Progress
The QOOT Cluster’s first Summer Gathering left an indelible mark on attendees, creating a warm spirit of collaboration, innovation, and unity. As the cluster continues its journey of growth and expansion, it is poised to create even more avenues for agrifood entrepreneurs to flourish within its supportive and dynamic community.