In 2015, Lebanon experienced a serious waste crisis which had disastrous repercussions on the environment. Drowning under all manner of rubbish, the country had to find urgent solutions and managed to address the situation particularly through local “zero waste” initiatives set up by green entrepreneurs such as Rita El Helou. Tired of the situation and conscious of the dangers weighing upon the environment, this young lady created SOUGHT with the aim of finding alternatives to plastic products (kitchen packaging, toothbrushes, etc.) and introducing quality environmentally-friendly brands to the market in order to significantly reduce the amount of household waste. Rita’s aim is to encourage responsible consumption through the use of natural biodegradable products so as to have a positive impact on the planet, the economy, society and also the health of everyone.

SOUGHT therefore provides environmentally-friendly products and services which are the perfect answer to the demand for non-green products. “It started with the distribution of NUP bamboo toothbrushes exclusively in the MENA region and the creation of the beeswax food packaging brand Myellowrap”. Despite the economic crisis which Lebanon is facing and the associated difficulties, SOUGHT continues to prosper. The company has therefore extended its activity to Cyprus while continuing to diversify its “zero waste” product catalogue.


The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union. Its activities benefit 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up eco and social innovations. The programme supports policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries, which have identified job creation and natural resource protection as priority issues that also contribute to their economic stability.

The Switchers

The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. It is also a place where entrepreneurs that share a common passion for the environment can meet. Switchers are green and circular businesses implementing eco-innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable and fair consumption and production models. They are active in a variety of fields, such as sustainable farming, green construction, sustainable textiles and cosmetics, eco-tourism, renewable energy, or waste management.

#EyesOnGreen (2021)

To celebrate the World Environment Day in 2021, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the EU Neighbours South regional communication programme, and the SwitchMed initiative teamed up for the launch of the regional competition EYES ON GREEN. The competition covered 7 countries of the Southern Neighbourhood region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. The online ...

Employment & Entrepreneurship