Two hands each holding a handful of dates over a basket filled with dates.

Cultivating Equitable Opportunities in Libya’s Private Sector to Promote Stability .

Economic Growth and Trade | Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development | Youth Workforce Development | Business Enabling Environment
Middle East and North Africa

Libya Economic Acceleration Project

Project Dates: October 2022 - September 2026
By creating broad-based economic opportunities for southern Libyans across ethnic and demographic lines, LEAP delivers critical support for a more stable and prosperous region.

Libya’s remote and historically underserved Fezzan region has endured a decade of ethnic conflict. Moreover, the area has also been the hardest hit by a country-wide liquidity crisis. The vacuum created by instability has been filled by the underground economy. Smuggling has become the economic lifeblood of the region as tribes have exploited the country’s porous southern borders to smuggle commodities, fuel, drugs, and people to and from Chad, Niger, and Algeria. Private sector firms struggle to grow amid historic conflict and cultural dynamics that impede the free flow of equitable commerce.

With funding from USAID and the Global Fragility Act, the Libya Economic Acceleration Project (LEAP) acknowledges this growing crisis and aims to resolve economic impediments that drive instability among marginalized populations. In partnership with Libyan entrepreneurs, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and historically marginalized groups, LEAP promotes innovation, stronger business practices, and workforce skills that directly respond to market demands. The project delivers market-based assistance to help entrepreneurs build skills, connect to resources, and increase the odds of success — ultimately enabling young Libyans to take viable business ideas and turn them into profitable enterprises. LEAP also delivers technical and material assistance to MSMEs to increase sales, create sustainable, high-quality jobs, and cultivate private sector innovation. Through improved technical and vocational education and training, LEAP will help job seekers find better employment opportunities.

As a whole, LEAP seeks to increase economic resilience while putting new opportunities in reach for a diverse group of stakeholders. By creating broad-based economic opportunities for southern Libyans across tribal and demographic lines, the project delivers critical support for a more stable and prosperous region.

Project Goals

  • Strengthening entrepreneurship skills and opportunities for vulnerable and historically marginalized populations
  • Improving the productivity of MSMEs among target populations
  • Increasing vocational and technical training with a focus on market demands
  • Growing business development services for MSMEs in all lifecycle phases