A UBI student in The Limelight

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Following five years in planning and project management with Procter and Gamble, Bilal’s career took a turn in 2012 when he ventured into the entrepreneurial world and founded ‘The Limelight Productions’. The Limelight is a creative communications agency offering professional multimedia services and specialises in working with NGOs, INGOs, and intergovernmental organisations, including United Nations agencies and public authorities. With little marketing efforts, The Limelight’s reputation grew, and Bilal earned the trust of local and global offices of the United Nations and other INGOs. His in-house team and a pool of freelancers supported him in his projects.

Bilal’s growing success came to a halt in October 2019, when a rapid economic crisis hit Lebanon, his home country. In addition to the short-term financial loss, the long-term implications meant it would be impossible to pursue his career in Lebanon. Consequently, his livelihood was at stake, and he had to act quickly.

“I really felt like I lost everything with the crisis but my loss fueled my desire to rebuild and move forward."

In December 2019, after an extensive search, Bilal found an exciting opportunity in Belgium that offered work permits to independent non-EU professionals based on their business proposals. The choice of Belgium was not random. The Brussels region is a healthy market with exponential opportunities as it is a hub for the UN agencies, INGOs, and public authorities, who are his company’s target clients.

Taking a leap of faith, Bilal moved to Brussels in March 2020 and acquired his work permit in October 2020. Arriving at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown was yet another challenge, but Bilal took it as an opportunity to devote himself to re-starting his company, which has been a success so far. He restored some of his previous clients like UNICEF and WHO, and acquired new ones, such as Save the Children, IRCT, and EACS.

The year from October 2019 to October 2020 was highly challenging for Bilal, but he reflects on it with a feeling of pride and achievement. His experience strengthened his confidence and ability to make quick decisions and take risks. His high level of adaptation and resiliency proved effective.

Today, his leap of faith is already paying off. With his clients, Bilal is leading creative projects with global implementation and has recently opened a job opportunity and hired his first employee. When asked about his long-term plans, he said, “The story does not end here, of course. I’m happy taking the ladder one step at a time, and I know that each step is higher than the previous”.

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