October 6, 2023

Mortben's Recipe for Success: Healthy, Ethical, and Green

As Hanine Ghanam studied for her PHD while working two jobs, she struggled to find the time to prepare healthy and nutritious meals. As a dietician and an environmentally-conscious individual, she knew that getting take-away meals everyday was unhealthy and unsustainable. In the face of this conflicting dilemma, Hanine took charge by founding a green, organic and ethical food delivery business called ‘Mortben’.

Mortben provides a food delivery service which delivers ready-made healthy meals to its customer’s doorstep. Each week, the startup offers a new menu which features a plethora of meals made from seasonal and natural ingredients. Based on Hanine’s dietary expertise, the meals provided are always healthy and nutritious, and can be tailored to the customer’s dietary needs. The startup doesn’t use any hydrogenated oils, nor refined carbohydrates, nor preservatives or artificial flavouring, making it an ideal choice for customers seeking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

The commitment to protecting the environment is at the core of Mortben’s business plan and has influenced every step of its activity. The meals are packaged up into glass jars which are returnable for a discount, to be washed and continually reused for future meals. Mortben also uses reusable lunch bags to deliver its meals, in order to eliminate the need for single-use packaging which frequently pollutes Lebanese landscapes. Additionally, the startup’s kitchens are powered by solar energy, reducing its reliance on polluting and unsustainable energy sources. 

Beyond the commitment to promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, it was important to Hanine that Mortben also had a social impact on the women of her local community. Indeed, 60% of Mortben’s employees are mothers and rural women, which provides them with income-generating opportunities.

To further develop Mortben, Hanine participated in a SPARK initiative called ‘SCALE HUB’ which is part of the From Innovation to Creation programme funded by the European Union, in collaboration with The Nawaya Network. The objective of the programme is to support pioneering entrepreneurs to lead the transition to a greener, more sustainable future. 

Through the Scale Hub program, the Mortben team underwent a three-months coaching period where they were given a thorough assessment of their business model and received tailored coaching based on these assessments. According to Hanine, she particularly benefited from the training sessions on finance, HR and digital marketing, which enabled her to set a roadmap to grow her business. Additionally, the programme provided Mortben with funding for new kitchen equipment, which expanded its production capacity by 50%.

In the future, Hanine hopes to expand Mortben’s services to a wider range of locations and customers across Lebanon. Despite the difficult conditions in Lebanon at the moment, Hanine has kept going and encourages fellow sustainable entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. According to her, they can all find inspiration in the fact that their businesses are a source of good for individuals, the planet and society as a whole.