Intersect, SPARK, and Village Capital Collaborate to Strengthen Palestinian ESOs

Publishing Date

Ramallah-(BNEWS)- Intersect Innovation Hub (IIH), SPARK Palestine, and Village Capital have collaborated to organise a four-days’ workshop within the Ecosystem Building Initiative for entrepreneurship support organisations (ESOs) in Palestine under From Innovation to Creation programme funded by the European Union. The workshop was held between September 17 and 20, 2023, at Techno Park and led by industry experts from Village Capital, a globally-renowned organisation that specialises in supporting impact-driven startups. This workshop follows a series of training sessions provided by Village Capital's industry experts to Palestinian ESOs between July 16 and 20, 2023. To empower them with vital tools, knowledge, and resources to excel in a competitive landscape. The primary objective of the programme is to cultivate a robust support network and foster an innovation-friendly environment for entrepreneurs.

Eight Palestinian (ESOs) participated in the workshop, namely; Flow Accelerator, JEST, Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU) Incubator, Palestine Information and Communications Technology Incubator (PICTI), Palestine TechnoPark, Station J, and University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS) Incubator. This collaborative effort between IIH and SPARK Palestine with Village Capital expertise is aimed at empowering Palestinian entrepreneurs, and further advancing the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Palestine.

The workshop provided top-notch training, bringing in expert panels with valuable relevant experiences within local, regional and international entrepreneurship ecosystems. Panels included: engagement from the private sector presented The Chairman of Bank of Palestine Group, Hashim Shawa; Access to Finance in Palestine, joined by Ambar Amleh - Managing Partner of Ibtikar Fund, Isabelle carpenter - CrossBoundary's Deputy Head of Office in Palestine, and Rasha Qawasmi - Executive Manager of Asala for Credit and Development; first-hand experienced experts witnessing the development of entrepreneurship ecosystems joining virtually by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji - CEO of Future Africa and Co-founding Andela, Tamara Abdel-Jaber - CEO of Palma Consulting and Partner of Amam Ventures, and Sharif El-Badawi - CEO of Dubai Future District Fund; in addition to a final panel showcasing testimonials on the ecosystem and ESOs role in adding value to their journeys in growing business in Palestine by Majd Meshharawi - Founder and CEO at Sunbox, Majd Manadre - Co-founder and CEO at Hakini, Sireen Musallam - Co-founder and CMO at Azary.

Representatives from participating ESOs expressed the importance of this workshop not only for the significant knowledge shared and tools provided, but also as a foundational activity to cooperate on planning, designing, and working towards implementing future projects that contribute to the ecosystem growth, with the determination to support the entrepreneurs and innovators in Palestine to access regional and global markets. 

“It is essential to support the growth of Palestinian ESOs, foster expertise, and facilitate exposure for them through capacity enhancement programmes. I believe that this will help ESOs to improve their work in Palestine, ultimately enhancing the entire ecosystem in the country,” said Dina Almasaeid, Country Manager at SPARK in Palestine.

Huda Tahboub, Deputy Director of Intersect Innovation Hub, emphasised the transformative opportunities presented by the programme and its potential impact on Palestinian entrepreneurship. She stated, "These sessions were a great opportunity to establish new collaborations among entrepreneurship support organisations. By sharing knowledge, resources, and experiences, we can create a powerful support network that takes Palestinian entrepreneurship to new heights."

Alicia Sornson, Village Capital, Regional Lead MENA conveyed her enthusiasm about visiting Palestine to enhance the skills of local organisations. She said, “We are thrilled to have partnered with the Intersect Innovation Hub and SPARK Palestine to enhance the sustainability of ESOs. These organisations are the crucial first line of support for local entrepreneurs who are building innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges. Like the entrepreneurs they support, ISOs require resources and support to foster sustainable entrepreneurial activity and innovation within their communities. It was an absolute pleasure to work with these incredible organisations who are creating immense value for the ecosystem.” Village Capital remains firmly committed to contributing to the advancement of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Palestine.

IIH and SPARK Palestine are dedicated to prioritising the growth and development of Palestinian entrepreneurship, recognizing the impact of Palestinian innovation on the local economy. IIH is at the forefront of the Bank of Palestine Group’s innovation and entrepreneurship efforts.

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