RAMALLAH — Intersect Innovation Hub (IIH), the entrepreneurship arm of Bank of Palestine Group, and SPARK, an international NGO devoted to job creation, have launched a new program aiming at supporting Palestinian entrepreneurs, in cooperation with Village Capital and Ibtikar Fund, with funding from the European Union.
The two organisations have agreed to implement a capacity-building program targeting Palestinian organizations that support innovation. This new program aims to enhance and diversify the services available to Palestinian entrepreneurs, in order to support their success. Both parties aim to contribute to the growth of entrepreneurship in Palestine, sharing the belief in the power of Palestinian-made technology as a solution to Palestine’s unique challenges.
The program will be implemented in collaboration with Village Capital (VC) and Ibtikar Fund. VC is the largest organization supporting impact-driven, early-stage startups on the global scale, having executed programs in 28 countries so far. This program will be VC’s first operation in Palestine. Ibtikar Fund is a venture capital firm that invests in tech companies founded by Palestinian entrepreneurs, with the goal of scaling local innovation into the MENA region and the globe.
Mr. Hashim Al Shawa, Chairman of the Bank of Palestine Group, expressed enthusiasm about the agreement between IIH and SPARK for its inventive approach to fostering the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Palestine. “Within our plans and strategy, we continued to work on supporting the Palestinian entrepreneurship sector, to keep pace with digital transformation in banking and financial services, and to encourage entrepreneurial activities and socially influential leadership,” stated Al Shawa.
“This agreement will open up new opportunities for Palestinian entrepreneurs” stated Rateb Rabi, Managing Director of Intersect Innovation Hub. “We are taking steps to open up Palestinian innovators to global expertise, and to take Palestinian entrepreneurship into the world stage.” he continued. “The agreement with SPARK and Village Capital is a step in the right direction for the global expansion of Palestinian tech innovation.”
Dina Almasaeid, Country manager of SPARK Palestine, stated that for the past two years, SPARK has been contributing to the development of an active private sector in Palestine, by ‘empowering startups and small and medium size enterprise with support from local partner organizations, in order to develop and generate jobs by training and incubating these startups’.