An in-depth analysis by Palestine for a New Beginning (PNB), the official GEW Palestine host, and regional social initiative Silatech, the official GEW Qatar host, has produced an interactive map designed to help enable more effective interaction between entrepreneurs, support organizations and policy makers. Now available on the PNB web site at www.palestinemap.info, the Silatech web site, and on Ta3mal.ps, the ecosystem map presents the relationship between over 100 various entrepreneurship-related organizations and entities involved in finance, education, government, media, the private sector, donor institutions and civil society.
The interactive map provides a short description of each organization and link to its website, as well as information about where each organization operates and, where appropriate, which economic sector(s) it targets.
Palestine suffers from the highest unemployment rate in the Mashreq region, at 23 percent. Palestine's youth unemployment rate tops 38 percent, higher than the Arab world's average of 30 percent. The Arab world has the highest youth unemployment of any region in the world.
PNB Chairman Zahi Khouri commented on the need for the ecosystem map, saying “When PNB decided to begin working in entrepreneurship, we discovered a very busy space, yet still very few successes. We decided to work on this map in order for us to better understand the ecosystem, learn and decide where we could play a strong role (as representatives of the private sector and civil society).”
Describing PNB’s role in promoting entrepreneurship in Palestine, Khouri said “We have focused our efforts on showcasing Palestine’s successes through the Celebration of Innovation, and on bringing the different players together through Global Entrepreneurship Week. Members of our board also launched the Ibtikar Fund, which closes a critical funding gap between seed and VC investment. We hope that this map helps organizations developing new support programs understand where gaps remain.”
Rula Shunnar, Silatech Country Representative for Palestine and Jordan, emphasized that “A lack of clear and accurate information often hampers entrepreneurs from getting the support they need; we believe this map will provide a useful tool to help strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and look forward to working with our partners at PNB to continue supporting the Palestinian people, and especially Palestinian youth, in the future.”
Holding that helping new businesses to start and grow is essential for creating desperately needed jobs, Silatech works with over 100 partners throughout the Arab world to provide entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for young people. Since 2008, Silatech has enabled more than 90,000 youth-run businesses to start and grow, supporting more than 140,000 youth jobs.
In Palestine, Silatech partners with a variety of organizations to support Palestinian youth in areas such as access to microfinance, employability resources and job openings through Ta3mal.ps, career guidance, civic engagement and leadership training.
Palestine for a New Beginning is an alliance of public and private sector institutions and individuals that aims to leverage resources and experience by investing in innovative new projects and building on existing successful initiatives.