Children’s entertainer Yuval Hamebulbal (Yuval The Confused) is the face of a
new Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry campaign to advertise state assistance to
small- and medium- sized enterprises.
Hamebulbal, whose real name is
Yuval Shem-Tov, will appear in television and Internet advertisements over the
coming three weeks. The ads have been timed to coincide with the launch of a new
website for SMEs on Saturday night.
According to the ministry’s small-and
medium-business agency, which operates the website, it will feature all the
information one needs to know about building and managing a business under the
one roof. This includes: legal information, accounting and taxation advice, and
details about assistance programs such as low-cost guidance and state-guaranteed
loans and grants.
The campaign will also incorporate a Facebook and
YouTube page, and the website will be compatible with mobile devices.
want a small store to have the same opportunities as an international chain,”
said Ran Kiviti, head of the SME agency. The goal of the campaign is to provide
small businesses with all the relevant information they need for managing their
business, cutting out the need for middlemen, he added.
defines a small- or medium-sized enterprise as a business with 100 employees or
less. According to the most recent data from 2010, there are 478,000 SMEs in
Israel. These constitute 99 percent of all Israeli businesses, although they
only employ about 47% of the total private-sector workforce. Some 392,000
businesses have up to four employees, 68,000 have five to 20 and 20,000 have 20
According to the findings of a poll published earlier this week
by Lahav – the Israeli Association of the Self- Employed, 40% of small-business
owners believe none of the parties participating in the upcoming elections will
represent their interests.
Labor and Likud were voted the two parties
most likely to help small businesses, by 19% and 18% of respondents,
respectively, followed by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, with 11%.
chairman Ehud Ratsabi said the poll results were “very worrying,” adding that
party heads should view it as a sign they must put the interests of SMEs at the
top of their agenda.
Ironically, Shem-Tov himself was touted as an
election candidate by the media earlier this week. However, he denied reports
that he had accepted an offer from the newly established Calcala (Economy) Party
to be third on its Knesset list.