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Photo by: Courtesy Benny Goldstein
Hamebulbal to lead ministry’s SME campaign
By NADAV SHEMER
12/06/2012
Children’s entertainer to advertise state assistance to small- and medium- sized enterprises.
 
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.

“We 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.

The ministry 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 to 100.

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%.

Lahav 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.
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