Youth from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Gaza join Israeli start-up program

The guidance is provided by both Palestinians and Israelis.

Participants of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation's second cycle of Starting-Up Together.  (photo credit: ROEI HIRSCH)
Participants of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation's second cycle of Starting-Up Together.
(photo credit: ROEI HIRSCH)
Young entrepreneurs from a number of Arab countries, including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Gaza and Saudi Arabia, among others, take part every week in Starting-Up Together, an Israeli program for developing start-ups and social initiatives.
Participants from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Gaza and the Palestinian Authority promote hi-tech ventures and receive guidance and tools on how to actualize their dreams in Zoom meetings with leading figures from the Israeli innovation industry.
The projects promoted in the program include a project to promote acceptance and change in the attitude toward LGBTQ+ youth and adults in Arab countries, a project to connect children from different ethnic communities through joint activities and the establishment of a regional nature museum, among other initiatives.
Guidance is provided by both Palestinians and Israelis. Some 40% of the participants are women. The program guides participants through all the stages of creating a new venture, including market research, construction of a plan and business model, development and connection to a variety of potential partners and investors in Israel and around the world.
The program is a collaboration between the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, the Ebay Israel Development Center and the center for Smart Cities at Bar-Ilan University. The program is funded by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation (Israel).
"The Foundation has been supporting the Starting-Up Together program for three years - believing that every entrepreneur should have the tools to fulfill his/her vision, as this is the only way to establish a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem and sustain an economy that works for the benefit of all parts of society," Alina Shkolnikov, Impact Entrepreneurship program officer at the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, which provides support to the program, said in a statement.
"The previous and current program cycle dealt with a critical social issue - urban life. This issue is relevant not only within the borders of Israel, but also for our neighbors. Therefore, this year, considering the success of previous cycles, we decided to expand the ranks for participants from other countries around the world so that together we can try to build solutions for making our habitats a safe, accessible and sustainable living space for all of us."