Palestine Development and Investment Company - Padico Holding, an investment holding group that controls a number of companies across a range of sectors in Palestine, has been active in supporting entrepreneurship in the country. Its pioneering Tamayyaz programme, implemented in partnership with a group of civil society organisations and international institutions, offers skills development trainings to Palestinian students to enable them to enter the labour market.
"One of the most prominent strengths of the entrepreneurial community in Palestine is the skilled human capital and their ability to challenge and persevere, in addition to the high education ratio in the country,” Hulileh says. “Furthermore, the difficult political conditions experienced by Palestinians refined their personalities and made them more capable of dealing with political volatility and unfavourable conditions, thus becoming creative and innovative from scratch.
“Various successful ideas and projects, introduced by Palestinian entrepreneurs, have proved to be highly competitive at both regional and international levels, such as the IT and social media projects as well as the development of applications and media platforms that introduce the Palestinian cause.
“Palestinian entrepreneurs have also been successful in developing small agricultural projects, such as poultry and livestock, due to the low cost and short project life cycle of such projects. One significant project implemented by young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector is mushroom cultivation. Due to the high quality, their products have been in high demand in the Palestinian market, competing with Israeli mushrooms.”
Palestinian entrepreneurs operate in a difficult economic reality due to the country’s unstable political conditions, Hulileh explains. “Palestinian entrepreneurs greatly suffer from the inability to secure the necessary financing to start their projects, in addition to their inability to access external markets,” he adds.
“Moreover, some of them have weak marketing and management skills. There is also a lack of supporting institutions, both governmental and private, which would help them at the beginning of their careers.”
Hulileh believes that a successful cooperation between entrepreneurs in Palestine and the UAE would help overcome these hurdles. “Through cooperation between Palestinian and Emirati entrepreneurs, we can create a state of entrepreneurial integration which will result in successful joint ventures.
“The bilateral relations between Palestinian and Emirati entrepreneurs must be strengthened. We need to work on adopting a strategic, sustainable and institutional entrepreneurial direction, in addition to launching joint initiatives and programmes.
“We need to promote their entrepreneurial projects and employ the latest modern technologies for this purpose, taking advantage of social media to attract the necessary funding and convince institutions and business people to invest in their innovative ideas.
“Young entrepreneurs need to learn advocacy skills to persuade decision-makers to support them and reduce the obstacles ahead of them. The relevant institutions also need to provide them with tax facilitations and to cut the red tape, such as registration and licensing procedures that consume time and effort.”
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