April 4th 2017: Fifth Italian Palestinian Advisory Committee meeting of the initiative “Start Up Palestine”

The Consul General met with H.E. Mamoun Abu Shahla, Minister of Labor, in the presence of the Head of Italy’s Cooperation Office in Jerusalem and Ms. Ibtisam Husary, CEO of Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection. The program supports micro and small businesses, led by women, young graduates and small-scale farmers. An innovative pilot-project was also approved to improve access to financial and non-financial services for startups in the region of Jenin.

“Start Up Palestine” is a bilateral initiative, launched in 2014 and aiming to promote entrepreneurship development and financially-inclusive banking models among marginalized groups, especially in rural areas. So far, the program provided support to more than 100 start-ups; almost 1,000 already-existing micro-enterprises (1/2 led by women and 2/3 by young people less than 30 yo; 1/3 operating in the agricultural sector; and 1/4 based in the Gaza Strip or East Jerusalem); as well as 11 Palestinian cooperative banks (more than 8,000 members, 95% women), through the technical assistance offered by our Italian banking and non-banking partners (Fondazione Solidarete, Cassa Padana BCC, Banca Popolare Etica, Federcasse and Microfinanza s.r.l).