Monday, 14 June, 2021
IPSD has officially launched the IGNITE Program, a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to improve investment opportunities and access to financing for early-stage startups and innovative Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Palestine. With fundraising being one of the biggest obstacles facing Palestinian entrepreneurs, the program will help alleviate market failures and address knowledge and experience gaps in early-stage investing/fundraising within the context of the Palestinian entrepreneurship ecosystem.
At uMake, we are very proud to be IGNITE local program partner in Palestine alongside Gaza Sky Geeks. We look forward to playing our part as an Entrepreneurship Support Organization (ESO) by embarking on a fruitful learning journey, capitalizing on existing opportunities, harnessing our capacities and ultimately delivering a meaningful difference to Palestinian startups and SMEs. Importantly, we believe that being part of the IGNITE program can enable us to significantly enhance our offerings and play a catalytic role in accelerating the growth of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Getting Palestinian startups ready for investment
IGNITE Investment Readiness Program is considered a flagship project led by Rainmaking, for the Innovative Private Sector Development (IPSD) Program – a $22 million program aimed at unlocking the potential of the Palestinian digital economy and entrepreneurship ecosystem – which is owned by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy (MoNE), funded by the World Bank and implemented by DAI. As a stand-alone program, IGNITE aims primarily to help Palestine-based entrepreneurs ‘get the business ready for investment’ through a series of well-structured technical guidance, coaching, mentorship, advisory and investor engagement opportunities. In addition, IGNITE will work with international advisory firm Rainmaking and other involved stakeholders in order to ensure meeting the main objectives of the program and realizing the intended impact on its direct beneficiaries.
It should be mentioned that IGNITE will help address gaps in early-stage investing/fundraising by taking into consideration the important and different roles played on both the demand and supply sides of the investment cycle. On the demand side, IGNITE seeks to provide entrepreneurs with the required skills so they can become capable of launching a successful and rewarding fundraising campaign, attracting the right investors and understanding how to negotiate and execute deal terms. More importantly, participants who successfully meet key milestones of the program can get the chance to access grant funding (up to $50k). On the supply side, IGNITE will work with selected local ESOs in order to develop their capacities and help them better understand how to provide value to early-stage startups and SMEs and empower them throughout the different phases of the investment process. Besides, IGNITE will work with potential investors individually or as part of angel investing networks to improve access to genuine investable opportunities and a robust pipeline of promising Palestinian businesses.
Despite all the challenges facing entrepreneurs in Palestine, we believe the coming years will be very exciting and we are passionately waiting to hear about future success stories emerging from the IGNITE program.