Small businesses in West Bank and Gaza will benefit from the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union to enable Palestinian private sector create jobs and encourage entrepreneurship.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 95 per cent of all private sector activities in the Palestinian territories. The EBRD Advice for Small Businesses Program (ASB), supported by EU, aims to address the needs of the SMEs and foster their development via direct support provided by seasoned professionals.
The ASB program links companies with local and international consultants working on identified challenges such as strategy, marketing, operations, quality management, energy efficiency, financial management and others.
The program also aims at improving advisory services in the local market and ultimately at increasing SMEs’ chances to access the finance they need to grow.
The EBRD anticipates the participation of local companies from a wide spectrum of sectors, such as manufacturing, agribusiness, infrastructure and many more. The program will help foster innovation, competitiveness and create jobs. The EBRD will also encourage renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, creating greener businesses and cities in the region.
The EBRD is a multilateral bank that focuses on private sector development. Through its financial investment, business services and involvement in policy reform, the Bank works to advance the transition to open, market economies, whilst fostering sustainable and inclusive growth.
In 2017, the EBRD Board of Governors approved the engagement of the Bank in the West Bank and Gaza. To date, two projects have been signed which include an SME credit line to Cairo Amman Bank Palestine for €4.1 million and a €2.0 million loan to Medlabs Consultancy Group to expand its operations in the West Bank by opening 10 branches, offering better medical services to the local population.