Active programme


The historic restrictions and suppressed development in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with the near-blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007, have led the Palestinian economy to operate well below its potential.

Despite these significant obstacles to private sector development, growth and stability, the region has been home to a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem that has, over time, created significant social dividends at the core of Palestinian resilience.

The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and SPARK have developed the 13-month RIYADA project that aims to support Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Business Support Centres (BSCs) in enhancing their capabilities to provide essential services to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as to support youth ideas in becoming real startups.

The project aims to modernise existing curricula, accelerate the development of existing MSMEs and equip them with the means to expand and create decent job opportunities. Furthermore, it focuses on upskilling entrepreneurs and supporting them in transforming their ideas into real businesses through bootcamps, seed funding and mentorship.

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