The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched its Star Venture programme in the West Bank and Gaza to help high-potential start-ups improve their business performance, grow and unleash their potential.
The West Bank and Gaza is the 23rd economy to join the Bank’s programme, dedicated to boosting the competitiveness of the early-stage ecosystem across its regions. Following a competitive and rigorous selection process, five start-ups were selected as the inaugural cohort. From e-commerce to green tech, the companies span diverse sectors and are advancing their businesses with the latest technologies, paving the way for future innovations.
Star Venture mobilises a network of mentors and advisers to deliver a whole range of bespoke advisory services to start-ups. Through workshops, mentoring, access to finance and market development, the programme helps start-ups overcome their obstacles to growth and boost their skillsets. Local accelerators will also benefit from mentoring and capacity-building for training and improving the business performance of their own start-up cohorts.
Start-ups in the West Bank and Gaza face a variety of challenges, including low levels of funding for early-stage companies and a lack of business consulting and mentorship opportunities. Star Venture helps young companies remove some of these systemic barriers by connecting them to a network of investors with an interest in the early-stage space.
The Star Venture programme in the West Bank and Gaza is supported by Luxembourg through the EBRD West Bank and Gaza Multi-Donor Account (other donors to the account include the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom).
Gretchen Biery, EBRD Head of the eastern Mediterranean region, said: “We are proud to bring the Star Venture programme to the West Bank and Gaza, where it will play a key role in supporting Palestinian start-ups and fostering the wider ecosystem. Star Venture’s portfolio boasts some of the most innovative start-ups, and I am certaint that we can replicate the success we have seen in other regions.”
The Star Venture programme operates in 23 economies where the EBRD invests and, to date, has supported more than 650 start-ups, including high-potential ones that have successfully raised over US$ 420 million in financing.
The EBRD has been active in the West Bank and Gaza since 2017, financing 22 projects for a total of €90 million. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including women-led enterprises, are a pillar of the Palestinian economy and a priority for the Bank’s work in fostering economic inclusion and promoting private sector competitiveness.