Does Palestine have investment-ready startups?

palestine investment startups ready
Middle East

Does Palestine have investment-ready startups?

Majd Zghyer is the strategy officer at uMake, an entrepreneurship support organisation (ESO) based in Ramallah, Palestine. So far this year, startups across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) have raised over a $1 billion in investment, a record-breaking amount for the regional ecosystem. Most of the investment in the region however, is concentrated in the three biggest hubs – the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Out of the 249 startups that raised investment in the first half of this year, just one of them was Palestinian (Kenz). The funding gap becomes more insurmountable when compared with the mere $150 million that Palestine-based startups have raised – not over the span of a calendar year but to date – based on data published by the International Conference on Entrepreneurship in Palestine (ICEP). There is no doubt that Palestine is facing existential challenges due to long years of restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation - the big elephant in the room. I should also be clear that the aim of the comparison here is not to deny facts and context but rather to put things in perspective so we can acknowledge the current state of startup funding in Palestine and explore ways…