Palestine Ahliya University launched the first phase of the project “Urban sustainable development Solutions Valuing Entrepreneurship (U-SOLVE)” through several activities which included forming numerous focus groups with the representatives of the civil society institutions, the private sector, and the target groups, through which the project, its activities, and outputs were introduced, and ways to cooperate to implement its activities were discussed. The launching activities also aimed to identify the most important challenges facing Palestinian entrepreneurs, represented in the establishment of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Palestine, and in collecting the appropriate information in order to contribute to achieving the objectives of the project in its next phase.
The activities also included field visits to business incubators at both universities of Bethlehem and Palestine Polytechnic to benefit from their entrepreneurial experiences and discuss ways of potential partnership and cooperation on an integrated basis. The visits were conducted in corporation with Bethlehem Municipality, one of the project partners.
Furthermore, the project team at Palestine Ahliya University, in partnership with Bethlehem Municipality, conducted an online introductory meeting in the presence of representatives of Palestinian municipalities and local and international institutions. The meeting aimed to introduce the project and its partners in Palestine, in addition to collecting preliminary information that will be useful in the upcoming planning process of the project. Through the meeting, the integrated role of institutions and municipalities in the success of the project in its next phase was mentioned in terms of accessing the entrepreneurs, providing services to the pioneers, and disseminating the activities of the project.
The project manager, Mr. Khaled Shanaa, pointed out the importance of this project strategically, where the project explores the possible environment for entrepreneurship and creativity, identifies the main actors, and links between urban development and entrepreneurship by providing technical and material support to youth and women to start their own business which will provide creative solutions to the urban area. Moreover, the project will embrace establishing an urban development hub on the campus of Palestine Ahliya University.
U-SOLVE Project is funded by the European Union under the umbrella of ENI CBC MED for a period of 30 months. The project is implemented in 6 countries (Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Italy). It intends to enhance support to young entrepreneurs in urban areas with a focus on the environment and sustainable development in the Mediterranean region.