On 14 December 2020, Palestine will feature the launch of the Second International Conference for Entrepreneurship in Palestine – ICEP 2.0, which will be broadcasted from the city of Bethlehem via Zoom videoconferencing under the title “Empowering the Digital Generation in Palestine.” The conference will be held under the patronage of His Excellency the Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Ishtayyeh, and the Palestinian government represented by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Empowerment, in cooperation with Global Shapers in Palestine – an organization that forms part of the World Economic Forum, and in partnership with Bank of Palestine Group, the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), the World Bank Group, the International Financing Corporation (IFC), and the Palestinian Telecommunications Company (Paltel), through support from Hubert Burda Media Holding in Germany.

The Second International Conference for Entrepreneurship in Palestine will be launched at exactly 10 in the morning on 14 December via Zoom videoconferencing due to the exceptional circumstances resulting from the spread of COVID-19. The conference is considered the ideal platform for Palestinian entrepreneurs to meet with representatives of official, private and civil society organizations, as well as experts from Palestine and abroad, and allow Palestinian private sector organizations, global technology companies, international funding organizations, investors and global investment funds to become familiar with entrepreneurial projects and provide support for creative and innovative Palestinian entrepreneurs.    

Through the ICEP website, the event coordinators called upon all entrepreneurs, owners of startups, experts, officials, academicians, representatives from the governmental, private and civil society sectors, and representatives from international organizations operating in Palestine, to register through the ink https://icep.ps and confirm their participation. The coordinating team will communicate with participants to confirm their participation and provide them with the conference link over Zoom.

The conference will focus on the importance of empowering entrepreneurs and youth in Palestine in the field of digital knowledge, which has become the basis for any future developments in serving populations and global economies. It will also introduce participants from all over the world to the ability of Palestinian startups to advance, succeed and overcome all challenges, especially amidst the spread of COVID -19, as well as provide a firsthand experience of the world of entrepreneurship and technology in Palestine.

Through this event, the conference organizers will introduce participants to the future generation of Palestinian entrepreneurs, startup owners, engineers and technicians from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Diaspora, and highlight the ability of investors and venture capitalists to continue to provide support for entrepreneurial projects during and after the pandemic. Also during the conference, participants will explore the role of developmental financing institutions and the private sector in supporting the digital environment in Palestine. 

The organizers believe that the conference came at a time when Palestine is achieving considerable developments in the fields of entrepreneurship and technology. Palestine has become a knowledge and information hub, especially in the field of fostering startup companies that contract with external expertise and those specializing in the preparation of Arabic content. Palestinian youth enjoy a high level of knowledge and education, as 90% of this sector know how to read and write, and have first class engineering and technical talents. Furthermore, Palestinians living in the diaspora communities, who account for approximately eight million people, use their network of connections, investment and entrepreneurial projects around the world to empower Palestine and allow it to penetrate international networks and markets.

The first conference, which was held last year, managed to achieve considerable success that was manifested in the increase of contacts and communications from investors, and global technology companies interested in supporting Palestinian entrepreneurs, thus, encouraging organizers to hold the conference for a second year and make further efforts to introduce Palestinian entrepreneurs to the world.

Despite widespread concerns in Palestine and around the world due to the spread of COVID-19, and the many health, psychological, social and economic effects it has brought, the organizers of the conference believe that the pandemic was a wakeup call for us to stress the importance of the digital world and electronic platforms and utilize them in the development of various communities and economies.