A radio episode entitled “Incubators and Entrepreneurship”was implemented by PalThink for Strategic Studies, in cooperation with Atlas Network , within project “Promote Tolerance and Entrepreneurship”.
The show hosted both engineers Mr. Yousef Al-Hallaq (Business Development Officer at the Islamic University), and Mr. Tariq Thabet (Director of the Yukas Incubator Program).
The episode initiated by Eng. Tariq Thabet ,who started with the definition of Business Incubator and Accelerator. As he mentioned they both provide pilot project with nearly the same services, but the difference between them lies in the timing of resorting to them, the pilot resort to the incubator at the beginning of his project, while the accelerator comes to develop the project when needed.
on the other hand , Eng.Al-Hallaq discussed the various services these incubators offer to different entrepreneurs , such as finance, consulting, marketing, training and incubation. Such services works to refine the entrepreneurial raw ideas carried by the young man, to overcome the challenges. These provided services vary from one project to another, and one incubator to another, to support the idea. He also mentioned that the number of incubators operating in the Gaza Strip has to reached six incubators.
A presentation of a successful sample of entrepreneurship played during the show , by the project founders both Hamdi Shaashaa and his sister Deema, showing their experience during the development of their project “Tezkar”, through the services provided by business incubators. Ms. Deema expressed her gratitude, as she benefited from the courses she took in the field of marketing and entrepreneurship, in developing her experience regarding the access and employment of social media in the presentation and promotion of their project products in the Palestinian market. “initially we failed to convince institutions to adopt our project due to our ignorance with the conditions to be met in this regard” she added.
As for Deema brother Hamdi, he said that at the beginning of converting the idea into a project, he faced many obstacle, especially in finding a suitable place to show their products, despite the fact that he was headed to many institutions that refused to meet him, the thing that led to their temporary frustration. Despite all that , they proceed in the project until they succeeded, and became assistants to every entrepreneur working in their field.
“The added value the entrepreneur earns as a result of joining the incubator, is that the project development period is shorter and more intensive, because of the space provided by the incubator to contact experts with similar experience , saving effort and money and reducing mistakes , in addition to legal facilities in connection with the registration of conferences and exhibitions”. Mr. Al-Hallaq added.
There is no big difference between what international incubators provide compared to local incubators Mr. Thabet stressed, however, what differs in the work of the domestic and international market is the facilitation of governments abroad, and the harmonization of laws to suit the pioneering work, and support entrepreneurs, he also mentioned that local incubators tried to provide facilities by setting cooperation agreements, with various local and international actors, to overcome the challenges for entrepreneurs.
In conclusion both Mr.Thabet and Mr.Hallq agreed that the presence of a large number of pilot projects that is launched annually, the participation of a good number of local projects in international competitions, that are interested in entrepreneurship in addition to the achievement of some pilot projects at the international level despite all the challenges they face , are real examples of the success of incubators and pioneering work in the Gaza Strip .