Meta today launches a new initiative to support Palestinian entrepreneurs and small businesses, with financial support and capacity building programs aimed at developing their digital skills as they navigate challenging times.

Meta has partnered with Startups Without Borders to design and deliver a new initiative consisting of three pillars: a donation of $100,000; a ‘Boost Without Borders - Palestine’ program to train 500 small businesses; and expanding partnerships with local organizations to further scale up Meta’s efforts in Palestine. This initiative aims to build the capacities of small business owners and entrepreneurs and enable organizations to lead a stronger business ecosystem in Palestine, as well as give them the opportunity to grow outside Palestine.

Azzam Alameddin, Public Policy Director for the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey at Meta, commented: “Small businesses are at the heart of our communities as well as the economic health of our MENA region. We care deeply about the challenges these businesses are facing and how well they are equipped to handle them. At Meta, we are committed to helping small businesses in Palestine recover and thrive - from improving online presence, reaching new customers across borders, adopting new tools and developing skills to drive and scale commercial growth online and beyond. In partnership with Startups Without Borders, we are supporting the small businesses with financial support and capability building programs to positively impact socio-economic growth in Palestine.”

As part of this new initiative, Meta channelled a donation of $100,000 to Startups Without Borders to be deployed in support of startups and small businesses in Palestine. Through this donation, Startups Without Borders will fund an investment readiness program for 50 local businesses. This program will start with a training and end with a pitching competition which will have an external high-level jury to evaluate the contestants and choose the winners. The competition’s criteria include growth, impact, and business models of the companies participating. The winners will receive financial rewards of up to $20,000 to support their growth and operations.

In addition to the donation, Meta has launched ‘Boost Without Borders - Palestine’ program, a capability-building program designed to train 500 small businesses on how to use Meta tools and platforms to grow, in partnership with Startups Without Borders – who will provide a mix of virtual and on-ground learning sessions to upskill startups and SMBs. The program aims to help them advance not only the marketing aspects of their businesses, but also equip them with skills to grow and expand overseas. This program will also host a series of Metaboost training sessions, in addition to masterclasses by external expert speakers from Meta, and others recommended by local organizations Meta is partnering with.

Valentina Primo, founder and CEO of Startups Without Borders, said: “For the past year, we have been working with Meta in building a program that supports Palestinian entrepreneurs to grow their businesses amidst the challenges their nation faces. We couldn’t be happier to bring together Meta’s expertise and leadership in the digital landscape with our international network of mentors and trainers. Palestinian entrepreneurs are some of the world’s most resilient founders, and we are confident this program will support them to flourish beyond borders.”

Lastly, Meta is working closely with local organizations to nominate up to 20 trainers to receive digital marketing training, and an opportunity to become part of Meta’s trainer network. By working closely with these organizations and their trainers, Meta aims to further scale up their efforts in Palestine.

The program will launch on March 15th  and is open to startup founders and small business owners from Palestine. Applications can be sent in English and Arabic here.