Capitalizing on the Future Potential of an Ancient City: Bethlehem’s Emerging Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Located just minutes from Jerusalem, the Ancient city of Bethlehem is home to an estimated 217,000 Palestinians. The city has become one of Palestine’s most in demand tourist destinations receiving thousands of visitors a year looking to experience first-hand the birthplace of Christ, and get an insider’s look into the globally revered Church of the Nativity.

As such Bethlehem’s economy has become reliant on its tourism sector which employs more than 20 percent of the population there. Handcrafts are also a major draw to the city, as local industry seeks to meet the needs of travelers and tourists alike looking to take a piece of the city home.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bethlehem consists primarily of financial institutions, such as local bank and microfinance branches. The city’s main and only incubator includes Bethlehem Business Incubator (BBI), which provides emerging entrepreneurs from the area with complete access to an incubation program that covers business plan development, mentorship and guidance, as well as training and support services.

With Bethlehem’s strategic location between two of the most populated cities in the West Bank, namely Hebron and Jerusalem, the city has the potential to emerge as a major entrepreneurial hub for the surrounding areas. To this effect, collaboration between major stakeholders in both the private and public sector can create the infrastructure and knowledge base needed for a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Author Since:  28 September، 2019

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