Representatives of civil society organizations, private sector institutions, and experts called for the necessity to enhance the role of entrepreneurship and self-employment in the Gaza Strip, strengthen the local economy, and provide job opportunities to reduce unemployment. In addition, they called for adopting comprehensive strategies that focus on the provision of training and support as well as the provision of financing and technical and business consultations.
They called for improving infrastructure, providing high-speed and reliable telecommunications and internet services, and facilitating the procedures for establishing companies and obtaining licenses. Establishing business incubators and support centers to promote innovation and develop projects.
They stressed the importance of promoting cultural cooperation and partnerships between freelancers and entrepreneurship workers in the Gaza Strip and highlight the areas that youth can utilize to establish their projects, whether related to technology, services, or traditional industries.
That was discussed during a workshop organized by PNGOs Network where a paper prepared and presented by Mr. Salah Ahmed entitled "The Impact of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship on Reducing Unemployment in the Gaza Strip", in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung in Gaza City, during which the participants stressed the importance of developing effective marketing strategies for self-employment and entrepreneurs in the Gaza Strip, including promoting local projects and services and expanding into international markets.
Amjad Shawa, Director of the PNGOs Network, said in his speech that "self-employment and entrepreneurship offer new and effective means to combat unemployment. With adequate support, such means can become effective tools for growth and sustainable development in the Gaza Strip".
Al Shawa stressed the importance of providing support to youth wishing to work in the fields of self-employment and entrepreneurship through various forms, ranging from education and training, to providing financial support and administrative facilities.
Al Shawa pointed out the need to guide youth to what serves their interests and not limit their capacities only to academic education. He stated that it is crucial to be open to the outside world and seize opportunities that increase the youth's skills and assist them to achieve economic and social gains.
Dr. Usama Antar, Programs Manager at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, said, "Today, we stand before the concept of self-employment and entrepreneurship, which have become an important alternative to traditional work, especially in places that suffer from high unemployment, such as in the Gaza Strip, where unemployment in the Gaza Strip is one of the biggest economic and social challenges facing the population."
Antar also stressed the importance of focusing on vocational education and entrepreneurship and not only academic university education as it is necessary to get out of the cloak of stereotypes in obtaining jobs, keeping pace with the times, and opening up to the world.
In his paper, Mr. Ahmed touched on the concept of entrepreneurship, its importance and role in reducing unemployment, establishing incubators and business accelerators, digital entrepreneurship, and freelance platforms in the Gaza Strip.
He reviewed the reality of entrepreneurship in the Gaza Strip and the economic and social challenges facing the Gaza Strip as a result of the complex political and economic conditions. He pointed out that entrepreneurship and innovation are key solutions to overcome these challenges and build a sustainable future for the Gaza Strip.
He stressed that achieving success in this sector requires continuous efforts and cooperation by all concerned parties. He also called for the need to provide legal and financial support to freelancers and entrepreneurs in the Gaza Strip, provide legal and financial advice to assist in establishing companies, administer taxes, and prepare contracts and agreements. He called for the enactment of laws to protect intellectual property rights and patents and work to activate the registration of patents to protect the rights of entrepreneurs and reduce opportunities for competition by large investors.
Mr. Ahmed also called for the need to develop the entrepreneurial capabilities of youth and enhance the entrepreneurial work environment to promote economic growth and achieve sustainable development. He explained the important roles that are played by the private sector and civil society institutions in creating a suitable environment for self-employment, especially in the absence of a system of laws and legislation that protects entrepreneurs.
At the end of the workshop, the participants agreed on a set of practical recommendations to be put into practice, including the development of effective marketing strategies for freelancers and entrepreneurs in the Gaza Strip, including the provision of electronic platforms and social media to enhance the personal vision and brand of freelancers and entrepreneurs.