The incubation phase has officially commenced in Palestine for four promising projects selected by the jury during a pitching event held on March 20, 2023. During this event, the blue entrepreneurs behind the pre-selected 25 best business ideas unveiled their Blue Business Models, which they had developed over the preceding months within the framework of the Switchers Support Programme. The jury comprised members of the SwitchMed local partner in Palestine, namely the Birzeit University, MedWaves, and the SwitchMed focal point from the Environment Quality Authority, along with senior experts in business development.
The initial idea was to pick a single winner to progress to the incubation stage. Nonetheless, three additional projects exhibited impressive business ideas with significant startup potential. Birzeit University and MedWaves made the groundbreaking decision to expand the incubation program to encompass all four promising projects.
Environmental Added Value: Harvesting and processing algae from the Gazan coastal area of the Mediterranean Sea, SeaWeed produces algae powder for the skincare industry. The project brings a natural extract with antioxidants and nutrients, promoting balanced and healthy skin. Additionally, it contributes to the local economy by enhancing the entire value chain.
Social Added Value: The project fosters a sense of community by offering a locally produced item that benefits the entire value chain.
Environmental Added Value: Utilizing modern and non-traditional methods, the Shrimps Farm aims to establish a saltwater shrimp farm. Operating on solar energy, the project ensures clean and green energy without air pollutants. The use of seawater directly minimizes chemical pollutants, making it an environmentally friendly endeavor in the marine fishing sector.
Social Added Value: The project addresses the critical need for ice on boats, coupled with the quality of ice unavailable in Gaza. It also offers assistance to neighboring boats in emergencies.
Environmental Impact: Equipped with scientific research tools, the Research Ship contributes to understanding the effects of water disposal on fish, protecting endangered species.
Social Impact: By providing valuable data to universities, the project encourages sustainable fishing practices and the preservation of fish stocks.
Educational/Touristic Impact: This project focuses on creating a marine creatures gallery with a strong educational emphasis, promoting conservation awareness and sustainable practices.
Environmental Impact: By preserving beach and water spaces and protecting coral reefs, Fish Garden contributes to a healthier marine ecosystem.
These four selected startups are now poised for an intensive 8-month incubation program. Benefiting from personalized mentoring at Birzeit University’s B-Hub and specialized external technical support, these entrepreneurs are on a mission to refine their products and services, gearing up for a successful launch in the marketplace.
In the vibrant landscape of Palestinian entrepreneurship, these projects stand as beacons of innovation, combining environmental consciousness with social responsibility. As they undergo the incubation process, the hope is that they will not only thrive as businesses but also make a lasting impact on the environmental and social fabric of the region. The future looks promising, with these blue entrepreneurs leading the way towards a sustainable and prosperous tomorrow.
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