Bank of Palestine launched two initiatives to support the Palestinian technology innovators and entrepreneurs. The first initiative, RISE Palestine, aims to raise $3,000,000 donations to support the Resilience for the Innovation and Startup Ecosystem in Palestine Program, in collaboration with Intersect Innovation Hub. The second initiative is SAFE Palestine, in reference to the Simple Agreement for Future Equity as a financial investment instrument, raising $5,000,000 in Bridge Finance to enhance the sustainability and continuity of startups in partnership with Intersect Advisory and Entrepreneurship Co. and collaboration with Intersect Innovation Hub. These initiatives aim to revive the tech and startup ecosystem that has suffered immensely from the devastating war on Gaza. Full details can be accessed through the following website:

Prior to the war on Gaza, efforts to build the Palestinian innovation and startup ecosystem were underway to shape a better future. The Gaza tech economy was thriving despite years of siege, isolation, deprivation, and unimaginable adversity. Young Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have showcased remarkable resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. Over the past 16-years of blockade, Gazans embraced technology and innovation. Despite all obstacles, they managed to work with international companies and launch startups with global ambitions. However, the recent war on Gaza and the increased violence in the West Bank continue to have a devastating impact on the Palestinian people, infrastructure, and the economy.
The mission of RISE Palestine and SAFE Palestine is to identify and address the critical needs of tech talent and startups in Palestine with a focus on Gaza. Bank of Palestine has been a longtime supporter of the Palestinian entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem. In continuation of its long term support the bank is working with leading local partners in order to provide crucial support for immediate recovery and economic resilience for tech talent and startups across Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
In this context, Hashim Shawa, Chairman of Bank of Palestine Group stated that “While we are witnessing an unprecedented devastating war against every aspect of life in Gaza, we have decided not to sit idly and not act. As such, we have
launched RISE Palestine and SAFE Palestine which puts to action our commitment to safeguard and revive the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that once thrived in Gaza. These initiatives will quickly enable a recovery of this sector in support of youth by providing funding for entrepreneurs and startups to withstand the loss of income.” He added “These entrepreneurs, if livelihoods are sustained now, will be quick to rise from the ashes of war, all they need is a laptop, wifi and a safe place to restart their activities.”
The RISE Palestine will begin soliciting grants applications upon raising a minimum threshold of $500,000. Bank of Palestine has committed $150,000 to support the RISE Palestine initiative. The initiative will extend support for a period of six months to a year, depending on identified needs and availability. The initiative consists of two types of grants, “TEAMs Grants” and the “Startup Grant.” The TEAM Grant targets established technology businesses, and freelancers by providing emergency relief stipends for tech talent in Gaza and emergency hire stipends for their tech counterparts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem who will honor their peers’ contracts with international outsourcing companies to ensure the continuation of service. Meanwhile, the Startup Grant focuses on early-stage tech startups across Palestine, offering support for their day-to-day operations to ensure survival and foster growth.
The TEAM Grant will offer up to $10,000 in grants for established businesses and up to $1,500 per month for freelancers; targeting a total of 50 companies. The Startup Grant will provide a maximum of $50,000 per startup, supporting up to 50 startups. The RISE Palestine initiative will be overseen by three committees: the Advisory Board, the Selection Committee, and the Financial Committee, to ensure transparent and effective implementation. These committees are composed of industry leaders and experts and will provide strategic oversight, grantee selection, and financial management, respectively.
As for SAFE Palestine initiative, it is raising $5,000,000 for investments and grants through its Bridge Finance, with a target of up to $200,000 funding per startup to be provided through a special purpose vehicle, which will invest in up to 50 high-growth startups with clear traction using Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFE notes), to extend their runway an additional nine months. The fund provides support through founder-friendly investment agreements that are inexpensive, quick to
execute, and universally well understood. Bank of Palestine has committed $500,000 to the SAFE Palestine initiative.
As a lead partner, Rateb Rabi, CEO of Intersect Innovation Hub highlighted the role of entrepreneurship support organizations: “In these challenging times, the role of enablers like Intersect and others is not just crucial, it is transformative and impactful. Through RISE Palestine, we are channeling our resources and expertise to reignite the entrepreneurial spirit in Palestine. Our focus is on nurturing and empowering tech startups, providing them with the support they need to innovate, grow, and contribute significantly to rebuilding our economy through the Startup Grant and Simple Agreement for Future Equity.”
We extend an earnest invitation to believers in the Palestinian innovative ecosystem to engage and contribute to the RISE Palestine initiative and SAFE Palestine initiative in aiding the recovery, resilience, and growth potential of the innovative and startup ecosystem in Gaza and Palestine.
For additional information about the RISE Palestine initiative and SAFE Palestine initiative, please visit our website at Contact Rateb H. Rabi, CEO of Intersect Innovation Hub email: or on WhatsApp at +972566885522.