Bank of Palestine signed an agreement with Birzeit University to support small companies and startups and create jobs for youth, in cooperation with B-Hub, which was launched by Birzeit University to serve this purpose. The agreement was signed during the launch of B-Hub at the Said Khoury Building – the College of Commerce at Birzeit University. Several academicians, private sector and civil society organizations and many journalists and university students attended the event, and the agreement was signed between Br. Rushdi Ghalayini, Deputy Director of Bank of Palestine, and Dr. Asem Khalil, Vice President for Community Affairs at Birzeit University.

The agreement stressed the importance of joint cooperation between Birzeit University and Bank of Palestine in supporting projects, companies and startups to overcome obstacles and challenges, increase production and improve the operational environment, and enable company owners to access new markets in various cities, learn new leadership techniques, management skills and the idea use of company assets.

This will be achieved when Bank of Palestine provides the necessary assistance to the university by enabling to reach companies, small and medium sized projects, innovators, entrepreneurs, and owners of new projects by exposing them to the local market and introducing them to owners of business projects in Palestine. The university, and all those representing it from experts, academicians and students, will work on increasing these projects, overseeing them and providing them assistance to develop, expand and overcome obstacles.  

On the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Mr. Rushdi Ghalayini stressed the importance of the agreement in developing small projects in Palestine, pointing out that the rate of small projects represents more than 95% and employs over 87% of the workforce. He stated that over the past few years, Bank of Palestine supported small projects and startups, and encouraged the establishment of new projects, so that they have an impact on economic development and push forward the wheel of economic growth, adding that the portfolio of credit facilitations for small projects reached over $400 million. Ghalayini expressed his enthusiasm about signing the agreement with Birzeit University, which is considered one of the most prestigious university on a national scale, whose system is directed towards market exposure and teaching students to apply what they learn during lectures – learning by doing. 

Dr. Asem Khalil, the Vice President for Community Affairs at Birzeit University, said that this agreement crowns the B-Hub that aims to assist small companies and startups to overcome their obstacles. He added that Bank of Palestine is always at the forefront of providing assistance to achieve ambitious national goals and contribute to supporting the national economy by improving the situation of companies and startups to increase their productivity and overcome their problems. Khalil stressed that all this is achieved through the effective participation of university students, lecturers and experts.

Khalil added that under this agreement, Birzeit University will work with Bank of Palestine to develop several educational and training programs for this target group, and provide assistance for bank clients, owners of small companies and projects, to improve the quality and production capacity of these projects, as well as improve their managerial and marketing performance, develop their funding instruments, and assist them in networking and building strong relations with the market and the community. Khalil aspires that this agreement will be a success story for cooperation between educational institutions like Birzeit University and financial and economic institutions represented by Bank of Palestine. He expressed his gratitude toward Bank of Palestine for its continuous cooperation and its faith in the mission of Birzeit University, which is also his mission prior to commencing the actual implementation of the program.