‘We believe in an autonomous Palestinian economy, where we excel in promoting and empowering its people and businesses towards a more sustainable way of life.’ Invest Palestine was established by a group of young Chilean entrepreneurs in 2016. Their own Palestinian heritage inspired them to use their educational and professional experience to catalyse social impact in the territory, by connecting projects and startups with potential investors. Though a private company now made up of partners based in Santiago and Bethlehem, Invest Palestine at its heart, is an organisation which seeks to create economic empowerment and autonomy for the Palestinian population.
Communications Director Claudia originates from Beit Jala, where her Great Grandfather left in the early 1900s at the age of just 12 to start a new life in Chile. Like many other Palestinian immigrants to the country, the family established themselves as entrepreneurs, first selling household items door to door, and then eventually opening their own store.
Marcelo’s (Legal Director at Invest Palestine) family arrived in Chile from Bethlehem in 1956 and like many other Palestinian families, joined the textiles industry, opening their own store. However his parents generation went on to study and become professionals in a variety of fields. Marcelo also pursued higher education and at the age of just 29 is a trained Lawyer and Sociologist.
The partners love of Palestine is clear, as they continue working in other positions whilst putting time and energy in to Invest Palestine. The entrepreneurs they work with in Palestine also have two jobs. Claudia noted, ‘Vision is the most important thing when starting your own business, that will keep you going when things are hard.’
They too place a high value on partnership as Marcelo said ‘Partners give you a mirror to see what you don’t see. Carrying the pressure alone is too much.’
They also sought support from the Palestinian community in Chile, the President of the Palestinian Club was ‘key’ in pushing them forward and connecting them with a wide network.
As Invest Palestine goes from strength to strength, the team’s resolve to achieve their vision only increases. ‘We have been so lucky with the help we have received and we hope we can offer the same to aspiring tech and environmental entrepreneurs in Palestine, either through mentoring or helping with access to potential investors.’