Ne­fesh B’Ne­fesh launches ini­tia­tive for en­trepreneurs to sup­port South

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • Jerusalem Post staff

In an ef­fort to fos­ter growth across the South, Ne­fesh B’Ne­fesh has launched its in­au­gu­ral “en­tre­pre­neur boot camp,” a six-week pro­gram for olim (im­mi­grant) in­no­va­tors of the re­gion.

The ini­tia­tive – which is or­ga­nized in part­ner­ship with Keren Kayemeth LeIs­rael-Jewish Na­tional Fund USA, the Jewish Agency for Is­rael and the Aliyah and In­te­gra­tion Min­istry – will cul­mi­nate with a pitch night, giv­ing the par­tic­i­pants the op­por­tu­nity to present their ideas and busi­ness plans to in­dus­try lead­ers and vie for up to NIS 25,000 in seed money.

Ses­sions in the boot camp will take place once a week, and will touch on top­ics such as build­ing a busi­ness plan, mar­ket­ing and sales con­sul­ta­tion, the art of net­work­ing, book­keep­ing and tax prac­tices, and how to suc­cess­fully pitch your com­pany to po­ten­tial in­vestors.

To date, more than 2,000 new olim from North Amer­ica have cho­sen to live in Is­rael’s South, which is trans­form­ing into a hot­bed of in­no­va­tion.

“In re­cent years we have seen grow­ing num­bers of olim mov­ing to Is­rael’s North and South,” said Rabbi Ye­hoshua Fass, co­founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ne­fesh B’Ne­fesh. “In the South there is a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on hi-tech and in­no­va­tion. The en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit is in­grained in Is­raeli cul­ture and we’re thrilled to be able to pro­vide th­ese im­por­tant re­sources for olim in this re­gion to be able to par­take in it.”

The boot camp in the South comes amid Ne­fesh B’Ne­fesh’s larger ef­fort to en­er­gize Is­rael’s pe­riph­ery through the joint KKL-NBN “Go Be­yond” ini­tia­tive, which pro­vides fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives and lo­gis­ti­cal re­sources for new olim to move to those non-cen­tral re­gions, in­clud­ing aliyah grants of up to $20,000, sub­si­dized pi­lot trips, ca­reer coun­sel­ing and re­sources, per­son­al­ized ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity guid­ance, six months of rental as­sis­tance, and other ben­e­fits.

The ap­pli­ca­tion dead­line for the boot camp is De­cem­ber 16.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion on the pro­gram and a full list of judges, please visit: https:// www.nbn.org.il/boot­camp/.

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