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Startups from Palestine get well-deserved spotlight on Dubai's global stage

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A two-day event to introduce regional investors and venture capital funds (VCs) to promising Palestinian startups with export-ready innovations in Fintech, Edtech, Insurtech, AI, and Healthtech opened in Dubai on Tuesday.

The International Conference on Entrepreneurship in Palestine (ICEP) is the largest and most empowering dialogue platform of its kind on the startup ecosystem in Palestine. The fourth edition (ICEP 4.0) is being held in the UAE for the first time at the Museum of the Future, Dubai.

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Titled “Innovative Palestine in the UAE; People & Potential,” ICEP 4.0 is being held in strategic partnership with DIFC Innovation Hub and with the support of Dubai Future Foundation.

ICEP 4.0 is being attended by Palestinian entrepreneurs and regional representatives of business incubators, fintech accelerators, and VC funds in addition to government and private sector organizations across Palestine and the UAE.

The event featured exclusive pre-recorded comments by Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), “I am so proud to see that this initiative has become a milestone of the autumn calendar. And you are hosting it in the UAE, a country so renowned for its vibrant and fertile startup ecosystem…This conference continues to demonstrate how young and talented Palestinian entrepreneurs can help uplift the Palestinian economy and that of the wider MENA region….Young people play a fundamental role in building forward looking solutions and in driving policy making…..At WEF, we strongly believe in the power of entrepreneurship.”

“From education, to manufacturing and healthcare, the West Bank and Gaza’s entrepreneurs have shown that they’re brimming with innovative ideas that can drive economic growth and address longstanding development challenges. At IFC, we know the future is digital, and we’re committed to working with partners like ICEP to help turn those ideas into viable businesses that can grow and expand across borders,” said Khawaja Aftab Ahmed, IFC's Regional Director for the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

“There have never been more promising entrepreneurs and startups coming out of Palestine. These are smart, talented founders with innovative ideas, but they need investment, mentorship, and networking opportunities to scale. ICEP 4.0 connects the best of Palestine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with investors from around the world, giving the startups a well-deserved spotlight on Dubai's global stage and helping them reach their potential," said Hisham Kassim, Senior Partner at Levari law firm.

The annual event is held in cooperation with the Global Shapers Hubs in Palestine, a community of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in partnership with the Ministry of Entrepreneurship & Empowerment; Bank of Palestine Group; Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC); International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; the World Bank-funded Innovative Private Sector Development Program (IPSD); APIC Group; and Hubert Burda Media–Germany with the sponsorship of UNEC, Reach Holding in the UAE, Levari law firm, and CoolNet in Palestine.

Read more: Top Palestinian start-ups to converge in Dubai at entrepreneurship meet

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