The Palestinian entrepreneurial ecosystem is nascent but advancing, with a lot of young and promising entrepreneurs starting and growing their businesses despite the challenging environment.
The development of smaller SMEs is constrained by political instability, lack of access to markets, unfavorable regulations, and lack of finance from the banking sector. With their loans, FATEN is providing finance solutions for small-scale enterprises and micro-entrepreneurs, mainly women, as they often do not have access to financing from banks in the Palestinian Territories. FATEN is the largest Micro Finance Institution operating in Palestinian Territories, with 37 branches covering more than 500 sites, including sites in refugee camps, rural areas, and marginalized communities. As recently as May 2021, one of FATEN’s branches in Gaza was bombed during the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Part of FATENs strategy is to become a data-driven organization with relevant digital financial products to support the integration of micro, small, and medium businesses into the broader digital economy. As part of Technical Assistance provided by DGGF’s SC&BD, the consultancy firm PHB Development has been working in close collaboration with FATEN to develop a digital strategy.