The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has produced an article entitled “Small Business Encouragement in Israel” that discusses several institutions which are helpful to entrepreneurs.

  1. The Small Business Authority of Israel (ISMEA), among its many other accomplishments, has established Small Business Development Centers (MATI) throughout Israel, whose goal is to aid entrepreneurs and small business owners in establishing, managing and expanding their businesses. These SBDC’s provide information and guidance, professional counseling, and referrals to sources of funding and training. A list of SBDC’s, links to their individual websites, and their phone and fax numbers are available at https://www.science.co.il/municipal/Business-centers.php
  2. The State Guarantee Fund for Small Businesses provides backing for bank loans for the establishment or expansion of small businesses in all sectors of the economy despite insufficient collateral.
  3. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor provides assistance for small businesses, technological incubators, business tutoring, etc.

The Energy Committee of the Manufacturers Association of Israel is a professional committee with approximately 30 members who are Israeli industry’s largest producers and consumers of energy. The Committee deals with a wide range of energy-related issues that influence all industrial companies in the country. Meetings are generally held every two months and are managed by the Department of Industrial and Business Economics. Activities relating to specific professional subjects are carried out by three sub-teams: electricity, fuel and natural gas. The committee can be reached via the Department of Industrial and Business Economics at (03)519-8807. For more information, please see http://www.industry.org.il/eng.

The Hi-Tech Industry Association is a broad- based membership organization with over 150 members. Its mission is to strengthen the Israeli hi-tech industry and create global technological and innovational leadership. The organization promotes the interests of its members across all segments, including startups. It works to provide its members with a wide range of industry-specific services such as public policy advocacy, professional development, networking events, research publications, PR, business development and more. The association’s website (www.hightechindustry.co.il) provides some valuable leads, including a list of the association’s Board of Directors and an extensive tool that provides a breakdown of many Venture Capital funds interested in investing in new startup companies and their investment preferences. This tool is divided by technology sectors and delivers detailed lists of contacts in each category, providing the VC name, website, contact person, and their email.

Proper financial backing is necessary to growing any successful small business, and the Israel Business Connection website provides the name, description and contact information for several funding programs and their endowment opportunities. http://www.israelbusiness.org.il/financialassistance/smallbusiness/

These programs include: the Keren Shemesh Foundation for young entrepreneurs, the Israel Free Loan Association, R & D Incentives, Koret Funds, the New York Fund for New Immigrants, the State Guarantee Fund for small businesses, and the Entrepreneurs Fund for New Immigrants.

The Keren Shemesh Foundation is a worldwide foundation whose goal is to help entrepreneurs. It started as a loan fund and has expanded its services to offer individual counseling for entrepreneurs and classes on topics such as writing business and marketing plans. Of the companies funded by the Keren Shemesh Foundation, over 90% are successful.

There can be up to 3 applicants per loan, and, in order to receive a loan, at least one of the applicants must be under age 30. However, their counseling services and classes are available to those over the age of 30. The cost of the counseling sessions is subsidized and is currently approximately 50 NIS.

The Keren Shemesh application is available online at: www.ksh.org.il. Once your application is received, you will be called to schedule an interview in order to discuss your business idea and to determine which counselor would be most appropriate. The counseling is available as necessary – weekly, biweekly, etc. The goal of the mentorship sessions is to equip the entrepreneur with a plan and the tools to succeed.

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