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February 26, 2020 11:00 am

New Accelerator Catering to Bedouin Entrepreneurs Launches in Israel’s Negev Desert

avatar by CTech Staff

View of the Bedouin city of Rahat in southern Israel on Feb. 13, 2016. Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90.

CTech – Startup Negev, a new tech accelerator catering to Israel’s Bedouin minority, announced Tuesday the launch of its first cohort of 25 entrepreneurs. As part of the program, each participating project will receive a grant of between NIS 30,000 and NIS 50,000 (approximately $8,700-$14,500).

Bedouins are members of nomadic Muslim Arab tribes originating in North Africa and the Middle East. In Israel, most Bedouin communities live in townships and unrecognized villages in the country’s Negev desert region, many of which lack modern infrastructure and basic services such as electricity and running water. Bedouin people find it hard to get hired by local tech companies due to a myriad of reasons, including language and cultural barriers, a lack of the necessary network to land high-paying jobs, and the fact that many of them live outside of the country’s metropolitan centers, where most tech companies are located.

Among the bodies taking part in establishing the accelerator are Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sapir Academic College, which located in southern Israel, and Israel Chemicals (ICL). The program will take place at Switch, the Triguboff Center for Training and Advancement of Employment. The center is located in the Idan haNegev Industrial Park, near the southern Bedouin city of Rahat.

Plans to launch the accelerator were first announced in December.

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