CrowdPal, the first online equity crowdfunding platform purpose-built to support Palestinian entrepreneurship, announced today the launch of their website.
Ongoing political unrest and the resulting economic slump have presented difficulty in finding venture capital opportunities for Palestinian-based founders.
With an unemployment rate over 20% and low GDP per capita, securing funding to get startup businesses off the ground has been a constant uphill battle.
“Through investing in promising startups, we can drive economic and social development as a step forward to pave the way for peace,” said CrowdPal Founder and CEO Anas Hamed.
To remove these barriers to entry and promote economic growth, Anas and his team created CrowdPal to allow Palestinian-founded companies or other international entrepreneurs who want to invest part of their funding in early stage Palestinian startups or employ/outsource professionals in Palestine to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Users can seek investment funding by reaching out to personal contacts or by leveraging CrowdPal’s community of investors, who can be located anywhere in the world.
Co-Founder and CVO Alejandro Dughman views the platform as offering an important economic lifeline to an area limited in resources but with great investment opportunities. “Palestinians and peace supporters all over the globe that wish to do their part to and make an investment in the future of Palestine haven’t had a sound place to put their investment. With CrowdPal, now they do.”
Entrepreneurs also have access to a world-class mentorship and advisory network which provides founders with valuable educational resources. From a combination of online materials, video tutorials, and advice from industry experts, entrepreneurs can gain key insights into best practices for successfully running their business.
The CrowdPal platform will also feature a job search and hiring function. This will allow companies funded through the site to hire from the talent pool in their particular region.
CrowdPal is already garnering early interest in the investment community and with industry influencers. Paul Niederer, a lead pioneer in equity crowdfunding, said, “Crowdfunding for a purpose is very rewarding for the entrepreneurs, supporters and society as a whole. CrowdPal are a passionate, highly qualified team that are serious about making a real difference for Palestinian entrepreneurs wherever they may be.”
The company’s launch comes at a time when the regulatory environment has become increasingly favorable for entrepreneurs across the globe. For the founding members, CrowdPal represents a vital opportunity to use entrepreneurship as a mean of inspiring change in a volatile region, “The ultimate goal is to support companies that give back to the Palestinian community, create jobs, and increase quality of life,” said CrowdPal Co-Founder and CIO Marcelo Diaz.
CrowdPal is launching with an initial concentration on the Chilean market, which has an influential Palestinian community of half a million. CrowdPal will then roll out in the Americas, followed by the Middle East, and then Europe.
The CrowdPal platform is currently seeking early adoption by investors and entrepreneurs. The company invites those interested in getting involved to follow their journey by visiting their website to find out more.