Posted on:14 Jan 2020

Many Israeli entrepreneurs have brilliant ideas, which is one reason Israel is often referred to as “the Startup Nation”. Yet those new to the business world often need assistance to develop an existing business or start a new one. For those living in low income, multi-cultural, and peripheral communities far from Israel’s center (such as the Negev region), employment opportunities and services are often limited. Therefore, for some, starting an independent business may be their best option.

The Negev makes up 60% of Israel’s land mass yet contains only 9% of the population. In less populated areas, entrepreneurial ventures are blossoming, boosting the economy and having a positive social impact in their communities. Many of these new ventures are “social” businesses with two purposes:vprofit-making as well as creating bottom-up innovative solutions that meet social needs. We at the ICEJ are excited to support Israel’s national development goal for this region by providing a mentoring course for visionary women social entrepreneurs in the Negev, encouraging new social business ventures.

SNAP!: Special Needs And Photography, (sidebar) is one social business which has benefitted from ICEJ’s assistance. SNAP!’s CEO, Karin Grinberg had an idea for a business but no business experience or idea where to begin. Fortunately, an ICEJ-sponsored mentoring course provided Karin with the guidance to succeed.

“When I considered starting my own business, I thought, ‘How do I do insurance? And how do I make a business plan, advertise, and manage the business?’” she explained. Through this program, Karin was matched with a mentor to partner with her, encourage her, advise her, and even offer initial financial support to get the business off the ground.

With a few successful years behind her, Karin has now become a mentor in the program who helps others follow in her footsteps. With great support and help from the mentors in her life, Karin said, “It is amazing to wake up and work at something you love!”

Menucha Saitowitz, one of the mentor program coordinators and ICEJ partner, shared, “We are so grateful for Christians around the world helping us support women using their businesses to impact their communities.”

Please join us to support social businesses started by Israeli women which will not only impact the economy and build the nation, but also inspire and change lives!

SNAP! Special Needs And Photography

A team of four young, compassionate entrepreneurs found a way to equip people with special needs. SNAP! (Special Needs And Photography), started by Karin Grinberg (CEO), Lior Weinberger, Maya Lefkowitz, and Idan Aslan, teaches students new technical skills, gives a sense of purpose, and instills confidence for a career in photography.
Many people with special needs are overlooked in government aid systems because they are not high or low functioning, yet they require assistance to actively participate in Israeli society. This sparked a brilliant idea in Karin Grinberg to birth a social business: “If we give them the right tools and help, they can do many things if given the opportunity.”
Now Karin and her team see how their social business impacts their students and community. Karin explained, “One of our graduates was recruited by his Rabbi to be a photographer for the events at the synagogue.” And one of their clients exclaimed, “It’s a social business, but our photos prove they are very professional. They do everything from their hearts.”

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