The challenges of Covid-19 restrictions brought out the creativity of our colleagues of CISP in Palestine at the end of last year, when organizing informative business workshops for the Start Your Business Project seemed impossible. The project team decided to think out of the box and held the workshops outdoor, in the middle of the nature. Let us introduce the Walk & Talk meetings: occasions to gather, to network and to spend a few hours hiking, safe from Covid and exploring the surroundings.
Walk & Talk was designed to support Palestinian youth to develop their basic understanding and competences in the field of entrepreneurial learning while offering them an enjoyable space in the nature for exchanging experiences, visiting successful small businesses and learning about successful business development practices and entrepreneurship. Stories and experiences in field of entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship are exchanged by participants while hiking the beautiful Palestinian trails, all within the Start Your Business Project, funded by the Italian Cooperation for Development Agency (AICS).
At the end of October 2021, 60 participants from Jerusalem and Bethlehem joined the the first Walk & Talkthat included walking a short hike from Husan to Battir villages (4km) in the Bethlehem area and attending Stop & Learn stations where participants talked and shared ideas, met successful startup founders, discussed with each other and with the business experts and entrepreneurs who have been invited.
To organize the event, CISP also involved the Palestinian Heritage Trail, a local NGO with whom CISP is successfully implementing an EU-funded regional project – CROSSDEV – aimed at supporting the socioeconomic development of the area using sustainable tourism as a lever and at developing capacities of local stakeholders, including local authorities, tourism service providers and small businesses oriented to tourism.
Following the success of the first Walk & Talk, CISP organized another 1-day hike for 22 participants from Jerusalem to talk about social entrepreneurship. Participants walked the hike from Al Makrour to Battir and attended 3 Stop & Learn stations to know more what social business is and how social entrepreneurship can be an alternative solution for many challenges that Palestinian youth are facing in their daily life.
CISP is planning to organize more Walk & Talk sessions during the third year of the Start Your Business Project with the involvement of more youth and women from different regions with social focus on Jerusalem.