Tor HaMidbar

Formerly called 'Tor HaMidbar', Eretz-Ir's mission is to enrich cities in Israel’s periphery and lead to a better quality of life for peripheral residents, showing people that the periphery is a viable and desirable option when choosing where to live.

Location: Be'er Sheva , <Select One>
Year founded: 2006

Description

Eretz-Ir (“Nation, City”) is an Israeli nonprofit established in 2006 that promotes community and economic resilience in cities across Israel’s periphery. Eretz-Ir focuses on improving the quality of life in cities in the periphery through community, social entrepreneurship, and employment, always working with local residents who join us in propelling educational, cultural and economic change from the bottom up.

Many in Israel believe that one must live in the center of the country in order to find a job, have a nice home and live a good quality of life. At Eretz-Ir we are working to change that perception. We believe that in order for Israel to prosper and grow, young adults and families must see cities in the periphery as a viable and desirable place to live, offering a high quality of life, allowing them to live out the dream of an affordable home, a strong community life, rich cultural events, and local involvement.

Community: supporting 21st Century Pioneers

Eretz-Ir works to promote diverse community life in order to ensure long-term stay in peripheral cities and attract more young people. Residents in cities with actively involved communities report a higher life-satisfaction and are more likely to become involved in social change. Eretz-Ir guides 27 communities from all backgrounds, religions, and cultures, in 17 cities around the country. These groups of young pioneers maintain community life and develop social projects which benefit the entire city in a variety of the fields including of employment, education, culture, and more.

Social Entrepreneurship: Developing the economy, while promoting social services for local populations

Social entrepreneurship is a central part of a healthy community. It creates public participation and creates innovative solutions to the needs of the community. Eretz-Ir guides young social entrepreneurs, enabling them to develop a sustainable business model, and create new jobs and social services for the benefit of the residents. To date, we have worked with 150 social entrepreneurs through individual and group mentoring, 7 accelerator programs for entrepreneurs throughout the country, and a hub for entrepreneurs in Be'er Sheva.

Employment: the periphery is a viable option to live and work

Developing innovative solutions and tri-sector partnerships to promote quality and diversity of employment in the Negev. Eretz-Ir works with dozens of employment organizations, hundreds of employers, factories and companies, and thousands of young people. We work in cooperation with JNF US to develop employment through the Lauder Employment Center, and operate three NetGev Centers - hubs for remote employment in Hura, Dimona and Arad.

Eretz-Ir Social Tourism: showcasing local communities and providing business for local residents

Our social tourism venture is designed to provide tourists with a meaningful and authentic Israeli experience. Since January 2016, more than 150 tour groups and 4,000 participants took part in Eretz-Ir’s social tourism program. We provide an alternative look into diverse populations and societal challenges via face to face encounters with local activists and mission driven communities. Revenue generated from community visits is re-invested in various social enterprises.


We believe that in order to improve the quality of life in the city, human urban renewal is required. Our actions stem from the field and in turn, positively affect it. Today, the city is an influential factor in turning the periphery into a center of meeting, renewal and innovation, for the sake of a good and prosperous country.

Ammal – Jews and Arabs working together for a better economic future

About

The Israeli Economy is well known as a booming one, with the Hi-Tech sector leading it high growth rates and OECD standard of living. However, not all sectors in society share the fruits of this success, and many are left behind due to cultural and educational challenges. The Arab sector, and especially Arab women, is one of the main sectors who do not generally benefit from this success, and this growing economic gap adds additional tension to an already polarized society.

Ammal means "work" in both Hebrew and Arabic, and it is a joint program of Jewish and Arab Intentional Communities to tackle this challenge at its core and work towards a more sustainable and equitable future for Israel.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The mission of "Ammal" is to empower Arab women in Israel to develop creative solutions for their financial needs and mobilize them to participate in the Israeli Economy as leaders.

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Program Description

We believe that the most effective way to empower individuals is in the context of a community. Hence, we invest in creating Intentional Communities in Arab villages, established and led by women, who are often marginalized.

We do this by first locating several local leaders, then providing them with extensive hand in hand mentoring and connecting them to more well established communities to learn from (both Jewish and Arab); Grow the local community; Map local challenges and opportunities, where employment is always a top priority. Devise solutions from the ground up and execute them (mostly: training, coaching, placement and supporting small business entrepreneurship).

The direct beneficiaries are Arab women, their children and their families. However, the connection to Jewish mentors and communities is an additional benefit, as they get to learn and know another part of Israel, and this advances social cohesion and cooperation across sectors.

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Demonstrated Need

The Arab population accounts for about 25% of Israeli society. In most cases, women in this sector are marginalized and do not have the privilege to participate as equal partners in public affairs, higher education and the economy. According to government data, the rate of participation in the labor force among Arab women is about 20%, as compared to over 55% among Jewish women.[1] The rate of unemployment is almost twice as high as for their Jewish counterparts. Those who do work are mostly employed in low-paying jobs in the fields of education, health, welfare and commerce.

This situation is unsustainable for both the women and Israel as a whole. There is a well-established need for raising the participation and employment levels for Arab citizens, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and grassroots solutions can and should play a key role in this process.


[1] http://women.gov.il/WomenInIsrael/FacultyofMedicine/Pages/Employment.aspx.

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Program Accomplishments

Tor HaMidbar is a recognized leader in the field of building intentional communities, creating employment opportunities and raising the quality of life for peripheral residents. Our network of 25 communities has over 26,000 beneficiaries in 16 cities and towns nationwide.

We deeply believe in investing in community building in Arab society as a means for building social and economic resilience, and have 5 years experience working in this sector.. Accomplishments include: Our community in Segev Shalom has developed local educational institutions, a social tourism business that provides income for elderly, illiterate women, and provides daycare that allows young women to complete their education. In Ka’abiyah, our community focuses on children with disabilities and employment, and they have already found success in placing local women in the workforce. In Sachnin, also in the Galilee, we have our largest community with over 500 members. They have a community center and are working with dozens of women on economic empowerment.

As a result of this success, the Israeli government and the Shahaff Foundation have hired Tor HaMidbar to expand this model to 3-5 Bedouin villages in the Negev. The government has also secured additional funding for our work in the Galilee.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Quantitively, we measure the success of our program according to:

  • Numbers of women involved in communal programs.
  • Numbers of women gained employment due to our programs
  • Numbers of women who improved their income

Qualitatively, we measure the success of our program according to:

  • Self-perception of women and their place as leaders.
  • Level of interaction and cooperation between Jews and Arabs.

We will analyze the measures as listed above at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to gage success.

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Innovation Labs: Social Entrepreneurship in the Urban Periphery

About

The Innovation Lab for Social Entrepreneurship is a model for social change through social ventures that Tor HaMidbar is establishing in Haifa in partnership with Value Makers. The program engages the Haifa municipality, local businesses, civil society and the general public to choose specific social challenges to address through social businesses. Local entrepreneurs will receive guidance in an intensive 7-month Social Change Accelerator to establish bottom-up solutions in the form of sustainable social initiatives. The 3 most promising initiatives will receive seed money and extended mentorship and support.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

We aim to strengthen the urban periphery through creating a comprehensive ecosystem that encourages social entrepreneurship as a way to solve social problems – from the bottom up. Our mission is to engage all players in the city in choosing local challenges then jointly search for their innovative solutions. The program will establish financially sustainable social enterprises that provide social services, employment, and a young buzz in Haifa, enhancing community resilience while solving local problems.

It will encourage additional young populations to stay in the city (who are currently migrating in large numbers to the center of Israel) by changing perceptions about their ability to earn an income, and their power to improve their city in fields of culture, health, infrastructure, education, employment, technology, and more.

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Program Description

After three successful years of running Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator programs, we are confident in their ability to create sustainable social businesses that solve community problems, as well as create a deep connection between young, promising entrepreneurs and peripheral areas. The study of social businesses in the periphery which we conducted last year with the support of the Natan Fund has led us to develop a new concept: Innovation Labs in Urban Entrepreneurial Fields, which promote an even deeper impact in the cities where we operate. After the study, and in sync with our strategic development, we began looking at cities as a whole rather than focus on specific programs that create change in separate fields. This model looks at creating a change in all of life’s aspects within the city, while ensuring synergy between the initiatives. We aim to create a supportive environment in which budding entrepreneurs can thrive, through partnering with municipalities, young adult centers, local businesses and investors to ultimately establish a new ecosystem of social entrepreneurship in Haifa. We believe that this model will enable us to permanently alter the landscape in supporting local social business ventures through partnerships, training and education.

At the time of submission (11/30/16), we have launched the program, and will soon be selecting applicants for the first cohort. This application refers to the first cohort (whose training will take place January-July 2017) as well as a second cohort for 2017-2018.


We have already completed the first three stages of the process:

  • Build a steering committee comprised of leaders from all three sectors.
  • Organize an evening of roundtables where the public is invited to discuss the most pressing social issues they experience as residents. The committee reviews these concerns and chooses key problem areas for the entrepreneurs to address with an innovative solution.
  • A call for proposals publicized. By first mapping the needs of residents before beginning a program, we are able to ensure that the initiatives created through our network truly fill needs lacking in the local community.
  • Identify applicants who have promising proposals to battle the chosen issue and are passionate about social justice.
  • Launch 7 month training program:
    • Orientation - Eight four-hour meetings around three core issues: studying the social challenges selected for the program, partnerships, and the field of social business entrepreneurship.
    • Ideation Hackathon - Three marathon days in collaboration with relevant partners in the social, public and business fields.
    • Modeling and Prototyping - Two months of intense mentoring for selected enterprises to continue prototyping and building the business model.
    • Pre-Seed – Three Selected enterprises will receive an investment of up to $10,000 and on-going professional consulting for an additional three months to perform a pilot and establish their enterprise. They will also be able to use our legal and financial infrastructure to ease bureaucratic processes as they launch their business.

Beneficiaries of the program include three circles:

  • The entrepreneurs.
  • Employees who will find jobs as a result of the new businesses.
  • Residents who will enjoy new services. From our experience in operating accelerators, we estimate that 2,000 residents will benefit from the services of the ventures created through the first round of our accelerator program.

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Demonstrated Need

Home to 250,000 residents of five religions, in many ways, Haifa serves as a model of coexistence and acceptance. However, like other peripheral cities, Haifa is battling the loss of its most talented and motivated young residents to central cities like Tel Aviv. From 2003-2012, Haifa experienced a negative population movement for 15-30 year-olds of -9%. This young migration combined with the low birth rate has led to Haifa’s miniscule growth rate of only 3.8 per 1000 people, in contrast to the national average of 16.1 and Jerusalem’s 23.6.[1] Additionally, Haifa’s median age is 38, almost a decade higher than the national average of 29.[2] There are more than 30,000 students at Haifa University and the Technion every year, many of whom would be happy to stay in Haifa is they could find suitable employment.

These statistics show the dire need for a change in the opportunities for young residents to retain this demographic in the city. Most notably, there is a lack of quality employment for young, educated twenty-somethings. Creating an entrepreneurial scene in Haifa will change the perception of the city and enable aspiring activists to create their own employment opportunities while championing causes that are important to them.

Haifa’s population has a wide array of social, economic, cultural, and educational needs. Social issues raised during the roundtable discussions at our launch event in October 2016 included problems with air pollution, lack of employment options, absence of community for young adults, the housing crisis, and insufficient public infrastructure. Peripheral urban areas including Be’er Sheva and Haifa lack the social services and investment found in cities in central Israel.

No general solution from the top-down can answer the whole population's needs. Our suggested program is unique in providing an opportunity for solutions to grow from the field. The participants will translate their own felt needs, as Haifa residents, into social solutions relevant to their surroundings. In this way, the solution will be tailored to local community problems.

In the aftermath of the horrible fires of November 2016 that destroyed more than 700 homes, now more than ever, Haifa needs growth, innovation, and support.


[1]Chosen, Maya and Michael Korach. Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies Publication No 402. Jerusalem: Facts and Trends 2009/2010. Pg 17

[2] Ibid, Pg 22

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Program Accomplishments

Tor HaMidbar’s Entrepreneurship Arm has mentored 68 social entrepreneurs who have launched 41 social business initiatives and created more than 230 jobs. We are additionally launching social accelerators in three cities in the coming months, which will nearly double the number of entrepreneurs we’ve mentored! The suggested program is an expansion from our previous accelerator programs. A taste of the successful social businesses that have come out of previous accelerators include:

  • Ayelet Center: An affordable tutoring center in an underserved community near Gaza founded in 2015. Within a year, it has created employment for 12 teachers living in the Gaza envelope and raised the grades of 200 students, from an average of 69 to 85. The center is recommended by Ofakim’s Education Minister, and is now opening classes in Be’er Sheva as well.
  • The College for Occupational Encouragement in the Bedouin Sector: Provides driving and theoretical exam preparation to decrease fatal accidents in the Bedouin sector, as well as preparations for psychometric exams and vocational courses for women. Helps young Bedouin adults overcome the language barrier which often excludes them from academics. Over 500 students have participated in courses.
  • Desert Language: An arts studio in Yerucham that employs youth at risk as apprentices and teaches them ceramics, painting and how to operate a studio. 15 youth at risk have participated at activities at the studio since 2015, while the studio has become a successful business and attracts numerous individuals and groups to the small town.
  • Tifrach Seamstresses: A sewing business that provides income for 10 ultra-orthodox women in the closed village of Tifrach, where families live well below the poverty line and rely on government subsidies to make ends meet.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

We will measure the success of the program based on the following factors:

  1. Longevity – how many social businesses are active 6, 12, and 18 months after program
  2. That the municipality will be ready to invest resources in this initiative and keep the results going, demonstrating that we have taught the Haifa municipality the value of social entrepreneurship in solving city problems.
  3. The number of applicants will increase for the second cohort
  4. The entrepreneurs will receive the tools and skills needed to launch their social business initiative.
  5. The entrepreneurs rate their experience as helpful, informative, empowering.

The Mayor of Haifa and several key municipal leaders attended our launch event of roundtables, and a representative of the municipality sits on steering committee, and we are hopeful of the municipality’s continued involvement and future support.

In our previous accelerators, we have met all the factors of success. For our first accelerator, we had 40 applicants. That increased to 60 for our second cohort. Entrepreneurs have consistently rated their experience as empowering, practical, and positive, and through successfully launching and operating their social ventures, have demonstrated that they now possess the tools required to be a social entrepreneur. On average, 50% of our social entrepreneurs were ready to launch their business within 6 months of completing the accelerator. 18 months after the completion of our first cohort, 60% of the entrepreneurs are operating successful social businesses.

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NetGev Arad; Bringing Opportunities to the Desert

About

The Negev is 60% of Israel, but only 10% of the population lives here. The Negev is characterized by many spread out small towns. To combat the geographical vastness of the Negev, we established NetGev, a network of hi-tech hubs that offers local entrepreneurs affordable workspace in towns in the Eastern Negev. Moreover, NetGev provides local residents practical and technical training in a variety of career fields that enable them to work remotely, just as graphic design, digital marketing, QA analysts and more. We then work with employers to help graduates find employment.


NetGev Arad is transforming the lives of Arad’s residents through training them in tech fields that enable them to begin a challenging and rewarding career. This idea is completely revolutionizing the field of employment in Arad and will enable hundreds of young adults to stay in Arad without compromising on career options.


In our pilot year of 2017, 54 local residents participated in 3 long-term courses that enabled them to pursue a new career and over 200 residents participated in workshops or attended lectures to learn new skills.


Finally! Arad’s talented young adults do not need to choose between remaining in the Negev and pursuing a high-quality, digital career.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

There are a dearth of job opportunities in Arad and most residents work for nearby factories- anyone with higher ambition leaves for Tel Aviv. NetGev now provides another option: practical, technical training for a variety of career fields that locals will be able to work in from their homes or from NetGev’s shared workspace hub. Netgev Arad introduces new fields of employment suitable for Arad’s relative geographic isolation from technical centers. This revolutionizes the field of employment and allows hundreds of young adults build their future in Arad.

The specific funding requested of Now Gen giving circle will pay for a 56 hour Digital Entrepreneurship Course for 15 local residents after they complete a long-term digital marketing course. This supplementary entrepreneurship course will enable them to work successfully as freelancers, fulfilling our mission of providing local residents with practical training that leads directly to quality career opportunities.

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Program Description

NetGev serves as a home for Arad’s budding entrepreneurs, as well as residents who are looking for a new career field. It’s beneficiaries are local small business owners, young adults hoping to break into the technical field, and Arad as a whole who will benefit from retaining more of its young adult populations.

- Long Term Courses
Introduction to Cyber Security
CCNA Network Administration
Digital Marketing
QA Analyst (to begin 2019)


- Workshops & Lectures
How to build a landing page
Organic Digital Marketing
Paid Digital Marketing Campaigns.
How to open different legal accounts/bureaucracy
When Business & Technology Intersect”
From an idea to a million dollar company



- Mentoring for Entrepreneurs
Will find mentor with relevant experience
Connection to investors
Connection to business partners and other entrepreneurs
Connecting and building a technological business community



Scholarships for Course Participants
For those 18-25 taking career courses at the Center.



Local Business Owners Forum
Hitech Workspace
Possibility to use the video conference system for remote work / meeting with customers and Using the WEBEX system at no cost
Meeting room
High speed internet
A coffee corner and a kitchenette
Seating areas for additional meetings
Free entrance 24 hours a day

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Demonstrated Need

Arad is Israel’s first ‘development town’, and was built quickly in the 1960’s to accommodate large waves of impoverished immigrants. For decades, its residents have been limited in quality education and employment opportunities, with the majority working blue collar jobs at local factories. Many of its most motivated young residents leave after high school in search of better opportunities in Israel’s center, draining the city of it’s most precious resource: young adults and young families.

21% of Arad’s population is 65 or older, almost double the national average of 11% (Israel Bureau of Statistics, 2017). This is due to a longstanding pattern of young adults leaving the city.

A study of Negev young adults performed by Ben Gurion University of the Negev in 2015 found that the number one factor when choosing where to live post university is employment. Without diversifying the employment options available to Arad residents, this trend of young adults leaving the city will continue to worsen.The next generation needs to grow up with the perception that they too can have a quality career while staying in Arad, whether through entrepreneurship or entering the tech scene. That is what we are doing in NetGev Arad: creating a culture of entrepreneurship, and providing training for exciting careers in digital fields.

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Program Accomplishments

In our first year, 54 residents completed 3 courses. More than one third of these participants already made a meaningful change in their career and began working in a new field as a result of the course.

Entrepreneurs renting workspace on average increased their income by 30% in first year.

We hosted 12 workshops, lectures, or other community events that attracted hundreds of residents. These included helping small business owners integrate their business into WAZE and Google Maps to attract tourists driving to the Dead Sea, inspirational lectures given by successful entrepreneurs from Arad, time management seminars, and more.

We are perhaps most excited about the new collaborations that are taking part due to mentoring and network at NetGev Arad. For example, Co.Negev is a new boutique digital marketing company created by 4 local freelancers brought together by NetGev Arad: Nilli, a content writer, Irit, a graphic designer, Nira digital media specialist, and Adi, a website builder.
Two of the women have taken courses at NetGev, three rent workspace there, and one was brought in through a networking event at the center. The result is that all four women are earning a significantly higher income than previous years, and that together they are reaching new and broader markets.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We measure our success by a number of factors, including:

The number of participants who complete each course
The percentage of course graduates who begin working in the new field
If entrepreneurs who use our services increase their income
If the perception about employment in Arad is beginning to change.

To date we have been successful increasing the number of course participants and percentage of graduates working in a new career field. We hope to raise the percentage of graduates working in the field to 66% in 2018-2019.

We have built a wide range of partnerships with other organizations, who refer young people to us for our mentoring services and guidance. We see the beginnings in a shift of perception, and hope to continue building this momentum through operating more community-wide events in 2018-2019 that help shift the perception about what it means to be a young adult in Arad.

Back to Top

NetGev Arad: Bringing Opportunities to the Desert

About

The Negev is 60% of Israel, but only 10% of the population lives here. The Negev is characterized by many spread out small towns. To combat the geographical vastness of the Negev, we established NetGev, a network of hi-tech hubs that offers local entrepreneurs affordable workspace in towns in the Eastern Negev. Moreover, NetGev provides local residents practical and technical training in a variety of career fields that enable them to work remotely, just as graphic design, digital marketing, QA analysts and more. We then work with employers to help graduates find employment.


NetGev Arad is transforming the lives of Arad’s residents through training them in tech fields that enable them to begin a challenging and rewarding career. This idea is completely revolutionizing the field of employment in Arad and will enable hundreds of young adults to stay in Arad without compromising on career options.


In our pilot year of 2017, 54 local residents participated in 3 long-term courses that enabled them to pursue a new career and over 200 residents participated in workshops or attended lectures to learn new skills.

Finally! Arad’s talented young adults do not need to choose between remaining in the Negev and pursuing a high-quality, digital career.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

There are a dearth of job opportunities in Arad and most residents work for nearby factories- anyone with higher ambition leaves for Tel Aviv. NetGev now provides another option: practical, technical training for a variety of career fields that locals will be able to work in from their homes or from NetGev’s shared workspace hub. Netgev Arad introduces new fields of employment suitable for Arad’s relative geographic isolation from technical centers. This revolutionizes the field of employment and allows hundreds of young adults build their future in Arad.

The specific funding requested of Now Gen giving circle will pay for a 56 hour Digital Entrepreneurship Course for 15 local residents after they complete a long-term digital marketing course. This supplementary entrepreneurship course will enable them to work successfully as freelancers, fulfilling our mission of providing local residents with practical training that leads directly to quality career opportunities.

Back to Top

Program Description

NetGev serves as a home for Arad’s budding entrepreneurs, as well as residents who are looking for a new career field. It’s beneficiaries are local small business owners, young adults hoping to break into the technical field, and Arad as a whole who will benefit from retaining more of its young adult populations.

- Long Term Courses
Introduction to Cyber Security
CCNA Network Administration
Digital Marketing
QA Analyst (to begin 2019)


- Workshops & Lectures
How to build a landing page
Organic Digital Marketing
Paid Digital Marketing Campaigns.
How to open different legal accounts/bureaucracy
When Business & Technology Intersect”
From an idea to a million dollar company


- Mentoring for Entrepreneurs
Will find mentor with relevant experience
Connection to investors
Connection to business partners and other entrepreneurs
Connecting and building a technological business community

- Scholarships for Course Participants
For those 18-25 taking career courses at the Center

- Local Business Owners Forum


- Hitech Workspace
Possibility to use the video conference system for remote work / meeting with customers and Using the WEBEX system at no cost
Meeting room
High speed internet
A coffee corner and a kitchenette
Seating areas for additional meetings
Free entrance 24 hours a day

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

Arad is Israel’s first ‘development town’, and was built quickly in the 1960’s to accommodate large waves of impoverished immigrants. For decades, its residents have been limited in quality education and employment opportunities, with the majority working blue collar jobs at local factories. Many of its most motivated young residents leave after high school in search of better opportunities in Israel’s center, draining the city of it’s most precious resource: young adults and young families.

21% of Arad’s population is 65 or older, almost double the national average of 11%. This is due to a longstanding pattern of young adults leaving the city.

A study of Negev young adults performed by Ben Gurion University of the Negev in 2015 found that the number one factor when choosing where to live post university is employment. Without diversifying the employment options available to Arad residents, this trend of young adults leaving the city will continue to worsen.The next generation needs to grow up with the perception that they too can have a quality career while staying in Arad, whether through entrepreneurship or entering the tech scene. That is what we are doing in NetGev Arad: creating a culture of entrepreneurship, and providing training for exciting careers in digital fields.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

In our first year, 54 residents completed 3 courses. More than one third of these participants already made a meaningful change in their career and began working in a new field as a result of the course.

Entrepreneurs renting workspace on average increased their income by 30% in first year.

We hosted 12 workshops, lectures, or other community events that attracted hundreds of residents. These included helping small business owners integrate their business into WAZE and Google Maps to attract tourists driving to the Dead Sea, inspirational lectures given by successful entrepreneurs from Arad, time management seminars, and more.

We are perhaps most excited about the new collaborations that are taking part due to mentoring and network at NetGev Arad. For example, Co.Negev is a new boutique digital marketing company created by 4 local freelancers brought together by NetGev Arad: Nilli, a content writer, Irit, a graphic designer, Nira digital media specialist, and Adi, a website builder.
Two of the women have taken courses at NetGev, three rent workspace there, and one was brought in through a networking event at the center. The result is that all four women are earning a significantly higher income than previous years, and that together they are reaching new and broader markets.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We measure our success by a number of factors, including:
The number of participants who complete each course
The percentage of course graduates who begin working in the new field
If entrepreneurs who use our services increase their income
If the perception about employment in Arad is beginning to change.

To date we have been successful increasing the number of course participants and percentage of graduates working in a new career field. We hope to raise the percentage of graduates working in the field to 66% in 2018-2019.

We have built a wide range of partnerships with other organizations, who refer young people to us for our mentoring services and guidance. We see the beginnings in a shift of perception, and hope to continue building this momentum through operating more community-wide events in 2018-2019 that help shift the perception about what it means to be a young adult in Arad.

Back to Top

NetGev Arad: Bringing Opportunities to the Desert

About

The Negev is 60% of Israel, but only 10% of the population lives here. The Negev is characterized by many spread out small towns. To combat the geographical vastness of the Negev, we established NetGev, a network of hi-tech hubs that offers local entrepreneurs affordable workspace in towns in the Eastern Negev. Moreover, NetGev provides local residents practical and technical training in a variety of career fields that enable them to work remotely, just as graphic design, digital marketing, QA analysts and more. We then work with employers to help graduates find employment.


NetGev Arad is transforming the lives of Arad’s residents through training them in tech fields that enable them to begin a challenging and rewarding career. This idea is completely revolutionizing the field of employment in Arad and will enable hundreds of young adults to stay in Arad without compromising on career options.


In our pilot year of 2017, 54 local residents participated in 3 long-term courses that enabled them to pursue a new career and over 200 residents participated in workshops or attended lectures to learn new skills.

Finally! Arad’s talented young adults do not need to choose between remaining in the Negev and pursuing a high-quality, digital career.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

There are a dearth of job opportunities in Arad and most residents work for nearby factories- anyone with higher ambition leaves for Tel Aviv. NetGev now provides another option: practical, technical training for a variety of career fields that locals will be able to work in from their homes or from NetGev’s shared workspace hub. Netgev Arad introduces new fields of employment suitable for Arad’s relative geographic isolation from technical centers. This revolutionizes the field of employment and allows hundreds of young adults build their future in Arad.

The specific funding requested of Now Gen giving circle will pay for a 56 hour Digital Entrepreneurship Course for 15 local residents after they complete a long-term digital marketing course. This supplementary entrepreneurship course will enable them to work successfully as freelancers, fulfilling our mission of providing local residents with practical training that leads directly to quality career opportunities.

Back to Top

Program Description

NetGev serves as a home for Arad’s budding entrepreneurs, as well as residents who are looking for a new career field. It’s beneficiaries are local small business owners, young adults hoping to break into the technical field, and Arad as a whole who will benefit from retaining more of its young adult populations.


- Long Term Courses
Digital Marketing
QA Analyst (to begin fall 2019)
Introduction to Cyber Security
CCNA Network Administration

- Workshops & Lectures
How to build a landing page
Organic Digital Marketing
Paid Digital Marketing Campaigns.
How to open different legal accounts/bureaucracy
When Business & Technology Intersect”
From an idea to a million dollar company

- Mentoring for Entrepreneurs
Will find mentor with relevant experience
Connection to investors
Connection to business partners and other entrepreneurs
Connecting and building a technological business community

- Scholarships for Course Participants
For those 18-25 , through "Working Together" Initiative

- Local Business Owners Forum
- Hitech Workspace
Possibility to use the video conference system for remote work / meeting with customers and Using the WEBEX system at no cost
Meeting room
High speed internet
A coffee corner and a kitchenette
Seating areas for additional meetings
Free entrance 24 hours a day

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

Arad is Israel’s first ‘development town’, and was built quickly in the 1960’s to accommodate large waves of impoverished immigrants. For decades, its residents have been limited in quality education and employment opportunities, with the majority working blue collar jobs at local factories. Many of its most motivated young residents leave after high school in search of better opportunities in Israel’s center, draining the city of it’s most precious resource: young adults and young families.

21% of Arad’s population is 65 or older, almost double the national average of 11% (Israel Bureau of Statistics, 2017). This is due to a longstanding pattern of young adults leaving the city.

A study of Negev young adults performed by Ben Gurion University of the Negev in 2015 found that the number one factor when choosing where to live post university is employment. Without diversifying the employment options available to Arad residents, this trend of young adults leaving the city will continue to worsen.The next generation needs to grow up with the perception that they too can have a quality career while staying in Arad, whether through entrepreneurship or entering the tech scene. That is what we are doing in NetGev Arad: creating a culture of entrepreneurship, and providing training for exciting careers in digital fields.

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Program Accomplishments

In our first year, 54 residents completed 3 courses. More than one third of these participants already made a meaningful change in their career and began working in a new field as a result of the course.

Entrepreneurs renting workspace on average increased their income by 30% in first year.

We host 12 workshops, lectures, or other community events that attracted hundreds of residents. These included helping small business owners integrate their business into WAZE and Google Maps to attract tourists driving to the Dead Sea, inspirational lectures given by successful entrepreneurs from Arad, time management seminars, and more.

We are perhaps most excited about the new collaborations that are taking part due to mentoring and network at NetGev Arad. For example, Co.Negev is a new boutique digital marketing company created by 4 local freelancers brought together by NetGev Arad: Nilli, a content writer, Irit, a graphic designer, Nira digital media specialist, and Adi, a website builder.
Two of the women have taken courses at NetGev, three rent workspace there, and one was brought in through a networking event at the center. The result is that all four women are earning a significantly higher income than previous years, and that together they are reaching new and broader markets.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

We measure our program by a number of factors, including:
The number of participants who complete each course
The percentage of course graduates who begin working in the new field
If entrepreneurs who use our services increase their income
If the perception about employment in Arad is beginning to change.

To date we have been successful increasing the number of course participants and percentage of graduates working in a new career field. We hope to raise the percentage of graduates working in the field to 66% in 2018-2019.

We have built a wide range of partnerships with other organizations, who refer young people to us for our mentoring services and guidance. We see the beginnings in a shift of perception, and hope to continue building this momentum through operating more community-wide events in 2018-2019 that help shift the perception about what it means to be a young adult in Arad.

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