Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Youth Entrepreneurship Livelihood Program (YELP) is a two-part consulting program that provides significant education and business support to high-potential entrepreneurs in the West Bank, Palestine. In partnership with two Palestinian higher education institutions, Bethlehem University (BU) and Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU), the overarching project goal is to support Palestinian economic development by guiding and encouraging young Palestinian entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.
Supported by experienced BU and KSB faculty, the first part of the project brings together KSB MBA students from the Kelley Direct Online MBA program and Palestinian BU business students to form consulting teams to help small Palestinian entrepreneurial enterprises navigate the challenges of startup and establishment. Through a blend of in-person and virtual interactions, companies receive continued consulting support throughout the project. The companies and their consulting coaches focus on a range of issues including cash flow management, controlling growth, marketing, accounting methods, pricing, revenue models, launch plans for products, and scenario planning given the difficult business environment. By integrating local Palestinian students, this project builds a strong network to transfer knowledge and training of the consulting methodology from KSB faculty and MBA students to a local cadre of students and future business leaders.
The second part of the project is to cultivate and foster the growth of a sustainable incubator at PPU to support high-potential West Bank entrepreneurs. Through distance consulting, project planning, and in-country interactions, KSB faculty members will assist with financial and technological management, marketing, curriculum development, and faculty development of the PPU incubation process. KSB and PPU faculty members will develop a joint action plan to build a sustainable and self-sufficient long-term incubator for future investment in startup businesses.