UK Israel Tech Hub helps Arab innovators form partnerships in the UK

Israeli Arabs barely have a toehold in Startup Nation. Arabs make up 17% of the country’s workforce, but they account for just 1.4% of all the people working in Israeli high-tech — despite the industry’s severe labor shortage. One woman working to help change that is Dona Haj, who heads the London office of the UK Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv. The Tech Hub serves as a bridge between Israeli startups and British industrial companies seeking innovative technologies.

“Arab entrepreneurs in Israel have been developing products for the world Arab population, which is a giant market”, Haj said. “There are more than 400 million Arabic speakers in the world, about half of whom use the internet”. she told TheMarker. “Still, only a few percent of Internet content is in Arabic and there’s a lot of room for innovation”.

Using the UK as an intermediary is one way to solve their problem. “British companies are interested in penetrating the Arab market, so that Israel is a bridge”, Haj said. “There have been deals signed between Arab entrepreneurs and British companies. They know they can go all over the world and close deals. That’s a real change in attitude,” Haj says.

Read the full article by TheMarker reporters Eliran Rubin and Tali Heruti-Sover, published by Haaretz, here.
Photography: Ofer Vaknin 

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