The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute was established through partnership between AMIDEAST and Cisco Systems in order to provide a hub for training and knowledge-sharing for the aspiring and established members of business communities throughout the MENA region. The Institute offers locally tailored training programs consisting of a combination of state-of-the-art training, networking, and business resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. Having successfully launched institutes in Lebanon and Oman, AMIDEAST set out to found a similar venture in Palestine again in partnership with Cisco Systems. ConnectME, assisted AMIDEAST in tailoring its already very successful model used elsewhere in the MENA region to Palestine as it also helped to facilitate the establishment of a local Palestinian advisory board in support of the newly established Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Ramallah.
The Institute not only offers training programs for local and aspiring entrepreneurs to expand their skill sets and enhance their business development opportunities, it also provides a forum through which owners of small and medium-sized businesses can exchange best practices and local market knowledge. The Institute also focuses upon the economic benefits of technology and how Palestinian entrepreneurs and business owners can most efficiently use technology to speed growth. In fact, the Institute has developed a partnership with the Palestinian ICT Incubator (PICTI), which provides seed money and professional business services to Palestinian entrepreneurs with unique and innovative ICT products that have a strong market potential.
ConnectME was instrumental in the establishment of AMIDEAST's local Palestinian advisory board, comprised of leaders from the business community across Palestine, all of whom consider themselves stakeholders in the culitvation of Palestine's future business leaders and who are tangibly committed to the foundational values and goals of the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute. As one element of their member obligations, Board members are expected to act as mentors and engage in knowledge-sharing with participants, helping them to build their local networks and plan new ventures. With a strong local advisory board, AMIDEAST's Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is poised to bring together members of the established and aspiring Palestinian business community so that with the tangible support of international actors like AMIDEAST and Cisco Systems, they can collaborate in pursuit of the collectively shared end goal: innovation, job creation and sustained economic growth.