A new philanthropic venture called WE-19, seeks to help small and young businesses affected by the Corona crisis, and provide them with a growth grant totaling NIS 100 million. The idea behind the project, managed by Inbar Shashua Bar-Nir and Adi Aton, is to award about 2,000 businesses that have opened since 2019 grants of about NIS 50,000 each, through an innovative mechanism based on peer selection. The project operates under the “House for Social Solidarity”, a public benefit company, founded by Anat and Amnon Shashua, founder and CEO of Mobilai and Orkam and vice president atFamiliar with Intel. In a conversation with “Globes”, the co-directors Shashua Bar-Nir Waton explain the innovative idea and method of the project.
Inbar Shashua Bar-Nir: “Businesses that opened in 2019 have only just begun to fulfill their dream. They did not have time to reap the rewards and then were hit by the Corona crisis. Those businesses, which are usually young, also did not have time to keep reserves for a rainy day. Enough data to report, so that associations that support small businesses are not always able to help them. We will give them NIS 50,000, with an emphasis on support. This is ‘smart money’ that can help the business, in what it needs – it can be financial advice, setting up a delivery site, “Everything is detailed in the registration, and since the needs of each business change, there is also an option that he can specify for himself what can help him grow.”
Aton: “It’s a committee without committees and decision-making. Our idea is that businesses choose businesses. Every business tells what can help it, the story is randomly revealed to other businesses that have applied, and so a new philanthropic method works: you as a candidate choose who you think is worthy. Only after choosing Colleagues, we verify the data. The money is received in principle in three strokes, but since we know that the needs of a guitar teacher do not match the needs of a business selling ice cream – we can adjust the grant to the needs. Small businesses that want to participate can enter their details and register. “They will receive a link, and then we will take matters into our own hands. As mentioned, the 2,000 leaders will take part in the selection.”
When will the elected representatives be able to see the money?
Aton: “For the mechanism to work effectively, we would like to reach more than 10,000 businesses first. We will wait several weeks, so that there will be an opportunity for everyone. It is difficult to estimate this in time. It depends on how many businesses apply.”
The project can be attended by businesses or self-employed people with a licensed dealer certificate, Company Ltd., Union of Dealers, and provided they open from 2019 to September 2020, with an annual sales turnover of up to NIS 5 million, employing up to 20 full-time employees.
The activity is carried out under the legal guidance of the law firm of Meitar & Co., accounting supervision of the accounting firm Ernst & Young, financial consulting and operation of the consulting firm Cognom.
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