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Start-ups & Entrepreneurs

The 5 reasons behind Israel’s start-up success

We are living in a society with a growing interest for starting up our own companies that create environmental and social value. Fahima Doron, our local partner of green entrepreneurship in Israel and consultant for of Israeli Small and Medium Business (SMB)'s development center talks to SwitchMed about the top five reasons behind Israel’s start-up success.

Tell us about the organisation that you work for 

MAOF, the Israeli Small and Medium Business (SMB)'s development centers, was established by the SMB Agency of the Ministry of Economy. Its main activities include improving business competitiveness and business prosperity through mapping business's needs, business consultancy, assisting in recruiting loans, business trainings and various projects that match entrepreneurs’ needs. MAOF, which has 40 branches all over Israel and all its services are subsidized by the Ministry of Economy, targets new entrepreneurs - special care is given to minorities- as well as business up to 100 workers from all business fields.

MAOF’s main operation principles are: one stop shop, quality and consistency in service delivery, ongoing assistance, high professionalism, learning and improving.


Tell us a bit about yourself

I am the local partner of MED TEST II in Israel. I have a B.A. degree in Agriculture and Environment and a M.B.A degree in Marketing. I am the owner and the manager of Matimove consulting, funding and investment Ltd which helps and leads Small and Medium Businesses and entrepreneurs in Israel. I also established Esek-Yarok - The Israeli Green Business Center - which supports green businesses and green entrepreneurs.   


With a population of eight million people, Israel has over 6,000 start-ups. Israeli start-up scene is therefore very successful. Can you give us 5 reasons behind Israel’s start-up success? Does it work as well for green start-ups?

  1. Survival leads to innovation - Israel is an isolated country that had to developed technologies in order to survive. That fact led to invest a lot of resources in research and development. Especially in the army to supply the best protection without the need of support from the other countries.
  2. The mentality force - The Israeli mentality is about innovating and finding solutions in Israel and in the global market.
  3. Technology touch - Most of the people are obliged to serve the army. There they are being exposed from a very early stage to high technology. Some people are in contact already in their early twenties with innovation, thus many youngster develop great self-confidence to take risk and to make their own business, raising money etc.
  4. Start-up culture - In Israel there is a culture of start-ups. There are more than 30 programs to support start-ups and private funding as well.
  5. Snowball effect – With a high number of start-ups the market is organised and Israelites can get support and knowledge in many fields.

Green start-ups are also developed in Israel for the global market.


Israel is one of the countries that attract more venture capital per person than anywhere in the world. Why do you think is like this?

Because in Israel there are very good ideas and many successful start-ups are a force to attract capital venture.


In your opinion, what is a marketable green business idea? How are you helping green entrepreneurs to move from a business idea to a value-generating, market-fit solution?

The basic key success factor (KSF) is profitable business model. Knowing how to make profit profit from the idea is crucial. What is the value that the company will generate to the potential customer? I teach them to plan according the following questions, which is what, who and how:

  1. What is the idea-the product-the service that you are developing?
  2. Who is your target?
  3. How are you going to sell the product?


Can you tell us two examples of inspirational success stories of entrepreneurs that you have trained, emphasising the environmental and/or social value created?

I had the opportunity to be a consultant including writing the business plan for an entrepreneur that brought back to Israel the biomass technology that saw in the United States on burning trash and wasted wood in order to generate steam for factories.

He had the vision to bring this technology to Israel as he realised that this was an excellent business opportunity. He established a Build–Operate-Transfer (BOT) agreement with a big food manufacturer in Israel, who invested 2 million $. The food company is currently saving 1 million $ costs of oil a year. Today the biomass technology works in 3 plants, save tons of oil every year, save money for the plant while using wasted wood.

I am currently helping another start-up to seek venture capital. The company is called ¨Twist green solutions¨, which brings an innovative series of cardboard clothes hangers made from recycled materials, based on local technology and expertise, produced in Israel.