THE SMALL BUSINESSES, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, AND PLATFORMS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

The objectives of the committee include

  1. Mapping and analyzing the challenges confronted in the implementation of Resolution 922’s mandates that focus on municipal economic development
  2. Articulating recommendations for advancing economic development in ALAs based on this data, focusing particularly on the business community and the relationship between the business community and ALAs
  3. Enhancing ALAs’ revenue streams and total revenue generation in response to historic and emerging economic challenges and opportunities (such as the Coronavirus pandemic and its many residual economic impacts, many of which have been extremely negative)
  4. Articulating and presenting recommendations relevant to economic development to be considered in GR550

The committee’s work to date has been extensive and has included projects on a number of fronts, including municipal infrastructures that support economic development, the small business environments in ALAs (Injaz is developing a model based on the extensive pilot study conducted in the ALAs Um al-Fahm and Rahat), economic development corporations (EDCs) as a platform for improving municipal service delivery and generating municipal income, and attracting and retaining entrepreneurs, and encouraging entrepreneurship, in ALAs.

Additionally, this committee has had an ongoing relationship with the emergency task force “situation room” established at the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic and continues to engage in ongoing analyses of the economic (and other) impacts of the pandemic, some of which are expected to linger for many years.

The committee has engaged in the following principal activities

The committee caried out the following activates:

 Creation of a policy paper the Advancing Business Development, Entrepreneurship, and Organizational Infrastructures for the Promotion of Economic Development”.  

The committee worked to formulate a policy paper articulating the many small business, entrepreneurship, and platforms/infrastructures for economic development challenges and opportunities that pertain to ALAs, as well as to make suggestions for addressing them through government policies and budget allocations. 

 The policy paper served as the foundation for talks between members of the committee, the larger NCAM, and representatives of key government ministries, particularly the Ministries of Finance, Economy, and Social Equality.  During the past three months several meetings have taken place with representatives of the Ministry of Economy, and in a meeting that took place on October 17, 2021 it was agreed that specialized task forces will be established to further develop policy recommendations, with Injaz, the NCAM, and Sikkuy representing a joint effort in the work of these task forces with ministry officials.

The following recommendations were adopted in full in GR550

1- Increase the operating budget of authorities in the program

2- Enhancing human capital within Arab local authorities

3- Changes in the calculation of the levelling up grant

4- Changes to the release mechanism of the conditional component

5- Improving the quality of services and standard of living for residents of the authorities in the program

Committees and bodies to be set up:

  1. Team to investigate changes to the levelling up grant
  2. Directors General of the Interior Ministry and Finance Ministr

  • Joint budget allocation team to increase the current budget of local authorities in the program

The establishment of the new department called “The economic Development and Strategic Department

  That is oriented to support small and medium businesses in ALAs. This new managerial function would monitor and follow up on infrastructures necessary for small and medium business development and prosperity and conduct projects that can increase the tax base of the authorities and contribute significantly to their revenues, the first department was opened in Jaljulia as part of a pilot project.

Seminars and study days

On June 29, 2021, we carried out a study day in which representatives of local authorities running Economic Companies ECs reflected on their experience and shared their challenges, while a representative of the Ministry of Interior provided a comprehensive explanation about the requirement and conditions required to establish an EC. 

Creation of policy papers in collaboration with Sikkuy

Injaz, in collaboration with Sikkuy-Aufoq, released a joint policy paper titled ‘Proposal for Redistribution of the Funds for Reducing the Gaps’ which examined funding distribution mechanisms against the official goal key funding streams which aim to reduce disparities between authorities. The paper also included a proposal to adjust and update funding distribution mechanisms and criteria among the local authorities to reflect the principle of distributive justice. The policy paper was presented to the relevant ministries including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy and Industry, and the Ministry of Social Justice. Some of the policy papers’ recommendations were applied in the framework of Government Resolution 550.

In February 24th 2022, we will present “Sources of Income of Arab Local Authorities”, a study conducted in in collaboration with Sikkuy-Aufoq.