Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Program: Palestinian Investment Commitment

Ready customers and capital lead to economic growth and development

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Despite a growing global Information and communications technology (ICT) sector, entrepreneurs and talented professionals in the Palestinian Territories found it difficult to attract business and grow. Cisco’s Palestinian Investment Commitment helped build a stronger ecosystem for a local ICT industry.

What: A foundation for success

Ongoing political and economic challenges make it difficult for the local ICT sector to grow, and lack of economic opportunity exacerbates these challenges. From 2008 to 2012, Cisco invested US$15 million to help stimulate long-term, sustainable growth in the Palestinian ICT industry.

  • Cisco Israel became an outsourcing customer of 3 firms in the Palestinian Territories, helping expand their access to global markets.
  • Cisco contributed venture capital, incubation, and seed funding to support promising entrepreneurs, start-ups, and early-stage ICT companies.
  • A training and mentorship program helped business leaders compete in the global market.
  • Youth training programs and school networking projects helped to develop the next generation.

How: Business relationships connect people

Cisco staff in the region collaborated with local companies, investment firms, and government agencies to expand economic development programs and increase opportunities. By connecting through business, participants were able to bridge long-standing cultural divides.

  • 5 R&D projects outsourced to 3 firms were completed on time, within budget, and beyond expectation.
  • Support for incubation programs and seed funding created a sustainable network for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into new companies.
  • Venture capital and equity funds provide access to capital for inventors and entrepreneurs. 
  • 40 schools and 12 youth clubs expand the ISP market with support from Inveneo and USAID.

Impact Multiplied

Outsourcing to firms in the Palestinian Territories has become standard business practice for Cisco Israel as a result of our initial success. Sharing lessons learned has led other multi-national corporations to make similar investments and create long-term, sustainable growth. The Palestinian IT Association of Companies (PITA) and the Palestinian ICT Incubation Program (PICTI) are carrying out the program’s vision going forward.

  • 65% workforce increase reported by firms as a result of outsourcing business from Cisco.
  • 64% increase in international client work among Palestinian ICT firms from 2009 to 2012.
  • 20% increase in students applying for engineering and computer science schools.
  • Mediterranean Youth Technology Club (MYTecC) expanded to include 200 youth from the Palestinian Territories in a technology and life skills train-the-trainer program.
  • 16 engineers from Palestinian ICT companies earned certifications and developed leadership skills through the Global Technology Acceleration Program in Jordan.