Meet "Al-Bal" Project

2017-07-27

Marwa Asseleh, Mohammad Salah, and Maram Geith, are a group of young socially active Jerusalemites, who have been developing a local search application to better connect their community members with each other. They met in a voluntary group and decided to continue their cooperation in serving their community by building this project.


Mohammad reminisce, “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to establish my own business, so I kept looking for the needs of the Palestinian market, until I and some of my friends came up with an idea for a local search application, which provides data about local Palestinian businesses in East Jerusalem, such as the location and contact information, to help Palestinian costumers easily find their destination.”


Marwa Asseleh, the team leader says, “We knew about the entrepreneurship training from a Facebook advertisement, and we thought that it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on our project idea and to develop the application.”


The entrepreneurship training is implemented as part of the “Empowering Young Palestinian Entrepreneurs” Project, organized by Palestine Education for Employment (PEFE) and funded by the U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). “During the 70 hours of entrepreneurship training program, our Marketing Trainer, Dana Al-Qaimary, helped us identify the name of the app (Al-Bal), which means “what crosses the mind”. We developed our logo and wrote our slogan for the first time,” Maram says.


“During the training we were able to better set our objectives and strategies to develop the idea.  We learned to identify our target users based on the objective of the application, we were also able to think in a more organized manner. For example we wanted to build the application with 5 languages, but during the training we realized that it wasn’t necessary since our target users all speak Arabic,” Mohammad explains.


“The Digital Marketing was my favorite part of the training;” says Marwa, “we were introduced to all the available tools that enable us to effectively manage our Facebook business page to gain more followers and create connections. I gained new skills, after the training we created a Facebook page for our business idea to start introducing it to our targeted users.” She adds, “The team believes in the value of the application, and we are working to improve it to be able to meet the market need for a directory application. We know that starting a business project is challenging, especially in terms of funding, but we are determined, and we believe that this application could be a huge success.”


 “We have a business plan with clear and specified objectives now, and we are proud to say that we were able to convince our first investors to give us financial support, which helped us initiate the real work and start the data collection for the application. We are very excited that we were qualified for the one-on-one support to further develop our business project, and benefit from the opportunity to get linked potential investors and sources of funding,” the team clarifies.
 

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