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Small Businesses in Beer Sheva

Creating a municipal framework to

encourage a vibrant small business arena in Beer Sheva

WHY SMALL BUSINESSES?

Small businesses are the backbone of the local economy.

* According to the global average, small businesses provide two out of three jobs in the private sector and constitute more than half of the business activity.

* Small businesses operate in the city over long periods of time and help to create stable local employment thereby strengthening the local economy.

* Small businesses play a central role in shaping the city's unique atmosphere and character and in creating a vibrant and healthy city fabric that influences the residents' quality of living.

* Most of the business owners in Beer Sheva are residents of the city and play a significant role in the local community.

An entrepreneurial ecosystem is highly beneficial in shaping the city's social-economic fabric.

Our work combines use of human centered design methodology and is conducted in five stages. Read more about the different stages on the Methodology Page.

Step 1

Researching the Challenge

The research framework included a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, field study, and research literature.

The research included:

Field research with business owners

in order to better understand the challenges and needs of business owners.

Analysis of quantitative data

 in order to make data-based decisions.

Study of local and global trends that influence small businesses

in order to create solutions that are tailored to future changes.

Field trips

in order to observe small businesses on the ground and to study the public domain and its influences on the business sector.

Interviews, ongoing contact with and accompaniment of municipal units during their work  

in order to understand the municipal point of view and to build the process jointly with the parties that will lead its future implementation.   

in order to understand their perceptions of local businesses, city life, and the connection between the two.

Meetings with residents

An international success benchmark

we checked how different cities conducted processes of small business economic development in order to generate significant change.

Interviews and meetings with experts and partners

we learned from a large number of experts in the field of small and local business economic development.

What did we learn from the research?

The significant knowledge gained from the study was presented based on five areas of opportunity in which we found challenges that impact the businesses' robustness and the diversity in the local business arena.

Area of Opportunity: Strengthening the Business Owner

Less than half the business owners in Israel reported that they possess the skills needed to manage a business (Annual Survey of the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority, 2017).

The opportunity lies in the development of effective supportive systems that will reinforce the business owners' managerial and professional capital.

In turn, this will enable them better business management and to guarantee its stability and vitality. We also identified the opportunity to leverage the city's characteristic community fabric in order to strengthen business owners.


What did we learn from the business owners?

* "I am the business"

* They remained business owners through lack of choice

* Managing a business is a profession

* The existing assistance is not effective enoughPersonal and

* professional circles of support are needed

The opportunity: Strengthening the business owners' managerial and professional skills

 

Step 2

Ideation

We conducted ideation workshops with a diverse group of people – municipal employees, residents, business owners, and representatives of different organizations. Together, we created a wide range of ideas, processes and initiatives for resolving the challenge.

We developed the ideas, defined the different clusters and reduced them to 15 initiatives.

We mapped and prioritized the initiatives into formulation of an urban action strategy.

We gathered and reduced the ideas into subject clusters that provide a response to various aspects of the municipal challenge.

We created a portfolio for each idea

 
 

Prototyping and Preparing for Implementation

Step 3

"A Gateway to Business"

We are assisting the Innovation and Information Systems Division in developing a digital platform that will serve as the on-line home for businesses and provide them access to all relevant business information in Beer Sheva.

"A Revolution in the Kitchen"

A focused program for strengthening city businesses in the food industry via personalized guidance from a relevant professional expert.

Prototyping involves translating an idea or initiative into methods of action. The process enables us to learn via action, to receive feedback, and to make necessary small and flexible adjustments in a product or service.
While formulating an urban action strategy, we decided, in conjunction with municipal employees, to create a prototype for three initiatives which relate to different areas of opportunity arising from the research insights. After creating the prototype, we will be able to examine the long-term implementation of these initiatives.

"The Municipality Comes to your Door"

We are designing a municipal service vehicle that will provide business owners with onsite access to the different municipal services.

Step 5

Measuring Impact

The objective of this stage is to guarantee successful assimilation, to ensure that the results are quantifiable, and to perform further adjustments where required. Our team plays an important role in gathering data and in documenting the residents' different initiatives and those of other stakeholders.

 

Implementation

Step 4

Coming Soon

The implementation stage is one of the most critical steps in the entire process, transforming an idea to reality on the ground. We are striving towards implementation of three main initiatives aimed at promoting small businesses together with our various partners. In the future, our initiatives will feature in the municipal work plans and will be part of the municipal routine without i-team involvement.

A demands survey among local residents aimed at developing the business sector throughout the city neighborhoods.
The survey's findings will provide useful information for business entrepreneurs and will inform the residents as to the renewing perception regarding the importance of small businesses.

 We are assisting the Innovation and Information Systems Division in developing a digital platform that will serve as the on-line home for businesses and provide them access to all relevant business information in Beer Sheva.

"A Gateway to Business"

Establishing a small business administration

A municipal body that leads and coordinates municipal policies in the field of small business. The administration will promote an efficient interaction between business and the municipality, coordinate projects and establish itself as a body of knowledge and information for businesses around the city.

The Neighborhood in the Center

Together with the Urban Renewal Authority, we are formulating an outline plan for renewal of the commercial centers located in the city's older neighborhoods. This will be achieved via three axes of operation: physical, community, and business.

Elaborating the business Data base

Elaborating the business database helps the municipality in making data driven decisions, according to the current businesses in the city and the different services related to the businesses arena

 .

Revitalizing vacant properties

Formulating a policy to encourage entrepreneurs in need of a temporary property to use vacant properties around the city. Revitalizing vacant properties has the potential of bringing back to life various areas of the city as well as encouraging entrepreneurs to experiment and test the potential of their ventures.

 
I team Br7 Be'er Sheva Innovation team

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Shazar Boulevard 33 Be'er Sheva, Israel Tel: 08-6844090 / iteam@br7.org.il