On September 21, 2022, ARIJ hosted an agricultural hackathon to begin the process of creating a Palestinian product marketing hub, a main objective of its “Support the economy of the Palestinian agricultural and rural cooperatives led by women and small farmers to recover from the economic crisis in a smart and sustainable approach (ECSS)” funded by the Spanish Cooperation. Initially, a hackathon is designed as a competitive event in which people work together in groups with the goal of creatively for solving a problem and create a new functioning business model. Hence, in this case the agricultural hackathon focuses mainly on creating new marketing ways that can enhance the agricultural sector in Palestine. The event engaged entrepreneurs from across the West Bank, to create an appropriate marketing model for the products of multiple Palestinian women’s cooperatives. In fact, there were around 25 individuals engaging in the event where 40% of the participants were women. The top proposals were chosen for a 45 credit lecture series that will eventually lead to the best group or individual being selected to create their own Palestinian marketing hub start-up funded and guided by ARIJ from the support of the Spanish Cooperation.

The hackathon revolved on the marketing aspects of the Palestinian agricultural sector and how the adaption of new marketing techniques can be implemented in this area with a particular focus on the products of five targeted women’s cooperatives from the project. Moreover, the participants of the hackathon worked in groups to develop innovative and practical marketing tools and ideas to market the selected agricultural processed food products produced by the women’s cooperatives. In fact, a thorough marketing lecture was given by the BBI team on the most important marketing strategies applicable to the Palestinian products the project is working with. As a result, successful and worthwhile business ideas were formulated by the participants. Based on this, five innovative marketing models were ranked as the top groups and will further continue with more intensive marketing trainings. Still, all participants were also invited for the upcoming marketing trainings that will occur in October 2022.

Optimistically, after completing the intensive marketing sessions, ARIJ jointly with the BBI team would be able to chose the newly established marketing hub who will take full responsibility in cooperating with the women’s cooperatives for the sake of promoting and marketing their products in a modernized way. From there, the winning team will be trained and supported by both the BBI and the project to fully initiate their business starting with a sustainable cooperation between them and the women’s cooperatives.

Therefore, the accomplishments resulted from the agricultural hackathon were twofold: the success of the entrepreneurial participants with their creative marketing ideas and their motive to create their own marketing business will also mean the success of the women’s’ cooperatives in promoting their local products in ways allowing them to compete positively in the market for a long period of time