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Minister Sofa Landver Photo: Yaron Brenner
Minister Sofa Landver Photo: Yaron Brenner

Absorption ministry boosts business aid to immigrants

New, returning residents can receive 250,000 NIS loan, professional advice to open company in Israel. Minister Landver: Office will provide half of minimum wage for employers who hire olim

Published: 12.05.13, 17:19 / Israel News

The Ministry of Absorption and Immigration has launched a campaign to help and encourage new immigrants or returning residents, Israelis who have left the country and have now returned, to establish new businesses in Israel.


As part of the project, new immigrants and returning residents will receive a package of benefits to start new businesses in the country. The package includes a loan, up to 250,000 NIS (Nearly $80,000), with convenient conditions and professional business help from accountants and financial and marketing advisors, who will be assigned to help build a business plan and open the business itself, all before the immigrant arrives in Israel.


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Over the last decade, more than 209,000 new immigrants from 114 different countries arrived in Israel. Workplace integration in Israel is dependent on absorbing new immigrants, and this work is being done by the Ministry of Absorption and Immigration through this new plan.


Without army slang

Sabrina Breuil, a new immigrant from France, said it is difficult finding work in Israel. "Employers prefer to work with their friends from the army, from school or from home, or at least with people with the same background or from the same circles, and mainly with people who speak Hebrew like a 'tzabar (native-born Israeli).' It's hard to convince an employer, that even me, who speaks fluent Hebrew but doesn't know all the slang from the army, can be just as good a worker as someone born here."


Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver said that without finding immigrants jobs, the absorption process would never end. "That's why we've decided to also work to promote absorption in the workplace. On top of all the professional services that we're providing, we're also offering financing of up to half of the minimum wage for every immigrant an employer hires for at least six months."


Landver revealed the project last week at Bar Ilan University at a conference for immigration absorption in the workplace.


"I made a target for the members of our office to double each year the number of immigrants, and to encourage former-Israelis to return," Landver said. "It's important that the population that will be absorbed in Israel will be a strong population, that it will integrate well within the local society, and that at the end of the day it will be one of the factors for the growth of the Israeli economy. We have also improved the fund to encourage innovation, which will give 50 million NIS each year to entrepreneurs and start-up companies who establish businesses in Israel, or relocate their business to Israel.


Started in a garage

Andrei Sachkov, a resident of Haifa, immigrated to Israel in 2001 with his wife and three kids, and today he is the owner of a successful daycare network in Haifa.


"We got here from Kazakhstan with three small children, and I started working in a garage and my wife cleaned houses," he explained the hardships of immigration. "At a certain point we said we could achieve more, we want to achieve more and there's no reason why we should compromise. We decided to open a nursery, and we asked and received a loan from the Ministry of Absorption. In the last 12 years we have been working hard, but our daycare has turned into a network, and today we ourselves are hiring employees, including new immigrants. But, mainly, we are able to honorably support ourselves."



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