Law and business students to gain working experience in microfinance sector

Agreement signed with Sharakat opens doors for student training, internships

A recently signed memorandum of understanding between Birzeit University and the Palestinian Network for Small and Micro Finance – Sharakat – will provide training and internship opportunities to students from the faculties of Business and Economics and Law and Public Administration. 

The agreement was signed on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, by Dr. Abdullatif Abuhijleh, the president of Birzeit University, and Alaa Sisalem, chairman of Sharakat’s board of directors. Dr. Grace Khoury, dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics attended the signing, along with Omar Omran, assistant to the dean, and Dr. Yaser Amouri, dean of the Faculty of Law and Public Administration. 

Abuhijleh, speaking to the attendees, applauded the level of cooperation between Birzeit University and Palestinian civil society organizations, and highlighted the university’s efforts to provide its students and faculty members with continuous opportunities to learn and grow. 

“This agreement is the first step toward advancing research, studies, and statistical reports on microfinance in Palestine. It will also help to raise the students’ awareness on financial literacy and the relevant regulations,” said Abdullatif. 

Abuhijleh also noted the major role played by the microfinance sector in Palestine. The sector, he remarked, economically enables marginalized individuals in the Palestinian community and integrates them as active contributors into the Palestinian economy.

Sisalem gave a brief introduction to Sharakat and the how microfinance organizations figure in sustainable development and countering poverty and unemployment. Microfinance organizations, he explained, provide Palestinians with opportunities to utilize their entrepreneurial spirit and capabilities. 

“Through the memorandum of understanding,” Sisalem commented, “students will be able to train in our offices and hold internship positions in our organization. As such, they will be able to integrate the theories they’ve learned with actual, real-life experience. We will also organize lectures and field trips, together with professors from the faculties of law and business, to visit projects started by our borrowers.”