Using data to help businesses thrive in Be’er Sheva May 22, 2019

Using data to help businesses thrive in Be’er Sheva

May 22, 2019

Name: Yakir Partush

Title: Project Manager

City: Be’er Sheva, Israel

Yakir Partush is focused on finding new ways that Be’er Sheva, a city of 200,000 in southern Israel, can attract, retain, and grow businesses. One of those ideas he borrowed from nearby Jerusalem. Partush designed a survey where residents could weigh in on the kinds of businesses they were interested in seeing in their neighborhoods. The city is then sharing that information with entrepreneurs, giving them a leg up on their market research. Be’er Sheva has already received close to 10,000 responses to the survey. “It’s far beyond what we expected,” Partush said.

Other municipalities across Israel have taken notice, which is why Partush is also sharing the code with other cities. “We’re into sharing,” he said. Another business-development challenge Partush is working on is to make it easier for small business owners to work through the necessary hoops to open their doors. One of the ways he’s doing so is with a website that brings all the licensing information businesses need from different departments — most of it previously available only in hard copy — together in one place. Be’er Sheva is prototyping the site with the licensing department now. “When we first asked the licensing department how we could help make their jobs easier, they just wanted a smaller booklet,” said Partush. “But now they love the digital tool and think it’s way easier to use.”

Pro Tip: “Map all of the data that you have in the city. You’ll be surprised by the amount of information you didn’t know you had.”