Unistream was founded in 2001 by businessman and entrepreneur Rony Zarom with the aim of ensuring that every child in Israel – including those from the country’s periphery – is given equal opportunities in life.
We are here to enable youth in Israel’s geographic and socioeconomic periphery to unlock their hidden potential by acquiring professional and life skills that will guarantee their future success. We provide young people with entrepreneurial tools, which they can leverage to turn a dream into a business plan – all while expanding their horizons and providing inspiration from various spheres of innovation, enabling them to create new solutions and effect change in the world.
International poverty and inequality indicators place Israel at a worrying level, and the socioeconomic disparity has accelerated further in the wake of the global coronavirus crisis. One of the most significant tools for reducing socioeconomic disparity and improving the economy’s growth capacity is developing human capital in the periphery – this can be achieved through promoting innovation and imparting the skills necessary for success in the new and changing world of employment. Together with leading mentors from the Israeli business community, Unistream brings innovative, entrepreneurial, and technological thinking skills to underprivileged youth, and by extension to the entire periphery. This is how we narrow socioeconomic disparity, improve the economy’s growth capabilities, and create meaningful economic, personal, and national impact.
Unistream programs use micro-tools to promote socioeconomic mobility and bring about macro-level socioeconomic changes in Israeli society. Under the close guidance of leading mentors, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs, our youth establish start-ups while still in high school, developing business and social ventures that are transforming Israel and the world. With its focus on individual empowerment, Unistream succeeds in touching the lives of over 4,000 young people from all over Israel every year. By turning Israel's periphery into its economic and social growth engine, we are propelling the country forward.
During the coronavirus pandemic, it has become even clearer to us how critical Unistream’s activities are for youth, teachers, disadvantaged populations, and the elderly – all of whom needed help coping with the crisis and making the rapid transition to virtual communication.
While many bodies, including Israel's education system, struggled with the switch to online operations, Unistream succeeded in moving its more than 3,500 youth participants, scattered around 85 localities, to virtual platforms at the very beginning of the pandemic. This, while adapting all its activities to an online format and integrating innovative forms of pedagogy. In addition, the organization joined the national crisis relief effort: working with the Ministry of Education to train hundreds of educators for remote teaching, partnering with Bank Hapoalim to provide digital literacy courses to help seniors stay connected with their families, collaborating with Facebook and Wix in launching a program to help small businesses transition to e-commerce, and, together with Teva and 8400 – The Health Network, launching an entrepreneurship program for the children of medical staff working on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. All this was made possible by the entrepreneurial and innovative thinking that motivates Unistream even in the absence of resources, enabling us to rapidly adapt to our dynamic reality.
The effects of the crisis on the labor market and on low-income populations have strengthened the conviction that our national and social investment should focus on imparting skills to youth, young adults, and job seekers. Acquiring skills adapted for the changing world will help these young people acclimate to the digital revolution taking place before our eyes; they will learn to be proactive and creative, which will empower them to make professional changes more easily and create employment opportunities for themselves and others. Unistream's many years of experience have shown that by investing now in the next generation, while educating for entrepreneurship and narrowing the digital divide, we can cultivate employees who will transform this crisis into a turning point in the story of how the periphery, and by extension Israeli society as a whole, was able to flourish.