Bashar Jawad Al-Sharif, a graphic designer and Owner of "Micky Design" advertising company in Heron,holds a bachelor's degree in graphic design and multimedia from Palestine Polytechnic University with distinction, enabling him to work within the same program as a lecturer of design and social marketing. He started building his practical experience early when he began working as a graphic designer in different advertising and marketing companies during his university years, to establish his project in mid-2019.
The Startup Project "Mickey Design" provides various advertising services including graphics, animation, 2D and 3D designs, paper printing, social media marketing and pages management and visual identity design. "Mickey Design" provides paper packaging products like paper-bags and promotional publications such as posters, brochures, order books, and invoices.
Bashar heard about Tafawoq Youth Competition that ActionAid Palestine launched as part of the "Social Innovation" project, funded by Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, through ActionAid Facebook page. The project aims to support entrepreneurial start-up projects. He decided to apply for the competition despite his unfortunate previous experience applying for business incubators organized by local universities and NGOs.
Bashar's initiative was selected to be supported by ActionAid Palestine, and this gave him hope within the limited opportunities for Palestinian Youth. He stated: "ActionAid called me to inform me that my project was accepted. This phone call helped me overcome psychological pressures; it gave me a huge amount of hope and optimism. It was the first step in the journey of 1,000 miles."
After "Mickey Design" qualified for the incubation phase, ActionAid Palestine offered logistical and financial support for the project. ActionAid provided a paper-printing digital machine, and the sublimation equipment used for printing on clothes like hoodies. Most importantly, "they implemented the post sign of my office, which I admire and consider the most important item on the list of required equipment because I believe it is what brings work". Moreover, ActionAid helped me promote the project's Facebook page.
Bashar established his project in Hebron city, a business centre packed with commercial and institutional facilities. He confirmed: " I proved myself successful as a graphic designer who enjoys a good reputation in commercial design, despite the presence of talented competitors who provide high quality in design, printing and other fields".
In a short time, Bashar managed to attract many private sector companies working in the Palestinian market in various cities in the West Bank. Bashar is proud to collaborate with several medium and large companies as a graphic designer. Recently, he worked for ActionAid Palestine designing promotional materials for the 2020-2021 Tafawoq Competition.
On the International level, Bashar stated: "I managed to set up an internal business connection with Saudi Arabia by collaborating with a Palestinian designer based there. We have already implemented advertising and marketing projects for large companies there."
The brand "Mickey Design" emerged from Bashar's association with his nickname "Mickey" when he was at Palestine Polytechnic university student. Bashar explained: "My friends called me "Mickey" because I looked and laughed like "Mickey Mouse". When Bashar was in his first year of university, he designed backpack pins featuring the character "Mickey" for his colleagues to distinguish fresher students. "Those pins made a lot of noise in the university, and everyone started asking who designed them, and everyone was saying that Bashar or "Mickey" did".
The staff of "Mickey Design" consists of three employees: Bashar, the designer based in Saudi Arabia and a morning intern who trains and works for the project through the paid training programs implemented by ActionAid Palestine. To mention, Bashar was accepted in two successive rounds of the "Paid Internships Program" organized by ActionAid Palestine in partnership with Palestine Polytechnic University as a part of fighting unemployment program. The two parties (ActionAid Palestine and the company that gives room to the trainee) contribute equally to pay the intern's salary.
Bashar seeks to develop his own company in many ways, including expanding the office space, employing 2-3 designers, and purchasing required equipment such as Mac Computers and digital printers that raise paper printing production capacity. On the other hand, Bashar wants to continue his work as a designer specialized in visual commercial identity and other related promotional services that customers need, such as product photography and other e-commerce services.
Bashar registered his company at the Ministry of Economy and a licensed business in the Chamber of Commerce. Bashar partnered with his father, who works as a computer engineer after his father supported and encouraged him to establish his own business. Bashar confirmed: "My success in Tafawoq Competition has increased my professional confidence and improved my management skills to achieve many professional achievements. This has transformed "Mickey Design" from a startup project into a renowned and competitive design and advertising company working in the Palestinian market."
ActionAid in Palestine (AAP) is a part of global federation working for social justice and gender equality and eradicate poverty in more than 45 countries around the world. AAP started its work in Palestine in 2007 to strengthen the resilience of Palestinian People as ActionAid believes that they should enjoy their rights to freedom, justice and self-determination. AAP implements a number of programs through its engagement with communities and women and youth groups seeking to empower them and enhance their influential civil and political participation to understand their rights and undertake collective activism to address the protracted rights violations resulting from the prolonged occupation of Palestine. AAP works simultaneously to enhance their leadership capacity and knowledge to practice their citizenship in holding authorities and other duty bearers to account.
For more information, please contact
Coordinator of Advocacy and Communication in Palestine
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+972 (0) (2) 22 13 137