(Tel Aviv) — Bridging the gap between Jewish Israel and Arab Israel, three entrepreneurial brothers have left the familiar territory of their Arab village to set up shop in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the heart of Israel’s electronics industry.

Employing Jews and Arabs who work side by side, Amo Electric installs custom light-touch systems for smart houses owned by wealthy Israelis. The expensive state-of-the-art materials require working capital and the extension of credit — both tough to get without a hand up.

For KIEDF and the Center for Jewish and Arab Economic Development (CJAED), the decision to fund Amo Electric was a snap.

“One of the strengths was that three brothers own the company and they are personally invested in the work,” said Ala Agbaria, KIEDF-CJAED fund manager. “It looked like a good risk.”

The Allawi brothers bring a variety of expertise to their enterprise: Nizar holds an MBA from the University of Haifa, Moayed is a certified electrical engineer, and Wisam is a sales representative.

Their willingness to assimilate into Israel proper, and to integrate Jewish and Arab employees, was also an indicator of their future success.

Their small-business difficulties — owing Value Added Tax (VAT) to the government before receiving payment for their own work, and working as subcontractors on government jobs because they are too small to bid on government contracts themselves — are just two examples of small-business economic policy reforms targeted by KIEDF Koret Fellows. Both VAT and government tender policies are currently under review by the Knesset.

Growing at 20 to 30 percent a year, it’s no wonder the loan fund managers who watch over Amo Electric’s business activities call the Allawi brothers “trailblazers.”

“They branched out of their community into Tel Aviv, they’ve relocated into Israel’s business center, they’ve integrated Arabs and Jews…. They are blazing a trail for free-market success.”