The 2023 edition of the Small Business Champions Initiative has been launched, with a goal to help smallholder farmers go global.
Launched by ICC, the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the World Trade Organization’s Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (WTO MSME Group), this third edition of the Small Business Champions is aiming to raise awareness among business and policymakers of the barriers to trade for smallholder farmers.
In some developing economies, up to half of all MSMEs are smallholder farmers and rural micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Many of these businesses are missing out on the opportunities of international trade in the face of challenges which include accessing information, logistics and access to finance.
ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:
“When small-holder farms grow, opportunities grow. This includes though job creation, access to education and improved food security. But many of these vital micro and small businesses have limited access to markets and services. With food and energy price increases already placing a significant burden on emerging economies, the Small Business Champions initiative this year aims to shine a spotlight on the plight of these businesses and those working creatively and purposefully to support them.”
The Small Business Champions initiative aims to augment the participation of smallholder farmers in international trade by showcasing best practices to help them internationalise, innovate and build resilience.
The 2023 edition of the Small Business Champions initiative is calling on small businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organisations for proposals of organisations and initiatives that help smallholder farmers to trade internationally.
Successful proposals will be supported and promoted throughout the respective global networks of ICC, ITC and the WTO MSME Group with Google providing non-monetary support in the form of access to relevant tools and training tailored to the winning proposal which will also be awarded a certificate.
Proposals should be submitted by 5 May 2023.
What kind of proposals should be submitted?
- Proposals can focus on awareness-raising campaigns, competitions, capacity building, training and mentoring programmes.
- Proposals should have an obvious international trade angle.
- Proposals should be designed to be delivered by the entity making the proposal and should not focus on WTO negotiations, or proposed changes to WTO rules.
Who can submit Small Business Champions proposals?
Proposals are open to businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organisations.
What should be included in a Small Business Champions proposal?
- name of the organisation
- short description of the organisation
- name of the proposed project
- timeline for the project
- challenge faced/issue to be addressed
- short description of the project, including timelines and activities to be organised
- aim(s) of the project (including any specific outcomes)
- how promotion by ICC, ITC and WTO MSME Informal Working Group can support your proposal.
- contact person (name, telephone, email)
- short bios of the persons implementing the project
Proposals should be no longer than three pages and be sent in Word or PDF format by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When is the deadline to submit Small Business Champions proposals?
The deadline for entries is 5 May 2023.
The selection of proposals will be carried out by representatives of the ICC, ITC, and WTO MSME team.
Winners will be announced in a virtual event at the WTO on MSME Day, 27 June 2023.
About the Small Business Champions initiative
Launched in 2021 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the WTO Informal Working Group on Micro-, Small-l and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs). This annual competition provides an opportunity for businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organizations to propose innovative, practical ways of helping small businesses play a more active role in world trade.
Learn more about the Small Business Champions initiative on the WTO website.