The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) to launch the second edition of the Small Business Champions Initiative.

The second edition of the Small Business Champions Initiative was launched at a joint event hosted by ICC, ITC and the WTO Informal Working Group on Micro-, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

The aim of the initiative is to identify, highlight and celebrate creative and impactful organisations or initiatives that put small businesses at the centre of the green transition. Proposals should be submitted by 15 August 2022.

The initiative was announced at a virtual event by ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, ITC Deputy Executive Director Dorothy Tembo and Ambassador Jose-Luis Cancela, Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on MSMEs.

Mr Denton said: “MSMEs are the backbone of national economies and given their sheer weight in the global economy, they present a major opportunity to advance environmental objectives. Committed to our campaign of making climate action everyone’s business, ICC is incredibly grateful to be able to support this important initiative and put the spotlight on the global MSME community.”

Proposals are invited from industry associations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organisations that are experienced in MSMEs and the green transition. Winning proposals will be announced during Building Bridges — a joint initiative to foster collaboration on sustainability issues — to be held in Geneva on 3-6 October 2022.

What kind of proposals should be submitted?

  • Proposals can focus on awareness-raising campaigns, competitions, capacity building, training and mentoring programmes.
  • Proposals should be designed to be delivered by the entity submitting the proposal and should not focus on WTO negotiations, or proposed changes to WTO rules.

How to submit proposals?

  • Proposals should be no longer than three pages and should be sent to the following address in Word or PDF format: smallbusinesschampions@wto.org
  • Proposals should include details on the concept, aims, timelines and other information as appropriate.

Deadline for the call for proposals is 15 August 2022.

Background

As the urgency for action to address climate change and the wider environmental crisis increases, innovation by businesses of all sizes will be critical to achieve sustainability targets. Finding ways to help reduce the carbon and environmental footprint of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises is essential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In line with ICC’s mission to make business work, for everyone, every day, everywhere, this annual competition provides an opportunity for businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organisations to propose innovative, practical ways of helping small businesses play a more active role in world trade.

Launched in 2021 by ICC, ITC and the WTO Informal Working Group on MSMEs, last year’s first edition of the Small Business Champions Initiative underlined the importance of the digital economy for businesses of all sizes throughout the world and aimed to help small businesses go digital and increase their participation in international trade.

More details can be found here.