ICC-ITC-WTO MSME Group Small Business Champions

The Small Business Champions Competition was launched in 2021 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the WTO Informal Working Group on Micro, Small 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.


Although MSMEs account for the majority of global businesses, they make up a relatively small share of international trade. Lack of resources and access to relevant information are among the barriers that restrict MSME participation in world trade. Helping MSMEs to trade internationally can increase business productivity and competitiveness as well as support inclusivity.

2023: Helping smallholder farmers go global

The aim of the 2023 competition is to find ways to support smallholder farmers to participate in international trade. International trade can provide opportunities and lead to innovation for businesses of every size. Smallholder farmers and rural micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are an important demographic, comprising up to half of all MSMEs in some developing economies. However, these businesses may face challenges in accessing information, logistics and financing. Helping these businesses access international markets and supply chains could have important multiplying effects.

Three winners, COPROGENY (Philippines), HeySuccess Virtual Assistance Services (Philippines), and (Nigeria), were awarded on 27 June  2023 . Please see here for more information on the winning projects and a YouTube video of the ceremony.

Previous competitions

The first Small Business Champions Competition took place in 2021. It focused on helping MSMEs go digital and increase their participation in international trade. Four winners were announced in December 2021: the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia, the Lima Chamber of Commerce (Peru), TAITRA (Chinese Taipei) and TofaraOnline (Zimbabwe). Videos of the four winners are available here.

More information on the 2021 Digital Champions for Small Business initiative is available here.

In 2022, the aim of the competition was to find ways of helping small businesses reduce their carbon footprint and benefit from sustainability innovations. Two winners, A.V.E.C (Benin) and TCCIA (Tanzania) and two runners-up, Inclusive Trade Ltd (United Kingdom) and Sidley Austin Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program (Global), were awarded on 26 September  2022 . Please see here for more information on the winning projects and a YouTube video of the ceremony.

More information on the 2022 Helping small businesses transition to a sustainable economy initiative is available here.

The Small Business Champions initiative was previously co-organized by the WTO and the International Chamber of Commerce. That initiative came to an end in 2018



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