ICC-WTO SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPIONS INITIATIVE
During a session at the Public Forum, 12 finalists pitched their "Export Action Plans" to a panel of judges for the chance to win a package of financing and assistance from the Institute of Export and International Trade designed to help the winning small business implement their export plan. The competition was launched in May and attracted plans from small businesses worldwide. The Institute provided support, webinars and online tools to help the small businesses put together a "global growth action plan".
Lesley Batchelor, CEO of Open to Export and Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade announced that the winner of the competition was Dytech Ltd, a honey producer from Zambia.
At the award ceremony, Deputy Director-General Yi said: "I would like to congratulate the Institute of Export and International Trade on the completion of their project. Developing the skills of SMEs and giving them the necessary guidance is essential if we want them to increase their participation in international trade. I would also wish to congratulate all the finalists for the great ideas they have presented today."
Chris Southworth, Secretary General of ICC United Kingdom, said: “Making world trade more inclusive means enabling more SMEs to trade — like the 12 finalists of this International Business Award — and expand into global markets. In helping SMEs design and implement global growth plans, the Institute of Export and International Trade is playing an important role in bringing the indisputable benefits of open trade to a wider cross-section of companies and workers. Congratulations.”
Ms Batchelor said: "Running this competition and working with inspiring MSMEs from around the world has been both humbling and truly inspirational. Thank you to the WTO and ICC for supporting it."
The 12 finalists were:
- Andean Beauty: exporter of salt-based soap – Peru
- Be Bio: bio soap producer – Viet Nam
- Bit Bait Infinity: organic pesticide producer – Algeria
- Crùbag: fashion inspired by marine biology – Scotland
- Dytech Limited: honey producers - Zambia
- For the Record: vinyl clock exporters – Trinidad and Tobago
- Hot Mama's Belize Ltd.: pepper sauce products - Belize
- Lhamour (Natural Essentials LLC): manufacturer of skin care products - Mongolia
- Macedonia-Export: advertising and marketing services - former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- Old Bridge: Winery - Armenia
- Sugar Town Organics: manufacturer of beauty and wellness organic products - Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Teenah.org – producer of cotton tote bags – Jordan
The panel of judges were:
- Lesley Batchelor, CEO of Open to Export and Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade
- Arne Mielken, Young President of the Institute of Export and International Trade
- Yi Xiaozhun, WTO Deputy Director-General
- Nicholas Niggli, Head of the Economic, Finance, Science and Innovation Section at the Embassy of Switzerland
- Chris Southworth, Secretary General, ICC UK
- Shaun Lake, Senior Adviser: E-Learning, International Trade Centre
The ICC-WTO Small Business Champions initiative provides a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage MSMEs to do business across borders. The call for proposals for the initiative was closed in December 2017.
The initiative is delivering projects with a range of business including Argentina’s Chamber of Commerce and Services and Mercado Libre, eBay and Brazil's National Confederation of Industry. Once the projects have been successfully completed, the businesses will be recognized as ICC-WTO Small Business Champions.
Google was recognized as the first Small Business Champion in December 2017 following the successful completion of its proposal – further information is available here.
Read more about the ICC-WTO Small Business Champions initiative here.