Addressing the virtual event via a video message, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “MSMEs employ the vast majority of workers around the world and when MSMEs thrive, become more productive, and connect to regional and international markets, it makes economies — and trade — more inclusive.”

The launch was attended by John Denton, ICC Secretary-General, and Dorothy Tembo, ITC Deputy Executive Director. The Informal Working Group, the ICC and ITC are planning to make the Small Business Champions Initiative an annual competition with a different, trade-related theme each year.

Launched in 2021, the 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. The aim of the 2022 competition is to find ways of helping small businesses reduce their carbon footprint and benefit from sustainability innovations. More information on the competition can be found here.

DG Okonjo-Iweala said: “I encourage private companies, industry associations, chambers of commerce and NGOs, wherever they are, to become Small Business Champions and to submit proposals to help MSMEs become more sustainable. Helping small businesses transition to a more sustainable economy is a win-win-win scenario: good for the businesses, good for the economy overall, and good for the environment.”

Ambassador José-Luis Cancela , Coordinator of the MSME Informal Working Group, said: “MSMEs represent the majority of businesses in every economy and finding ways to support their access to the international economy is one way to support their ability to innovate, to pursue growth and to increase sustainability.”

The panel discussion focussed on how to create the enabling environment for small business in their transition to a green economy and how to alleviate some of the challenges they face, such as trade costs, regulatory burdens and access to finance The panel featured Sandrine Salerno, Director of Sustainable Finance Geneva, Erik Churchill, Vice President of Public Affairs at UPS, Elisa Moscolin, Executive Vice President of Sustainability at Sage, Pinaman Owusu, Founder and CEO of ADJOAA (a marketplace for African fashion), and Victor Dosoretz, CEO of Mantra Beauty.

The recording of the launch event is available here.




Problems viewing this page? If so, please contact [email protected] giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.