ICC-WTO SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPIONS INITIATIVE
The two winners are the Association Professionnelle Accompagnements Valeurs Expertises Conseils (Benin) and Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. The two runners-up are Inclusive Trade Ltd (United Kingdom) and Sidley Austin Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program (Global). The winners and runners-up will be recognized at an event entitled Building Bridges organized by the ICC, ITC and the Informal Working Group to foster collaboration on sustainability issues, to be held in Geneva on 3-6 October 2022.
The winners were announced by H.E. Ambassador José-Luis Cancela, Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on MSMEs, ITC Deputy Executive Director Dorothy Tembo and ICC Representative Director Crispin Conroy.
On behalf of Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mr Eloi Laourou, Senior Advisor to the Director-General, said: “Helping small businesses transition to a sustainable future is critical. Together, these businesses are a substantial part of the world economy. They are part of us — we use their products, we use their services, and we won't be able to decarbonize without them. Building knowledge and capacity are important steps along this path and every project with this goal takes us closer.”
The project by the Association Professionnelle Accompagnements Valeurs Expertises Conseils (Benin) aims to develop the capacity of Beninese MSMEs to undertake industrial decarbonization practices.
Youssoufou Daoda Labot of the Association said: “The project supports small businesses working in the manufacturing industry, a rapidly growing sector in Benin. Six hundred industrial processing units, especially representing the small food industries, will be trained and equipped in lowering their CO2 emissions.”
Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture aims to raise awareness among businesses and policymakers through their Tanzania Go Green Project about the difficulties MSMEs encounter in relation to decarbonization.
Nebart Mwapwele of the Chamber of Commerce said: “Our major goal is enhancing green production for economic development and environmental sustainability. We will highlight best practices that are helping small businesses decarbonize their production and become more sustainable. We are planning a three-day capacity-building workshop in eight regions of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar and a green production summit with businesses, corporations, NGOs and international organizations.”
The project by Inclusive Trade Ltd aims to help MSMSs measure and report on their sustainability practices in global value chains by providing verification tools.
Rupa Ganguli of Inclusive Trade Ltd said: “With small businesses lacking access to sustainability and impact verification tools, the project will provide them with a self-assessment verification tool kit linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and train them to measure and report on their sustainability. This will enable them to start their trajectory to becoming the ‘green’ companies of the future and participate in global value chains.”
The Sidley Austin Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program will offer workshops to SMEs to help them unpack the legal issues related to implementing green business practices, scale up sustainably, access green finance and engage in carbon neutral business transactions.
Nicolas Lockhart of the Sidley Austin Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program said: “As small-scale entrepreneurs transition to green business models, they often find it difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing green regulatory environment. Our pro bono project aims to bridge that gap by delivering training on key legal issues like the circular economy, carbon credit markets and finance, and climate risk insurance for small businesses operating in developing countries.”
Launched in 2021 by the ICC, the ITC and the WTO Informal Working Group on MSMEs, the Small Business Champions Competition provides an annual 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.
More on the competition here.