Entries were received from 72 chambers from 41 countries under the categories of:
- Best Unconventional project
- Best Small Business project
- Best International project
- Best Corporate Social Responsibility project
Finalists will present their initiatives during the 7th World Chambers Congress in Mexico City, 8-10 June 2011.
The Competition, which is the fifth one that the World Chambers Federation has organized, aims to encourage chambers everywhere to develop innovative projects that have a positive impact on their respective communities and that can potentially be adopted by other chambers around the world.
The total number and the quality of entries in this year’s Competition have been so high that the judges announced five finalists in each category, rather than the customary four.
“We are very excited to see such a wide variety of projects proposed and we loved receiving all the impressive entries that came in from the hard work of our chambers,” said Gary Toebben, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. “Innovation in business must start from the bottom up.”
The Competition’s jury consists of 28 judges, appointed by WCF, representing transnational, national and local chambers of commerce. The panel, chaired by WCF Deputy Chair Peter Mihok, includes former winners of the Competition.
“I am honoured to be the Chair of this year’s event. With so many high-calibre entries, the Competition has been very tough – making it all the more exciting,” said Mr Mihok. “I look forward to seeing the finalists give their presentations in Mexico.”
Previous finalists and winners of this increasingly popular event have experienced a significant impact on their local and national profile, as well as on the influence of their work.
“For us, the World Chambers Competition is inspirational, because it shows that you do not have to be big to achieve big things. The world belongs to the small and flexible,” said Alexander Baden, Chief Executive Director of Handwerkskammer Koblenz in Germany.
Past Competition winners have benefitted from media coverage, generating clients or further interest and participation in their projects – a major motivating factor for entries this year.
“The World Chambers Competition brings us recognition and provides us with an incentive to be constantly active in the creation of initiatives that have a positive impact on the quality of life of our target groups,” said Rafael Guillermo Bernal Gutierrez, Director, Centre for Arbitration and Conciliation, Bogota Chamber of Commerce, which has entered Hermes, a school programme for conflict management.
“Hermes shows that working with young people can make a huge difference in the future of our community,” he said. “This year’s competition gave us the opportunity to tell our story and hopefully inspire other organizations to transform cultures of violence and conflict into new initiatives for peaceful coexistence.”
2011 World Chambers Competition Finalists are:
Best Unconventional Project
- Cambridge Chamber of Commerce (Canada)
- Danish Chamber of Commerce (Denmark)
- Dhaka Chamber of Commerce (Bangladesh)
- Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (South Korea)
- Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Germany)
Best Small Business Project
- CCI Saint-Etienne / Montbrison (France)
- Chambers of Commerce and Industries of Choloma (Honduras)
- Medellin-Antioquia Chamber of Commerce (Colombia)
- NSW Business Chamber (Australia)
- Lima Chamber of Commerce (Peru)
Best International Project
- Canterbury Employer’s Chamber of Commerce (New Zealand)
- Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Philippines)
- Handwerkskammer Koblenz (Germany)
- Izmir Chamber of Commerce (Turkey)
- Winnipeg Chamber of Chamber (Canada)
Best Corporate Social Responsibility Project
- Alanya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey)
- American Chamber of Commerce of Peru (Peru)
- Bogota Chamber of Commerce (Colombia)
- Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (Turkey)
- National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism of Chile (Chile)
WCF would like to thank all those who submitted applications for the 2011 World Chambers Competition.