Trade & investment

ICC and WTO announce second successful proposal under ‘Small Business Champions’ initiative

  • 17 October 2017
ICC and WTO announce second successful proposal under 'Small Business Champions'

ICC and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) announced today (17 October) that a proposal submitted by the Union of Chambers of Commerce of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is the second to be selected under the Small Business Champions initiative.

The proposal sets out a plan to create a network for small businesses which will help them integrate into regional and international markets, facilitate their access to information, and build their capacity to export.

The project, named ‘WORLD NET for Small Businesses’, will identify 100 small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and integrate them into the network. This digital platform will incorporate company profiles, as well as products and services of all identified SMEs. It will assist them in accessing relevant information and understanding complex procedures and documentation. The selected SMEs will benefit from capacity building and training courses.

The SMEs targeted will be those with a promising potential to trade internationally but which currently have limited opportunities, skills, or information to access foreign markets.

Director-General Roberto Azevedo said:

“This is a very promising idea, providing a digital shop-window for SMEs to promote their products and services, as well as invaluable training opportunities. I congratulate the Union of Chambers of Commerce of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in bringing this idea forward. It will support and encourage small firms to seek opportunities in international markets, and could even produce positive spill-over effects throughout the region.”

Secretary General John Danilovich said:

“Business has vital first-hand knowledge of the difficulties faced by SMEs as they move to take advantage of global markets. This innovative proposal from the Union of Chambers of Commerce of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a great example of how business can leverage its expertise and resources to deploy practical solutions to the benefit of all.”

The President of Union of Chambers of Commerce Danela Arsovska said:

“This will be a tremendous opportunity for the export oriented small and medium sized companies, making them available and visible to worldwide counterparts. The most important and unique detail regarding the WORLD NET is that all the businesses to be included are previously to go through an extensive background check in ownership and solvency, because official and reliable information is critical to effectively conducting safe business transactions. This would enable WORLD NET users in international trade to have sense of security while using the network to find a new partner.”


ICC-WTO Small Business Champions was launched by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and ICC Secretary-General John Danilovich in August 2017. The initiative provides a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to do business across borders. Those businesses putting forward successful proposals will be recognized as ICC-WTO Small Business Champions.

Read more about the initiative here