The “Digital Champions for Small Business ” initiative was launched today at a joint event hosted by the WTO Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The aim of the initiative is to help small businesses go digital and increase their participation in international trade. Proposals on how to help MSMEs address the difficulties they face with digital trade should be submitted by 15 September 2021.
The initiative was announced at a virtual event attended by WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, ICC Secretary General John Denton, ITC Secretary General Pamela Coke-Hamilton and Ambassador Jose-Luis Cancela, Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on MSMEs.
Proposals are invited from industry associations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organisations that are experienced in MSME and digitalization issues. The winning proposals will be announced at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference to be held in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December 2021.
What kind of proposals should be submitted?
- Proposals can focus on awareness-raising campaigns, competitions, capacity building, training and mentoring programmes.
- Proposals should be designed to be delivered by the entity submitting the proposal and should not focus on WTO negotiations, or proposed changes to WTO rules.
How to submit proposals?
- Proposals should include details on the concept, aims, timelines and other information as appropriate.
- Proposals should be no longer than three pages and should be sent to the following address in Word or PDF format: Digitalchampions@wto.org
Deadline for the call for proposals is 15 September 2021.
Awards will be tailored to the winning proposals. The number of awards will be determined based on the proposals received.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of the digital economy for businesses of all sizes throughout the world. MSMEs have historically struggled to enter the digital economy, due to lack of awareness, resources or technological know-how. The aim of the competition is to bring more MSMEs into the digital economy to help them grow, trade and become resilient.
More details can be found here.