Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of our economies. They account for the vast majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development. At a time when the global economy is still reeling from the effects of the health crisis, the ICC Small Business Champions Network will form a new informal advisory group to support the development of ICC’s global and regional work in market intelligence, public policy advocacy, and in the delivery of practical products and services that meet the needs of SMEs.
On the launch of ICC Small Business Champions Network, ICC Secretary General John W.H Denton AO said:
“SMEs are the bedrock of local economies and, as we look ahead, SMEs will increasingly generate the job opportunities of tomorrow and the innovation needed to build a stronger and more sustainable global economy. As the institutional representative of over 45 million businesses in over 100 countries, ICC is in a uniquely position to channel the voice of the real economy and our growing network of Small Business Champions will help leverage the insights and experience of inspirational SME leaders that are committed to building a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive economy.”
Meet the ICC Small Business Champions
The ICC Small Business Champions manage pioneering SMEs, from different sectors and geographies, that are engaged in cross-border trade and share ICC’s core values and mission of making business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. The ICC Small Business Champions possess both the breadth of expertise and the depth of knowledge to successfully address the issues that matter to the SME community and constitute a diverse forum that can engage constructively with the wider ICC network and work with senior policy makers across global and regional forums.
The ICC Small Business Champions Network is currently composed of:
- Victoria Alonsoperez, Founder and CEO, Chipsafer
- Victor Dosoretz, Founder and CEO, Mantra Group
- Jürgen Lindenberg, Co-Owner, Lindy
- Josie Morris, Managing Director, WoolCool
- Rohit Mehrotra, Managing Director, NMK Textile Mills India
- Anna Nordlander, Founder, Acnor AB
- Pinaman Owusu, Founder and CEO, ADJOAA
Anna Nordlander, Founder, Acnor AB said:
“The ICC Small Business Champions Network is a brilliant initiative to spotlight the specific challenges facing SMEs and make sure that their voices are heard at all levels where policies are being made. I am immensely honoured to be part of the group and look forward to working together with ICC to help SMEs thrive, locally as well as globally.”
Josie Morris, Managing Director, WoolCool said:
“MSMEs are vital to the globally economy and it is important that they are represented in equal measures to the larger organisations. Through this network we hope that we can provide this representation to ensure that the interests and voice of such key entities are reflected, heard and acted on.”
Rohit Mehrotra, Managing Director, NMK Textile Mills India said:
“I am extremely excited about the launch of the ICC Small Business Champions initiative and look forward to providing a meaningful contribution to this initiative. I am very fortunate to be on the board and look forward to working with other distinguished members to strengthen the SMEs globally.”
Victoria Alonsoperez, Founder & CEO, Chipsafer said:
“I am very honoured and excited to be part of the ICC Small Business Champions Network. The global pandemic has intensified the SMEs struggle to access capital, resources, and talent, especially, for the latter two, it is very hard to compete with big companies. It has also brought opportunities with digital tools enhancing productivity and normalizing ways of working that can adapt to people’s needs. I will be glad to work with the ICC Business Champions on finding ways to help SMEs go through some of the challenges they face and find new opportunities to innovate and grow, while also being socially and environmentally responsible.”
What are the key priorities for the ICC Small Business Champions Network?
- Address the SME finance gap to help small businesses access the funding they need to seize new business opportunities.
The finance gap has proved particularly pervasive and acute for SMEs, excluding large swaths of the economic fabric from tangible market opportunities. The inability to access capital negatively impacts millions of SMEs worldwide and undermines their ability to trade and grow. The ICC Small Business Champions Network will support ICC as it engages with like-minded organisations to identify the policy levers and solutions that can help unlock new opportunities for SMEs.
- Promote the use of digital technologies to help SMEs access global markets and facilitate international trade.
Accelerating digital uptake by SMEs is essential for economies to recover from the pandemic and build the foundations for future resilience. Digitalisation is a powerful driver of SME success, enhancing their capacity to anticipate, react and adapt to economic shocks. Armed with these new tools, SMEs are often in a better position to seize business opportunities in global markets, which will, in turn, enable SMEs to scale up, accelerate innovation, and create the jobs of tomorrow.
- Foster more sustainable business models to ensure small businesses take a leading role in climate and environmental action.
Businesses of all sizes understand the urgent need of taking strong action to generate sustainable growth and reduce the environmental impact of human activities. By implementing more sustainable business models, SMEs can gain a competitive edge, manage business risk, grow their brand, and enhance access to capital. The ICC Small Business Champions Network will provide insights to both the private and public sector on how to ease the SMEs transition towards more sustainable business models.
Victor Dosoretz, Founder & CEO, Mantra Group said:
“We aim to support SMEs based on our concrete first-hand experiences by understanding specific regional needs and deliver practical products for SMEs.”
In 2022, the ICC Small Businesses Champions Network will be taking a leading role across several initiatives linked to the topics above and will ensure that the voice of small businesses resonates with all stakeholders as we collectively take action to build a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable economy that can unlock the full potential of the global SME community.