Award winners of Small Business Champions 2023 competition announced

27 June 2023
ITC News

The World Trade Organization’s Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) are proud to present the three award winners of this year’s Small Business Champions competition:

  1. Divasity.com, Nigeria
  2. Agricultural cooperative COPROGENY, Cameroon
  3. HeySuccess, Philippines


At the award ceremony today on MSME Day (27 June), H.E. Ambassador Matthew Wilson, Coordinator of the WTO Informal Working Group on MSMEs, together with WTO Director General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton and ICC Secretary-General John Denton, presented the awards virtually to the three finalists. Also present was Google Hola Entrepreneurs, which has joined this initiative as an ongoing sponsor.

The innovative projects brought forth by the winners will not only raise awareness of the difficulties smallholder farmers are facing when entering international markets but will promote best practices in making smallholder farmers stronger, and thereby creating jobs for vulnerable groups, such as women and youth.


The competition

The 2023 competition focused on helping smallholder farmers go global through trade.

International trade can provide opportunities and lead to innovation for businesses of every size. Especially smallholder farmers and rural small businesses are an important demographic, comprising up to half of all MSMEs in some developing economies.

However, they face challenges in accessing information, logistics and financing. Helping these businesses access international markets and supply chains can therefore have important multiplying effects.

Industry associations, chambers of commerce, business support and non-governmental organizations, as well as small businesses themselves were called upon in March to present ideas that help small, exporting businesses in going ‘green’. The jury received several dozens of applications.


On the winners
  1. Divasity.com, Nigeria

Project: Funding and Market Readiness Program for Agribusinesses

Divasity.com is a Nigerian marketplace for start-ups and entrepreneurs to connect with teams, tools and financing to facilitate their businesses. The project plans to train and support agricultural entrepreneurs on access to funding through a pitching competition to scale-up their production as well as their access to international markets. The initial pilot targets 100 agribusiness owners.

  1. Agricultural cooperative COPROGENY, Cameroon

Project: Capacity Building Support for Women Cassava Producers to Improve the Quality and Quantity of Competitive Cassava-Derived Products on the International Market

This project will work with women cassava farmers in Cameroon to improve their technical and professional skills, provide training on compliance specifications and delivery methods, and access to government and international support. The participants will attend written sessions and practical training workshops in production processes, quality control, packaging, conservation, logistics, management, negotiation, and traceability.

  1. HeySuccess, the Philippines

Project: Agripreneurship

Focused in Benguet Province, HeySuccess will develop a three-module training course in local languages for participants on digital literacy, agripreneurship, and sales and marketing skills to access international markets. In addition to basic computer skills, the first module will train attendees on financial and project management. The second module will focus on agriculture 4.0, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, branding and marketing. The third module will look at international markets and using ecommerce marketplaces.