Award winners of Small Business Champions Initiative announced

26 September 2022
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 two award winners and two runner ups of this year’s Small Business Champions competition:


  • Association Professionnelle Accompagnements Valeurs Expertises Conseils, Benin
  • Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Runner ups:

  • Inclusive Trade Ltd, United Kingdom
  • Sidley Austin Emerging Enterprise Pro Bono Program, Global

At the award ceremony on 26 September, H.E. Ambassador José-Luis Cancela, Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on MSMEs, together with ITC Deputy Executive Director Dorothy Tembo and ICC Representative Director Crispin Conroy, presented the awards virtually to the four finalists.

The innovative projects brought forth by the winners will not only raise awareness of the difficulties small businesses are facing when trading in the context of climate change but will also promote best practices in transitioning to sustainable and green trade.

The winners will have the opportunity to pitch their projects, either virtually or physically, to potential investors within the Geneva-based Building Bridges event on 5 October. The event brings together international players who share an inclusive and systemic vision of a sustainable society that equally addresses social, economic and environmental issues.

The competition

The 2022 competition focused on the transition of small businesses to a sustainable economy – to help them grow, trade and become resilient.

As the urgency for action to address climate change increases, innovation by businesses of all sizes will be critical to achieve sustainability targets. Domestic and international supply chains represent an estimated 90% of corporate emissions according to WEF, and small businesses play an integral part.

Industry associations, chambers of commerce, business support and non-governmental organizations, as well as small businesses themselves were called upon this summer to present ideas that help small, exporting businesses in going ‘green’. The jury received over 80 applications.

On the winners

  1. Association Professionnelle Accompagnements Valeurs Expertises Conseils, Benin

Project: Carbon impact reduction strategy and energy optimization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Benin

The project supports small businesses working in the manufacturing industry, a rapidly growing sector in Benin. Six hundred industrial processing units, especially representing the small food industries, will be trained and equipped in lowering their CO2 emissions.

  1. Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Project: Tanzania Go Green Project

The Chamber’s goal is to enhance green production for economic development and environmental sustainability. It will highlight best practices that are helping small businesses decarbonize their production and become more sustainable. The Chamber is planning to conduct a three-day capacity-building workshop in eight regions of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, and thereafter conduct a green production summit with over 200 small businesses, cooperates, NGOs and international organizations.

  1. Inclusive Trade Ltd, United Kingdom

Project: Global micro, small and medium-sized enterprises verified for impact

With small businesses lacking access to sustainability and impact verification tools, the project will provide them with a self-assessment verification tool kit (linked to the UN SDGs) and train them to measure and report on their sustainability. This will enable them to start their trajectory to becoming the 'green' companies of the future and participate in global value chains.

  1. Sidley Austin Emerging Enterprise Pro Bono Program, Global

Project:  Key Legal Issues for Advancing Sustainable Business Practices

As small-scale entrepreneurs transition to green business models, they often find it difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing green regulatory environment. Our pro bono project aims to bridge that gap, by delivering training on key legal issues like the circular economy, carbon credit markets and finance, and climate risk insurance for small businesses operating in developing countries.