Press Releases & Declarations

ICC and WTO launch ‘Small Business Champions’ initiative and open call for proposals

Despite their economic importance in developed, developing and least-developed countries, MSMEs' share of trade is disproportionately small, often because they are unaware of the potentially wider market and because they traditionally have not had the resources to navigate sometimes complex trading procedures. But new technologies are helping to pare back these obstacles and create a more level playing field for smaller companies in international trade. Helping more MSMEs to trade internationally is an important step in building a more inclusive trading system that benefits a wider array of citizens.

Secretary-General Danilovich and Director-General Azevêdo are therefore calling for businesses and private sector organizations to step forward with proposals which can help MSMEs to participate in international trade. The aim is to raise awareness of the barriers that MSMEs face in doing business across borders, highlight the experiences and success stories of those MSMEs that are already trading, facilitate access to critical information, and raise skills among MSMEs to enable them to diversify export markets.

Types of Proposals

  • Proposals could take the shape of, for example, awareness-raising campaigns, competitions or capacity building, training and mentoring programmes.
  • The ICC and the WTO will use their shared platform to support and promote successful proposals. The precise support provided by the ICC and the WTO will depend on the nature of the proposals received. The ICC and the WTO could, for example, help to promote initiatives and host events or provide expertise and institutional support. No financial contribution will be provided by the WTO or the ICC to implement proposals.
  • Proposals should be designed to be delivered by the entity making the proposal. Proposals should not focus on WTO negotiations, or proposed changes to WTO rules. Such ideas can be put forward through different fora.

Submission Process

  • Proposals should detail the concept, aims, timelines and other information as appropriate. Proposals should be no longer than three pages. Proposals are only open to the private sector and representative bodies. All proposals should be sent to the following address in Word or PDF format: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • The call for proposals is open until the end of 2017. There is no limitation as to the number of proposals that may be selected. The selection of proposals will be carried out by the WTO Secretariat and the ICC. The successful proposals will be announced by the ICC and the WTO on a rolling basis.

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