Call for proposals: Small Business Champions 2023

16 March 2023
ITC News

Join the competition and become a Champion!

International trade can provide opportunities and lead to innovation for businesses of every size.

Especially smallholder farmers and rural micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are an important demographic, comprising up to half of all MSMEs in some developing economies.

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

And this is where you can step in!

Are you an organization that supports smallholder farmers? Are you a non-governmental organization that empowers small businesses and entrepreneurs working in agriculture and food systems through your development work? Are you a small business connecting smallholder farmers to international markets?

Become a Small Business Champion!


Launched for the first time in 2021, the World Trade Organization’s Informal Working Group of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, together with the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Trade Centre, calls for your innovative ideas that help smallholder farmers go global through trade.

The winning proposals will be announced on MSME Day, 27 June, held virtually with the heads of all three organizations.

With this competition, your ideas will not only raise awareness of the difficulties smallholder farmers and businesses are facing when it comes to accessing finance and infrastructure but will also promote best practices in international trade, business innovation and resilience.


Call for Proposal: The fine print

What should the proposal entail?
  • Proposals can focus on awareness-raising campaigns, competitions, capacity building, training and mentoring programmes.
  • Proposals should have an obvious international trade angle.
  • Proposals should be designed to be delivered by the entity making the proposal and should not focus on WTO negotiations, or proposed changes to WTO rules. 
  • The ICC, ITC and the WTO MSME Group will use their networks to support and promote successful proposals.
  • Google will provide non-monetary support in the form of access to relevant tools and training tailored to the winning proposal.
How to submit proposals

Proposals are open to businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organizations and should:

  • detail the concept, aims, timelines and other information as appropriate.
  • be no longer than three pages.
  • be sent to smallbusinesschampions [at] wto.org (smallbusinesschampions[at]wto[dot]org) in Word or PDF format by 5 May 2023.

When submitting a proposal, please ensure that the following points are covered:

  • name of the organization;
  • short description of the organization;
  • name of the proposed project;
  • timeline for the project;
  • challenge faced/issue to be addressed;
  • short description of the project, including activities to be organized;
  • aim(s) of the project (including any specific outcomes);
  • how promotion by the ICC, ITC and WTO MSME Informal Working Group can support your proposal;
  • contact person (name, telephone, email);
  • short bios of the persons implementing the project.
Selection process

The selection of proposals will be carried out by representatives of ICC, ITC, and the WTO MSME teams.

Winners will be announced during a virtual event at the WTO on MSME Day, 27 June 2023.


Google is sponsoring the awards. However, the awards are non-monetary and relate to promotion on behalf of all organizations and tailored training for Google tools. Winning submissions will be highlighted by ICC, ITC and the WTO MSME Group through their communication channels and all winners receive a certificate.

For more information on the Proposal and the Initiative, visit:

WTO | ICC-ITC-WTO MSME Group Small Business Champions


15 March 2023