ITC, WIPO to back intellectual property skills of small businesses to increase incomes

26 January 2024
ITC News

The two Geneva-based United Nations agencies sign an agreement to provide intellectual property-related training and mentoring to small businesses of developing countries, to build their brands

(Geneva) – The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) sign a memorandum of understanding to help small businesses – especially those led by women and young entrepreneurs – better protect and use intellectual property (IP) to grow their businesses, including in sectors such as the creative industries, sports and green technology.  

The two heads of agencies signed the agreement on 22 January at WIPO headquarters.

‘We share one mandate: Help people,’ said ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton at the signing ceremony. ‘The most exciting thing for me is how tangible IP is, and how it enables small businesses to increase their ability to compete and enter new markets. One of the key elements of that is knowing how to protect and monetize your intellectual property – and this partnership embeds that.’

WIPO Director-General Daren Tang said: ‘I’m so happy to see IP not only as a legal right for technicians, experts and lawyers, but IP as an enabler to help entrepreneurs and especially small businesses bring their brands and ideas to markets. We really want to focus on concrete things, making the intangible, tangible.’

The agreement covers ways to build on ongoing collaboration between the two agencies to help small businesses translate ideas into assets that generate income and are attractive in international markets.

Areas of collaboration between ITC – the United Nations small business agency – and WIPO include scaling up cooperation to train women-owned businesses to use IP as an engine for competitiveness; rolling out an IP guide for business support institutions, expanding the joint youth ecopreneur programme to support 1,700 youth-led green businesses working in sustainable land management and restoration to different regions, and developing an influencer support programme; and launching a sports and entrepreneurship accelerator programme, based on an online course developed by the two agencies, to equip athletes with business skills to make the most of their brand. The two institutions will also deepen their cooperation in support of Indigenous Peoples and in the areas of IP financing and artificial intelligence.


22 January 2024
ITC, WIPO to back intellectual property skills of small businesses to increase incomes