‘Small Business Champions’ Initiative Launched

A joint effort to facilitate participation by smaller companies in international trade was launched by the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevêdo, and the Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), John Danilovich.

The initiative, entitled ‘ICC-WTO Small Business Champions’, will provide a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to do business across borders.

Those businesses putting forward successful proposals will be recognized as ‘ICC-WTO Small Business Champions’.


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.