international business awards

Finalists Announced for the Open to Export International Business Awards

Geneva final to showcase how Open to Export champions small businesses in international trade

We are delighted to announce the finalists of ‘The Open to Export” International Business Awards’. On October 4th, 11 inspiring SMEs will travel to Geneva to pitch their businesses at a showcase final event for the chance to win $5000 towards their export strategies.

The competition invited companies from anywhere in the world to enter their completed ‘Export Action Plans’. The ‘Export Action Plan’ tool allows SMEs to take ownership of their export strategies in a systematic way, encouraging them to take decisions along each step of their international trade journey – from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers.

Showcase final for the ‘International Business Awards’

The final is taking place at the World Trade Organisation’s Public Forum – a gathering of thousands of senior figures from international business, governments and media. The Awards have been run as part of the ‘WTO-ICC Small Business Champions initiative, showing that The Institute of Export & International Trade – our backers – are leading the way in encouraging SMEs to enter world trade.

The finalists travelling to Geneva all impressed the judges with the clarity of their export visions. They are a varied collection, coming from multiple sectors and hailing from all corners, including St Kitts, Zambia, Mongolia, Armenia and Peru. You can find out more about each finalist below.

Delighted to be championing small businesses

Lesley Batchelor, Director General at The Institute of Export & international Trade, said:

“We are delighted to be championing small businesses in international trade through the Open to Export project and cannot wait to hear more about these varied and inspiring SMEs in Geneva. Each is a testament to the benefits of having a coherent plan for international growth, using online tools like the Export Action Plan.”

Arne Mielken, Young President of the IOE&IT, added:

“One classic dilemma for SME owners is often the question as to whether and at what point a company should expand abroad. The Open for Export Action Plan tool has provided our finalists a systematic step-by-step guide in their journey to export success and given them the confidence to take the final step and ‘go global’. Reading through their expansion plans, I was impressed by their global vision, drive and determination to succeed! Join us for the grand final on 4 October to hear inspiring stories & exciting pitches at the WTO Public Forum, then see who snaps up the grand prize! I cannot wait!”

Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, also said:

“There is clearly great potential for micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) to benefit more from trade. By participating in the ICC-WTO Small Business Champions Initiative, the Institute of Export and International Trade is helping to raise awareness about export opportunities for MSMEs. This is very welcome and more needs to be done in that spirit. Supporting MSMEs in their efforts to participate in trade in greater numbers will go a long way to making the trading system more inclusive and improving the lives of people around the world.”

The Finalists

The Judges

Host: Lesley Batchelor, Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade

Arne Mielken, Young President of the Institute of Export & International Trade

Yi Xiaozhun, Deputy Director-General, The World Trade Organisation

Nicholas Niggli, Director General, Economic Development, Research and Innovation, Republic and State of Geneva

Chris Southworth, Secretary General, The International Chamber of Commerce UK

Shaun Lake, Senior Adviser: E-Learning – International Trade Centre

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