15 June 2019: On the final day of the 11th World Chambers Congress, three chambers have been crowned champions of innovation, upon conclusion of the 2019 World Chambers Competition.
The World Chambers Competition is the only award programme of its kind to recognise the pioneering initiatives of chambers of commerce from around the world. Held in conjunction with the biennial Congress, this year’s edition took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After two days of presentations, the three winning chambers were announced under the following categories:
Category: Best Education and Training Project
Winner: Chamber of Commerce in Styria (Austria)
This category acknowledges chambers who are proving that investing in education and training can be crucial to the establishment, advancement and success of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and foster economic development and job creation.
The Styrian Chamber of Commerce established the Talentcenter of the Chamber of Commerce in Styria, an industry-led service that tracks the educational paths of senior high schools within dual education systems. The initiative provides a scientific, unique and revolutionary way of testing to support youth in their decision-making process when it comes to their future.
Category: Best SME and Entrepreneurship Development Project
Winner: The Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry
This category recognises exceptional chamber initiatives that are either helping SMEs and entrepreneurs to innovate and develop their business or strengthening job creation in their respective communities.
The Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry created the Unifying our Voice – Membership Recruitment and Service project, which offers a plan to improve membership recruitment in the community. The initiative trains women business owners in various areas in efforts to develop recruitment programmes within the organization.
Category: Best Unconventional Project
Winner: The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce
A category recognising chambers that have developed unique and innovative projects in an activity not typically associated with their mission and objectives and in turn increases jobs to enhance local economies. The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce developed the first business support service for refugees around the world, “The Syrian Desk.” The initiative’s aim is to connect refugees with Syrian businesses by helping them overcome language barriers and other professional support assistance.
Organised by the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) World Chambers Federation (WCF), the prestigious competition received a total of 74 entries from 29 countries – the second highest number of projects in its 16-year history. From the entries, 16 chambers were shortlisted as finallists in their categories to present their initiatives in person to Congress delegates.
Winners were selected by an international jury comprising ICC World Chambers Federation leadership and appointed representatives from transnational, national and local chambers, as well as other leading international organisations. Projects were assessed on the following criteria: level of innovation, project success, relevance to the targeted category and finally, transferability.
The next edition of the World Chambers Competition will take place during the 12th World Chambers Congress, scheduled to take place in 2021 in Dubai.