Poverty reduction in developing nations is the focus of the world’s first humanitarian business plan competition, the Business in Development (BiD) Challenge.
In a 2003 speech, former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan sought to address the glaring problem of increased economic disparity among the nation states of the world. Mr. Annan rightly claimed that stimulating the backbone of any economyâ€”the private sector is the key to economic growth, poverty reduction, and the subsequent transfer of wealth, knowledge, and skills. He stressed two vital keys to help struggling countries get up to speed economically with the rest of the world:
- Unleashing the potential power of entrepreneurship in developing countries.
- Engaging the existing private sector and potential newcomers in meeting this challenge.
The Dutch National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO) initiated the BiD Challenge in 2004 to actuate these keys. Since that time, over 2,000 business plans have been submitted in two annual competitions and hundreds of lives have been changed for the better as a result. In the first competition alone, BiD network partners helped 20 new business ventures get on their feet, creating an estimated 500 direct and indirect jobs. These numbers are expected to multiply by the time of the contest’s 2007 kickoff.
Who benefits from this competition, everyone does. Participants not only gain experience, expertise, and financing/network opportunities needed for starting their business, but just might win â‚¬150.000 (Euros) in the process.
The BiD Network Foundations offers coaching/mentoring for those who require help in the writing of their business plans and its website http://www.bidnetwork.org/article-9401-en.html offers valuable resources to that end. An estimated 180 startup companies have been assisted by the foundation’s personal coaches so far. The best of the participants are awarded with prize money and active matchmaking to financiers.
If you have a big idea to help little countries, this competition could be your launch pad. Get started today and make the world a better place! Visit the Business in Development Challenge’s website at http://www.fairventures.nl/bidchallenge/ for more detailed information.