International Telecommunication Union Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

ITU opens applications for Digital World SME Virtual Awards 2020

*Seeks out business innovations in Connectivity, Smart Cities/Smart Living, E-Health and Digital Finance

*Awards will recognise innovative tech solutions, build resilience, foster investment in creative SMEs, and gain UN recognition  

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of its commitment to ‘connecting the world’, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has opened applications for the ITU Digital World SME Virtual Awards 2020, which will take place online for the first time.

The ITU, in a statement indicates that the awards will help innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to hone pitching skills, showcase solutions, make key connections, foster investment, and gain valuable United Nations (UN) recognition, all by virtual means.

ConsumerConnect reports that this year’s ITU Digital World SME Virtual Awards are open to any SMEs worldwide, as they seek out innovations in four different categories as Connectivity, Smart Cities/Smart Living​, E-Health and Digital Finance​​​​.

According to the statement, all eligible applicants will be able to join a virtual programme of masterclasses, with shortlisted entrants then able to pitch live online to an expert jury of investors, business and tech specialists.

The ITU stated that winners would receive UN recognition, online visibility, a certificate of achievement, and an access pass to join the ITU Digital World 2021 in Ha Noi, Vietnam, in the last quarter of 2021 to take part in the event’s SME programme in person.

Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of ITU, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has underlined the importance of digital technologies in our lives, and now, more than ever, fast-moving, responsive and innovative tech SMEs need our help to keep their creative ideas flowing. “I, therefore, encourage talented SMEs from across the globe to enter the ITU Digital World SME Virtual Awards, and benefit from this valuable platform of knowledge sharing, networking and visibility.”

As regards opportunities offered by the awards, Sabelo Sibanda, Co-Founder and CEO of Tuse Applications from South Africa, and 2018 winner of the Award, said: “​Winning the award has given us unparalleled exposure, access to markets, finance and new opportunities – it has truly been a game changer for our business.””

The deadline for applications is October 5, 2020, at midnight CET, while Masterclasses for all eligible applicants will then take place in November 2020, followed by pitching sessions and the announcement of winners in December 2020, added the statement.

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