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IDB announces competition for microenterprise development institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank will hold a competition for its annual awards for microenterprise development to recognize outstanding institutions and leaders who help low-income business people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The contest for the Inter-American Awards for Microenterprise Development is open to financial institutions and non-governmental organizations involved in microfinance, as well as to institutions that provide enterprise development services to microentrepreneurs.

One award recognizes the work of social entrepreneurs, individuals who combine strong social commitment and sound business practices to promote microenterprise and community development at a local, national or regional level.

This year the competition will favor competitors who excel in their efforts to expand access to financial and enterprise development services for low-income people as well as in mobilizing local capital and promoting youth entrepreneurship.

The award ceremony will take place on October 4 in San Salvador, El Salvador as part of the 10th Inter-American Microenterprise Forum, which will be held October 3-5. The IDB will invite delegates from the winning institutions to participate in the forum, which will bring together leading practitioners in the field of microenterprise and microfinance.

Inter-American Awards

The microenterprise forum and the annual competition are organized by the IDB’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Division, which will receive applications for the contest until May 30, 2007. Candidates can apply directly using the online forms on the forum’s webpage.

To apply for the contest, organizations must have headquarters in an IDB beneficiary country in Latin America or the Caribbean and a minimum of three years of experience in the area covered by the award. Organizations that have won one of these prizes in the past three years may not apply in 2007. Competitors should apply for only one of the three award categories:

·         Excellence in Microfinance – These awards recognize institutions that have successfully expanded the availability of financial services for microentrepreneurs who traditionally have had little or no access to such services. Prizes are given annually to a regulated institution (such as a bank) and a non-regulated institution (such as an NGO).

·         Excellence in Enterprise Development Services – Acknowledges organizations that have shown exceptional effectiveness in supplying and expanding business development services to youth entrepreneurs, such as training and technical assistance; consulting and advisory services; marketing assistance; technology information development and transfer; and building networks and alliances.

·         Excellence in Social Entrepreneurship – These prizes recognize civil society or private sector leaders who combine a strong social commitment and sound business practices to combat poverty and promote development among disadvantaged groups.


Institutions that apply for more than one award category will be disqualified.

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