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IDB to hold 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 the outstanding achievements, innovations and leadership of institutions and individuals who help low-income businesspeople in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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

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

The award ceremony will take place on September 9 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia as part of the 7th  Inter-American Microenterprise Forum, which will be held September 8-10. 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 June 4. To request forms, please e-mail or send a fax to (202) 623-2307 or (202) 312-4134, or download them directly from our website.

To apply for the contest, organizations must have headquarters in an IDB member 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 2004. 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 credit and other financial services for microentrepreneurs. Outstanding organizations in this field prove that they can provide financial services to low-income people and achieve solid financial performances. Prizes are given annually to two financial intermediaries, a regulated institution (such as a bank) and a non-regulated institution (such as an NGO).
  • Excellence in Business Development Services – Acknowledges organizations that have shown exceptional effectiveness in supplying and expanding business development services to the microenterprise sector. Such services include, among others: training and technical assistance; consulting and advisory services; marketing assistance; technology information development and transfer; and the establishment of links between enterprises.
  • Excellence in Social Entrepreneurship – These prizes recognize civil society or private sector leaders who combine a strong social commitment and sound business practices to promote microenterprise and community development. Their efforts go beyond the scope of traditional development practices to support the economic and social progress of marginal groups. Awards will be granted to two people this year, one working at a local or community level and another one at a national and/or regional level.

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

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