Swiss International Cooperation Award for Startups and SMEs

Swiss International Cooperation Award for Startups and SMEs

The Swiss IC Award acknowledges and celebrates Swiss business organisations SMEs and Swiss startups that contribute to make a difference in addressing the global challenges in the scale-up phase. By highlighting outstanding projects, the IC Award showcases Switzerland as a leading hub for innovative approaches in international cooperation.

At the same time, it promotes the involvement of local communities as key actors for sustainable solutions and positions the country and its partner as pioneers in promoting sustainability and resilience on a global scale.

Does your startup or established business address pressing global challenges with the potential to make a difference in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions? Can your innovation contribute to economic resilience, trust building, social cohesion, inclusion, diversity, reducing violence or strengthening good governance approaches in developing contexts?

The IC (International Cooperation) Award for Swiss Startups and SMEs offers winners the opportunity to pilot their solutions in a developing context and get the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It will further give your innovation prestigious recognition and increase its impact potential.

Are you working to make a contribution to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development (SDG 16)? Can your technology improve community resilience to disaster or conflict?

Do you apply an inclusive approach that has a strong potential to enhance mutual trust, dialogue, conflict resolution or social cohesion? Does your capacity to analyse conflict situations and your ideas to solve them make you a peacebuilder? Does your company build bridges between different groups in society? Do you help improve service provision of public institutions rendering them more transparent, accountable and inclusive? Contributions to peace can be manifold and can happen in many fields of work.

Why You Should Apply

Pilot Your Solution in the Global South

  • Leverage the Swiss FDFA network and SDC funds to pilot your innovative solution in a developing context and demonstrate its potential to drive sustainable impact and address critical global challenges.

  • The pilot will take place in countries selected by the SDC that match the innovation’s potential such as Bangladesh, North Macedonia, Kenya or Tanzania among others.

    Understand in-field Operations

  • Learn from personal consultations with the SDC and its partners’ in-field operations to understand what it takes to
    further refine and implement your innovation. By engaging with the local community, your ideas will be enriched and gain impact.

    Hands-on Support From Experts

  • Collaborate with technical, industrial and local/regional advisers who will help overcome barriers and provide guidance to accelerate your progress.

  • At the same time, experts from Switzerland’s International Cooperation will support you to further develop

    Build Your Network

  • Tap into and leverage the SDC’s strong network of public, private, NGO, academia and government partners to accelerate implementation and growth.

    Gain Recognition as a Sustainable Development Leader

  • As part of the award process, you will have the possibility to meet and engage with other leading impact organisations as well as leaders from the Swiss local community and politics.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Start-ups and SMEs which meet the following criteria are welcome to apply:

  • Your organisation is an established legal entity incorporated in Switzerland (including for-profit, not-for-profit, social business, association, etc.).

  • Your organisation is financially self-sustaining 1.

  • Your solution or product has already been implemented and tested: proof-of-concept on real-life cases is required.

  • Your motivation is to help resolve pressing global challenges in developing contexts and you are open to amend your solution or business model to achieve this.

  • Your idea makes a direct or indirect contribution to the promotion of peace in its broader sense, as per the SDGs listed above.

  • Your team is willing to engage in a pilot project in a developing country, working closely with local communities in the design and implementation of your solution, and leveraging the expertise and resources of the SDC.

  • You look forward to collaborating with diverse stakeholders including governmental representatives, international organisations, and industry leaders to drive positive change in developing countries.

  • Your team is able to attend the International Cooperation Forum on 11 and 12 April 2024, in Basel.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Swiss International Cooperation Award for Startups and SMEs

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