BiDnetworkThe ICT Challenge 2013, supports ICT entrepreneurship in five emerging markets: Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Kosovo, and Palestine. This business plan competition – organized by BiD Network, in collaboration with Investment Partners; eVentures Africa Fund, SEAF, and the Palestinian Investment Fund, Coaching Partner; Ernst & Young and Event Partner; TNO – aims to identify high potential business ideas, provide international exposure and finance.

BiD Network contributes to sustainable economic growth by stimulating entrepreneurship in emerging markets. With over 46,000 members and 10,000 business plans, bidnetwork.org is the world’s largest online community for emerging market Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), coaches and investors.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) draw societies and cultures together; strengthening economies, enterprises and communities around the world. The impact of ICT is magnified in emerging markets as it contributes to the development of education, health, markets, social capital and trust. Yet the industry still requires incubation in order to flourish, with 25% of the world’s population still unconnected from the benefits of such technologies.1

The ICT Challenge 2013 provides entrepreneurs with the assistance of the BiD Network coaching program, the access to a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, coaches and investors, and the opportunity to present their business plan to committed ready-to-invest financiers.

Vincent Kouwenhoven, founder eVentures Africa Fund said: “African SMEs are rapidly developing localized applications, content, platforms and solutions enabling over a billion Africans to use the web for communication, business, e-learning, and transactions. eVA Fund aims to capture the vast potential of digital media in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The ICT Challenge seeks businesses:

  • operating in one of the five following countries: Burundi, Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, or Palestine,
  • ICT focused,
  • with growth potential and a finance need of USD $10,000 to $1 million in the next three years,
  • meet BiD Network’s social and environmental requirements.

One finalist is selected from each of the five competition countries, and invited to attend BiD Week in the Netherlands in late 2013. During the BiD Week, the five finalists receive training in preparation for b2b meetings and workshops organized together with TNO, and pitch sessions to investors.

All high quality business plans will be eligible for BiD Network’s investor matchmaking services.

For more information about the criteria, the competition and the country partners, visit www.bidnetwork.org/ICTChallenge.
Entries will be accepted until June 30, 2013. The coaching deadline is mentioned on the country competition pages.