Committed to connecting the world

Girls in ICT

Entrepreneurship & SMEs

​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a key role in ensuring economic growth in a sustainable and inclusive manner. They are often the source of innovative ICT-enabled solutions that make a long​-lasting impact in global, regional and national economies, and are an important source of new jobs especially for youth. SMEs make up more than 95% of all businesses worldwide, and represent a path out of poverty for many developing countries.


ITU, which brings together more than 700 Sector Members and Associates from industry, international and regional organizations, as well as academia, provides a unique, trusted and global multi-stakeholder platform for partners from the public and private sectors to address major ICT issues.

ITU is committed to become a platform that contributes towards scaling up innovation and building an enabling environment for SMEs. Therefore, the organization is actively working on developing initiatives that help create synergies in ICT entrepreneurship.


​ITU initiatives to promote Entrepreneurship​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

ITU Telecom World

TC18_logo_CMYN_vect.png ​ITU Telecom World is a global event for governments, corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate ICT innovation for economic growth and social good. ITU Telecom World events bring together new ideas, solutions and business with leading public and private sectors on this uniquely inclusive worldwide platform. ITU Telecom World 2019 will take place in Budapest, Hungary from 9 -12 September 2019. For more information on how to take part, visit:    


ITU Telecom World Awards

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​The programme recognizes the most innovative and successful ICT-based small and medium enterprises exhibiting at ITU Telecom World and working to provide real social impact. The Awards are open to all sponsors and exhibitors present at ITU Telecom World, whether within a National or Thematic Pavilion, as an Independent Stand or SME Pod. The winner of this year's Global SME Award was Modalku, from Indonesia.


Tech SMEs and Startups support

Trends in Tech SMEs_cover.png ITU is collecting best practices on initiatives in support of tech MSMEs and startups from ITU Member States, Sector Members and Academia. The first deliverable of this area of activity is the new report "Trends in tech SMEs and Startup development" published in November 2016 on the occasion of ITU Telecom World 2016. The report illustrates the role of governments in supporting MSMEs and startup ecosystems and how they are engaging with their local tech scene.


EMERGE Partnership


Emerge Partnership 

A network of partners helping later stage ICT-enabled social entrepreneurs connect to opportunities to scale. The partnership works with established networks of social entrepreneurs on the one hand, and supporting actors from the public / private sectors on the other, to provide a match-making function, mentorship and opportunities exchange. Within this context, the first partnership publication "A review of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the ICT sector" was presented during ITU Telecom World 2016. The publication provides a review of micro, small and medium sized-enterprises in the ICT sector (tech MSMEs), as well as the environment and stakeholders which support these firms to grow and create jobs.


Youth, employment and entrepreneurship

In response to youth challenges and emerging ICT opportunities, ITU developed the Report "Digital opportunities: Innovative ICT solution for youth employment", which to cast a spotlight on promising solutions in the digital landscape for youth.


ITU-D Global Innovation Platform


 The ITU-D globa​l Innovation platform offers 360 degree innovation facilitation and help build bridges addressing the growing innovation divide in the ICT centric innovation ecosystem.  The platform aims to achieve systemic impact fostering inclusive socio-economic development. Services include country reviews, ecosystem reviews, ecosystem mapping, toolkits, co-creating high impact projects, sharing resources and know-how, and co-create advisory services (e.g. customize technical assistance) to cite  a few.