Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers is one of the jury members of a special contest designed to help combat poverty in developing countries.
The Business in Development (BiD) Challenge is an international business plan competition which supports innovative business ideas that combine profit with the improvement of living standards in developing countries.
The contest, which has been organized into two rounds, is open to individuals and small organizations from 132 countries, the idea being to come up with a profitable proposal which reduces poverty. Participants can submit their short business ideas via the website (www.bidchallenge.org).
The ideas can be in the areas of training, agriculture, sanitation, energy, healthcare, small industry, logistics, education or any other field which could help to make a difference.
The deadline for the first round is January 31. After that, the 30 best ideas will be selected and entered into the second round, with a total of ten prizes up for grabs, ranging from EUR 20,000 to 2,500.
The final prize winners will be announced during the Business in Development Final Award Ceremony which takes place on June 3 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The BiD Challenge aims to demonstrate that improving living standards and generating profit in developing countries can be combined. In addition, it wants to raise the awareness of companies, politicians and NGO’s to the fact that the private sector is crucial for development.
As well as Hans Wijers, the jury also includes a number of prominent representatives from the Dutch government and business organizations.
(Released: January 4, 2005)