World Business and Development Awards 2012

Nominations can now be made for the World Business and Development Awards 2012 by organizations and successful business initiatives that are engaged in innovative business models that are delivering both commercial success and helping improve social, economic and environmental conditions, and that are in line with the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

The Awards demonstrate how companies can, through their core business activities, help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

When businesses apply the full force of their core business activities to development challenges and measure their success both by profit and social outcomes, there is no limit to what can be achieved,” said Clare Melford, CEO of the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), “We hope that the WBDA will again stimulate businesses of all sizes and in all regions to bring forward their best examples and so accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs.”

In 2010, one of the winning initiatives was from Sierra Leone. The project by Heineken’s local subsidiary, Sierra Leone Breweries Ltd, and supported by the Common Fund for Commodities, assists farmers in the country by creating a sustainable local supply chain that increases the farmer’s incomes and thus helps alleviate poverty.

The World Business and Development Awards are being organized by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership this year with the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the UN Global Compact.

The award ceremony will be held on 19th June in Brazil at the Rio+20 Conference, closing the Business Action for Sustainable Development Business Day.

Applications must be made online by downloading the form at by 25th March 2012.

African American History Month

Western Union Helps African Entrepreneurs (by USAID and Western Union)

With many innovative entrepreneurs being among the estimated 1.4 million Africans living in the U.S. and wishing to tap their economic potential, the second African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) has been launched by Western Union, the Western Union Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The initiative encourages sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting U.S.-based African diaspora entrepreneurs with ideas for start-up and established businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Western Union wishes to create positive social impact through reliable products, responsible operations and innovative community programs such as the African Diaspora Marketplace. “Our support for innovative diaspora entrepreneurs is an investment in the long-term economic health of Africa, and part of our enduring community commitment,” said Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union.

The second phase of ADM will be targeting grants toward high priority, high-impact sectors in Africa, including agribusiness, renewable energy, and information and communication technology (ICT).

The prize winners in the 1st African Diaspora Marketplace shared between them just under US$ 1.4 million.

Proposals for the 2nd African Diaspora Marketplace to be submitted by February 3, 2012, will be implemented in participating countries across Africa including Sierra Leone.

More information can be found at

Black History Month in the UK