BSCK Award Ceremony 2013

The Award Ceremony 2013 was organized by Business Support Centre Kosovo (BSCK) in cooperation with SPARK and BiD Network on 21st of June 2013. In this event, 15 entrepreneurs and businesses that participated with a business plan in an online and offline competition were awarded as Best Business Plan winners. This event also marked the certification of 157 participants who finished the BSCK School of Entrepreneurship, 227 students who completed the Career Development Training and 13 entrepreneurs who completed the Best Innovative Business Idea Training. A total of 65 full business plans were submitted and most of them underwent an evaluation by a professional and independent selection committee. The online competition “Kosovo Spring Challenge 2013” attracted a remarkable number of applications from entrepreneurs all over Kosovo, 82 applications were submitted for this challenge. After the trainings and coaching sessions, 17 of entrepreneurs entered the final phase of the competition. For participants of the online competition specialized trainings in “Financial Statements” and “Pitching for Success” were delivered. Also, entrepreneurs benefited from professional coaching sessions. 81 coaching sessions were delivered to 29 participants. The Best Business Plan from the online competition “Kosovo Spring Challenge 2013” and the winner of “Business Trip to Holland” was awarded to: Leana Mahmuti (Le arch 3D). As for the offline competition, 14 business plans were awarded with the BSCK Business Support Package, composed of micro credits, professional consultancy, membership at Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, and networking. The following participants were awarded: Arina Dedaj & Ndue Marku- TripGamez Granit Elshani – N.T.P “ASDRENI” Valon Krasniqi & Fisnik Avdiu – PRIMO Group Miranda Rugova – Rugova Vlora Ademi...

Women in Business 2013: 16 women looking to grow their business in emerging markets

BiD Network, in collaboration with ING, ICCO and United Success, are delighted to announce the 16 semi-finalists of Women in Business Challenge 2013. In the fourth edition of the business plan competition that empowers women entrepreneurs to drive growth, the competition has been fierce, with a record number of 752 applications from 115 countries. While many people talk about the necessity for gender equality and the opportunity to improve societal attitudes to women in emerging markets, the competitors of the Women in Business Challenge are actually doing something about it. Congratulations to all participants and thanks to our partners for helping us raise awareness. The following 16 plans have been pre-selected to undergo assessment by a jury – consisting of representatives from ING, ICCO, FMO and the d.o.b Foundation – who will have the difficult task of choosing just five finalists to participate in the Women in Business Week, in the Netherlands, this September. Stay tuned! Not one of the semi-finalists? There are no losers in this competition, we encourage all participants to continue working on their plans, receive advice on their business proposal and benefit from BiD Network’s Investor Matchmaking services. The 16 semi-finalists Afro Tech Shibe Products Sector: Food Production Finance needed: $50,000 (Spread over 3 years) Country: Tanzania Entrepreneur: Leah Moshi Afro Tech Shibe Products produces natural and nutritious food products. Products include; a nutritious porridge flour, mango pickle and peanut butter. Afro Tech Shibe Products envisions to be a leader in Food Processing in Tanzania, servicing one of the 45 million people who live there. Fábrica Social Sector: Clothing & Accessories Finance needed: $13,200 (Spread over 3 years) Country: Mexico Entrepreneur: Dulce Martínez A social...

PUM experts coach 100 entrepreneurs over Doet day

On March 15, the day of the Dutch National Volunteer (NL Doet), BiD Network and its coaching partner PUM Netherlands senior experts (PUM) organized the PUM Doet-day, a special event to commemorate PUM’s 35th anniversary. In the days leading up to the event, 150 PUM experts received three pre-selected business plans from the BiD Network platform. This allowed them to arrive prepared at the PUM Doet locations; the PUM headquarters in The Hague, and the penthouse floor of the UWV headquarters in Amsterdam, as generously provided by UWV. The day started with a plenary opening at both locations. In Amsterdam PUM CEO Thijs van Praag highlighted the successes of PUM over the past 35 years, and elaborated on the opportunities that new means of communication can offer to strengthen PUM’s operations in the future. Meanwhile, Hans Luursema, deputy director of PUM welcomed the enthusiastic participants in The Hague. After the plenary sessions the experts split up into groups to begin their workshops. All of the experts participated in a total of three workshops during the day, each time with a different group of participants with different expertise. This was designed to stimulate the discussion on the business plans. In total 100 plans from different sectors and backgrounds were evaluated on six main points: management team, product/service, competitiveness, financial statements and investment readiness. This advice will be published on the summary page of the online business plans in the next few days. The feedback from the experts at PUM will help these entrepreneurs to further develop their business plans, and get them ‘finance-ready’ for investors. The collaboration between BiD Network and PUM was...

Women in Business Challenge | Coaching Behind the Scenes

Women entrepreneurs face significant structural and cultural barriers when starting and growing a business. The Women in Business Challenge aims to address the problems of underinvestment and increase the number of opportunities for applicants in emerging markets. Recognizing the importance of guidance and advice for women entrepreneurs, the Women in Business Challenge provides a coaching program, supported by ING, to empower participants to progress their business to the next level. BiD Network coaching is usually administered via online mediums – email, Skype, and social media – providing fundamental lessons that can be applied to each entrepreneur’s business situation. However, when the opportunity arises we encourage our coaches to meet their entrepreneurs face-to-face, to go beyond the role of a coach polishing a business plan and mentor an entrepreneur to accelerate the growth of their business. Dorien van Leeuwen, an ING coach, was already planning to visit Vietnam in February when she offered her services to the Women in Business Challenge, and thought her impending trip offered ‘the very special opportunity to meet the person I would be coaching.’ Two weeks prior to her departure we put her in contact with Hoang Tran, a Vietnamese entrepreneur with aspirations to develop her sandwich business into a replicable chain with shops across Vietnam. “I am a person who is very interested in other countries, people and cultures. I have traveled a lot and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get in touch with someone abroad, and get to know new people through coaching.” – Dorien van Leeuwen Coaching is a business service used by BiD Network to prepare emerging market entrepreneurs for...

The ICT Challenge 2013: Accelerating Entrepreneurship & Innovation through ICT

Amsterdam, February 18 2013 – The 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 (PIF), and Coaching Partner; Ernst & Young and Event Partner; TNO – aims to identify high potential business ideas, provide international exposure and finance. 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. ‘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. We are delighted to partner BiD Network, who have proven effective at identifying potential investment opportunities, and training entrepreneurs to a matchmaking level’ says Vincent Kouwenhoven, founder eVentures Africa Fund. The ICT Challenge seeks businesses: • operating in one of the five following countries: Burundi, Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, or Palestine, • ICT focused, • growth  potential and a finance need of USD $10,000 to $1...

The Women in Business Challenge Awards

The Growing SMEs Conference in The Hague witnessed the culmination for many of the challenges run throughout the year. After a long and arduous competition, the Women in Business Challenge reached its final stage at the conference. This was the third edition of the Women in Business Challenge, a competition that since 2009 has provided support, coaching, visibility and finance to over 600 women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. This year the jury and sponsors noted a surge in the quality of business plans being submitted, making their task of selecting the finalists alone harder than ever. Selected from almost 300 applicants, the five finalists were chosen on account of their potential for growth and the overall quality of their business plans. While all five finalists did fantastically getting this far, there could only be one winner. Special congratulations should be awarded to the other four finalists – Kiki Kamanu and her eponymously named fashion label, Kosi Yankey and her company Nuba Foods, Stela Maris da Silva and BioPro, and Lois Gicheru and Solafrique. The winner of this competitive challenge, selected by our panel of expert judges mainly due to the potential societal impact her product could have, was Ella Peinovich and her innovative and empowering e-commerce platform, Sasa Africa. Ella Peinovich received a check for EUR 5,000 as reward for winning the Challenge as well as tailor made advisory services worth €5,000 from UnitedSucces. Peinovich went on to state: ” Sasa Africa is by and for women. According to some estimates, women represent 70 percent of the poor in the world. But at Sasa Africa we tend to look at...