SME Programme


At ITU Telecom World, we understand that SME success is key to ICT industry growth and socio-economic development throughout the world. That’s why we’re working to help tech SMEs scale up their business activities and global impact – as a key part of our unique international platform of ICT public and private sector leaders.

SME - header image

Who’s it for?

Our platform provides support, visibility, investment and networking potential to tech SMEs from around the world looking to take their solutions or products to the next level.

  • High-growth SMEs with solutions in the market and ready to expand
  • ICT-specific products or services; or ICT-dependent business model
  • Solutions or products with real social impact
  • Focus on enablers such as broadband connectivity, IoT, AI, 5G
  • Vertical sectors including smart cities, education, healthcare, finance, entertainment and media


The benefits

  • Valuable international exposure
  • Connect to curated audience of buyers and investors
  • Join capacity building workshops and masterclasses
  • Access leading academics, coaches and business mentors
  • Peer networking in SME Zone
  • Structured matchmaking activities
  • Share best practices, solutions and ideas
  • Expert insight and understanding of critical ICT issues
  • Gain recognition by entering the ITU Telecom World Awards
  • Visibility through onsite pitching sessions
  • Invitation for your SME CEO to join the Leadership Summit debates, network in LeaderSpace Lounge


Participating in ITU is really great leverage for us to introduce our technology to a global market.Sung Yoonju sme, Ripplebuds

What’s On

ITU Telecom World Awards

SME - awards

Enter your SME for the Global SME Awards (and the Government Award, if you are on a National Pavilion) for most promising innovative ICT-based solutions with real social impact – and gain:

  • UN recognition as an innovative ICT4D provider
  • International visibility at the event
  • Partnership and networking opportunities
  • Access to our Awards alumni network
  • Mentorship and support from ITU and partners
Find out more on the Awards

Pitching Sessions

SME - b2b dialogue

Pitching sessions showcase the best small companies competing for the Global SME Award at ITU Telecom World in a fast-paced and dynamic environment at the heart of the exhibition showfloor. Participating SMEs promote their business to a wide audience of event attendees, including an expert jury of investors, deal-makers and analysts who select the Global SME Award winners.

  • Assessment based on business model, innovative use of ICT, scalability and social impact
  • Onsite pitching sessions take place on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September
  • Pitching in the form of 5 minute presentation with maximum 10 slides, followed by 10 minutes Q&A


SME - awards

Take part in a series of capacity-building workshops, investor-led seminars and masterclasses aimed at developing skills, making connections and establishing partnerships for success as an SME emerging on the world stage. Themes and topics include:

  • Business model innovation – monetizing new products and services, delivering value, finding a social business model
  • Pioneering new markets – marketing management, route-to-market strategy, experimentation and growth hacking
  • Capturing value – IP, standards and protection frameworks, dealing with complexity

Networking & Matchmaking

SME - networking

Make the connections that matter, negotiate deals and open the door to new partnerships.  Unlock the potential of the ITU Telecom World audience by taking part in networking and matchmaking activities running throughout the event, including:

  • Structured matchmaking platform for SMEs to connect with relevant buyers and investors
  • Informal networking events and social functions such as coffee breaks, luncheons, dinners and happy hour
  • Central meeting point in the SME Zone on the exhibition floor, providing space for bilaterals and demos
  • Powerful online directory of attendees and networking options through the popular event app
Find out more


SME - exhibition

Showcase your SME, innovative project or ICT solution at the heart of the global ICT industry with an independent stand or pod in the event exhibition – and enjoy the benefits of international visibility, targeted networking and investment and partnership options. Or exhibit your innovation as part of your country’s official delegation within a National Pavilion – contact us for more information.

Forum debates

SME - forum debates

Gain expert insight into the technologies, models, policies and trends shaping the wider ICT industry. Join panel debates and dialogue bringing together leaders from government and industry with SMEs from around the world to explore the impact and opportunities of smart digital transformation.

Find out more

B2G2B Dialogue

SME - b2g dialogue

Representatives from government, industry and local communities come face-to-face with SMEs to share knowledge and information, identify and reduce barriers to success, and develop supporting frameworks, policies and regulations for an efficient, vibrant national ICT innovation ecosystem. How can successful mechanisms for dialogue create an enabling environment?


SME Testimonials

ulala Lab


ITU is a very good opportunity for us because big companies and small companies meet here and we can find very good partners here, it gives us a very good chance to cooperate with several companies.

Japan Battery Regeneration

Japan Battery Regeneration

Receiving an award helped a lot for our business. We are a small venture company and receiving an award from ITU triggered a final decision from the top management of Nippon Express logistics company, so that after more than one year of discussion, they finally decided to use our technology for their business. So receiving the ITU Telecom World award gave us reputation, credibility and reliability for our company and our technology, so we really appreciate it.



It has been of great value, we have had so many good contacts, and many, many follow ups that we have to do here, so for us the value has been tremendous.

Intervale Management

Intervale Management

The sessions give a very good perspective on different areas as far as ICTs are concerned, from government, business and regulation perspectives. It is very good to see the special focus on SME because everyone is talking about ICT for big companies, but SMEs actually moves the development of many countries, many businesses and economies, and it is very good that the special focus is paid exactly to them within the framework of this event.



Our project is very successful in Senegal, and for me it is a great opportunity because I have met many African countries, six of which have expressed their interest in my solution, which it is great for me.



The highlight of ITU Telecom has been the various contacts we have received, the different nations that want this kind of project to be scaled up in their countries. We are in talks, and we are very excited that we will expand this solution to very many smallholder farmers across the globe.

Find out how to make the exhibition
at ITU Telecom World work for you