SME Programme


At ITU Digital 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 international platform of ICT public and private sector leaders.

SME programme

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
  • Access leading academics, coaches and business mentors
  • Peer networking in InnovationSpace
  • Structured matchmaking activities
  • Share best practices, solutions and ideas
  • Expert insight and understanding of critical ICT issues
  • Gain recognition by entering the ITU Digital World Awards
  • Visibility through onsite showcases and pitching sessions
  • Invitation for your SME CEO to network in the LeaderSpace Lounge

Programme activities

ITU Digital World Awards

SME Programme - ITU Digital World Awards

Enter your SME for the Global SME Awards (and the Government Award, if you are on a National Pavilion) recognising innovative ICT-based solutions with real social impact – and gain international visibility, UN recognition, partnership, networking and mentorship opportunities.

Find out more on the Awards

Pitching sessions

SME Programme - Pitching sessions
Pitching sessions showcase the best small companies competing for the Global SME Award at ITU Digital World in a fast-paced and dynamic environment on the 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 on the basis of business model, innovative use of ICT, scalability and social impact.

SME masterclasses and workshops

SME Programme - Masterclasses and workshops
Focus on the business attributes that matter in our expert-led workshops masterclasses providing practical and inspirational guidance on capacity-building, skills, product development, funding and investment.

InnovationSpace activities

SME Programme - InnovationSpace activities
Network with your peers, take part in digital showcasing, meet other exhibitors, set up bilaterals or demos with potential investors, buyers, and partners in the InnovationSpace at the centre of the showfloor. Showcase your SME, innovative project or ICT solution with an independent stand or in a National Pavilion in the event exhibition – and enjoy the benefits of international visibility, targeted networking and investment and partnership options.
SME Programme - Forum debates

Forum debates

Join panel debates and dialogues bringing together leaders from government and industry with SMEs from around the world to explore the impact and opportunities of smart digital transformation.

Networking and matchmaking

SME Programme - Networking and matchmaking

Network with our ITU Digital World audience to unlock partnership potential, make connections and close deals with 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 InnovationSpace on the exhibition floor, providing space for bilaterals and demos
  • Powerful online directory of attendees and networking options through the popular event app

SME success stories