The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the World Environment Center, launched the Pathways to ProsperityInnovation Challenge in February 2014 to identify and build a support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that will spur economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.Today in Medellin, Colombia, Karin Sullivan,Deputy Director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs' Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination,shared the Department’s goals forthe Challengeat the World Urban Forum (WUF) VII, the world’s premier multilateral conference examining urban development and cities hosted by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
There are two panels featuring the Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge at the WUF Innovative Americas Pavilion.
Today at 2:00 p.m. local time, the Igniting Your Network for Innovation and Changepanel featured Deputy Director Sullivan and Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy of Context Partners, the designers and implementers of the Pathways Challenge. They shared how the Challenge is being deployed to create an SME sector support network in the region, andalso expanded on how networked organizations are paving the way for innovation across multiple sectors.
The Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge will also be presented on April 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the Caminos de la Prosperidad: Investing in Local and Regional Innovation and Collaboration panel. The Challenge seeks to discover local, high-impact organizations that are closing the gap between SMEs and markets, information, and supportive policies. As many as four winners will receive up to $500,000 and technical support to replicate and scale their initiatives in another context or location.
For additional information on the sessions, please visit:http://issuu.com/nextcityorg/docs/wufprogramfinal.To learn more about the Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge, please visit http://challenge.wec.org/en/home. The deadline to register is April 16, 2014.
About Pathways to Prosperity
Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas is a policy dialogue that links 16 Western Hemisphere governments and societies that seek to empower small businesses, facilitate trade and regional competitiveness, build a modern and inclusive workforce, and encourage green, sustainable business practices. Pathways member countries currently include Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and the United States. Brazil and Jamaica have observer status.The Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean are strategic Pathways partners.