Sidley’s Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program was selected as one of two runners-up at the 2022 Small Business Champions Competition. The Competition was launched in 2021 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the WTO Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), and aims to inspire “practical ways of helping small businesses play a more active role in world trade.”
Sidley’s 2022 entry focused on a pro bono project offering workshops to SMEs on the legal issues related to implementing green business practices, scaling up sustainably, accessing green finance, and engaging in carbon neutral business transactions. Nicolas Lockhart, a Sidley partner in the Geneva office, and a driving force behind the Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program, explains: “As small-scale entrepreneurs transition to green business models, they often find it difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing green regulatory environment. Our pro bono project aims to bridge that gap by delivering training on key legal issues like the circular economy, carbon credit markets and finance, and climate risk insurance for small businesses operating in developing countries.”
Launched by Sidley in 2012, the Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program provides free legal support to eligible SMEs, non-governmental organizations, and non-profits that have a clear social or environmental impact in developing countries across the globe.