Nominees 2020 – Business & Commerce

Digital solutions can be a great driver for the UN SDGs.  Each year, the WSA national Experts in over 180 countries scout the local start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem to select a maximum of 8 best practice examples for the 8 WSA categories.


The focus lies on digital finesse with content that solves local problems, enhances knowledge, and drives the UN SDGs.


This unique and diverse selection process provides a brilliant diameter of how digital innovation can be used for social impact, development and narrowing the global divides – and showcases global trends and focus points.



The WSA Business & Commerce category, aiming for the development of a more reliable world through trade and international cooperation, received 48 nominations in 2020.


WSA 2020 Business & Commerce nominations focus on:

  • Platforms that support and optimize business (financial information, payments, investments, financing, advisory and cross-process support) and production processes
  • Fin-tech solutions with social impact
  • Backend support for companies, such as retail, private and corporate banking, and insurance
  • E-commerce solutions for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C)
  • Complementary services such as personal finance management systems, or competitive solutions such as e.g. peer-to-peer lending



The general trend all the business & commerce solutions share is the standardization and digitization of the business processes by optimizing time and means.






Most of the solutions that entail international cooperation are developed by start-ups, social enterprises and SMEs from all regions of the world. However, there are also two public actors involved in this category:


  • In the context of the global pandemic, the University of Qatar fights cyber crime taking advantage of users using internet domain names related with COVID-19 keywords. It processes all new created internet domains to determine if they are likely to involve malicious activities.





  • The government of Saudi Arabia has created the application "Monshaat Windows" to provide financial guidance and consulting services for entrepreneurs.





In 2020, the amount of e-commerce websites has significantly increased. Young entrepreneurs willing to make the difference and leave their footprint in this world, prefer to build their own companies instead of joining existing ones. The uprising self-employment and freelancer culture reshapes commerce as we used to understand it and expands the local start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem to a broader public.



As a result, different models of cooperation are trending :


These tools highlight how the information society reconstructs and modernizes commerce. As a matter of fact, the digitization of processes in the corporate world is enhanced strongly by Natural Language Processing and block-chain technologies, unique in comparison to the technologies used by the other WSA categories.


Natural Language Processing facilitates the communication between computers and humans by making it straightforward and logical to non computer engineers. It also allows scaling language-related tasks to computers. Blockchain encrypt and secure transactions of any type. Brought together they generate automated, secured solutions that allow entrepreneurs to create their own solutions in the corporate world.




Design and connectivity has a strong emphasis in the projects nominated for the Business & Commerce category in 2020.


WSA Business & Commerce nominations are characterized by a high visual impact, that makes solutions more appealing to the consumer. Furthermore, some of the actual nominations are design solutions for re-branding, modernizing and digitalizing companies.


The need of connectivity is exemplified by the appearance of mobile charging kiosks & anonymous feedback platforms, and internet quality booster apps like the Project Pass in Philippines. Created by volunteers for volunteers, it crowdsource location-based bandwidth and signal strength measurements to improve the state of local internet quality in the Philippines.