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Lao PDR: 2012 STEPS Young Entrepreneur Market Place Competition

June 18, 2012

JUNE 18, 2012, VIENTIANE--- The World Bank Vientiane Office, AusAID, and the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Laos (YEAL) are excited to announce the second annual ‘2012 STEPS Young Entrepreneur Market Place Competition’.

Talented young entrepreneurs, especially women, are invited to submit their proposals to start or expand a micro business.

Who should apply?

Young entrepreneurs  under the age of 35 from Vientiane (Capital and Province), Luang Prabang, Champasack, and Savannakhet Provinces who have ideas to start a micro business or expand a newly formed micro enterprise. Competition is open to micro businesses from all sectors. Individuals and groups (with up to three partners) may apply.  

What are the selection criteria?

We are looking for business ideas that:

  • Have a strong business case (clear demand and growth potential)
  • Display creativity and innovation in the creation of new products, services, or processes 
  • Are sustainable and have community impact 
  • Engage females and ethnic minorities

What are the benefits?

  • Up to 100 short-listed candidates will receive a 10-day certified basic business training including support to develop a full business plan (separate tracks for start-ups and expansion businesses); and a one-year free YEAL membership
  • Following completion of the training and submission of a business plan, about 30 finalists will be selected to showcase their business ideas at the Market Place Exhibition. Finalists will receive one-on-one mentorship support from YEAL as well as access to microcredit loans from local banks
  • At the exhibition, an executive panel will interview and score the business ideas and approximately 10 winners will be announced to receive a seed grant up to US$5,000

Application and Deadline

Mobile Application Workshops will be held in the four provinces to advertise the call and answer questions about the application form.

2012 Young Entrepreneur Market Place Competition Mobile Application Workshop Schedule


July 16, 2012

  • 1-2:30pm: Horngkha Yorm Village
  • 3-5pm: Phonsikhay Village

July 17, 2012

  • 9-11am: Champasak University
  • 1-3pm: CPS Technical College
  • 4-5:30pm: Km29 village

July 19, 2012

  • 10:30am-12pm: SVK Technical College
  • 1-3pm: Sart-Savan College (Savankhet Institute Management)

July 20, 2012

  • 8-10pm: Xaysombath Collage
  • 10:30am-12pm: Savan Businesss College
  • 1:30-3:30pm: Savannakhet University

July 23, 2012

  • 1-3pm: National University of Laos

July 24, 2012

  • 2-4pm: Dongkhamxang College
  • 5:30-7pm: Rattana Business Administration College

July 25, 2012

  • 8-10am: The Lao Business Woman Association
  • 10:30pm-12pm: Sengsavanh College
  • 3:30-5pm: Pakpasak Technical College
  • 5:30-7pm: Lao-American College

July 26, 2012

  • 8-10pm: Lao-German College
  • 10:30am-12pm: Lao Handicraft Association
  • 1-3pm: National University of Laos Career Centers

July 27, 2012

  • 8-10am: Banking Institutes
  • 10:30am-12pm: Lao youth Network at WBO

July 27, 2012

  • 8-10am: HuayHong Vocational Training Center for Women
  • 10:30am-12pm: Lao-Korea College

Pick up the application form at the World Bank Office Vientiane (Patouxay, Nehru Road, P.O. Box 345), at the Lao Youth Union, and YEAL offices nearest you.

Applications should be submitted by August 13, 2012 at 5pm in hard copy or by email to STEPSapplication@worldbank.org.  For further enquiries, call 021-450010; 020-55216962; 020-76651271.

Only shortlisted proposals will be contacted.

About the Competition

The Young Entrepreneur Market Place Competition is a key component of the STEPS program, launched in 2011 in Lao PDR, in partnership with YEAL, and with funding from AusAID. It aims to increase entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for young women.

Lao PDR is one of eight countries participating in the World Bank’s Adolescent Girls Initiative, a global program focused on increasing economic opportunities for young women.  Based on strong results from the first round of the competition, STEPS received additional funding to carry out a second round in 2012.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Challenge

Another competition for entrepreneurs is the Mekong Women’s Entrepreneurship Challenge. It is sponsored by infoDev, implemented by EMC, and supported by the Small Medium Sized Enterprise Promotion and Development Office.

For more information, visit the competition website, Facebook page, or call 021- 219 875.

Media Contacts
In Vientiane
Souridahak Sakonhninhom
Tel : +856 21 450010 ext 6269