The International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA) has launched a new award aimed at giving young professionals in the trade finance industry a voice, and recognising their contribution to the market.

The 2019 ITFA Young Trade Financier Award will allow young professionals to showcase their ideas and their work for the benefit of the industry through the submission of projects related to trade finance.

The initiative falls under the auspices of ITFA’s Young Professionals advisory panel, created in late 2017 as an extension of the industry body’s Young Professionals Network. The advisory panel is chaired by Johanna Wissing and overseen by Duarte Pedreira, ITFA board member and head of Young Professionals.

“The award is a recognition of the fact that we see young professionals having the potential to contribute to the market from early on in their careers. They bring new, refreshing ideas,” Pedreira tells GTR.

“Over the years, the industry has not given young professionals the attention they deserve. Now, with the ITFA Young Professionals effort, the industry’s younger community has come to the forefront of the agenda. ITFA has also become about training the next generation, and we’re taking that to the next level.”

The winning project will make a significant contribution to the trade finance industry. As an example, it could contribute to an ongoing industry debate; create a new innovative product or instrument; or enhance the knowledge shared about the industry, through specific knowledge-sharing forums and events.

Projects for the award can take any format, and creativity is highly encouraged. They will be judged on relevance and quality of content; innovation; accessibility – the ease with which the recipient is able to absorb the message; and media used.

A shortlist of the three best projects will be announced on July 1. These three projects will win a free ticket to the ITFA annual conference taking place in Budapest from September 4-6. The projects will be showcased at the event, with the winning project selected by secret ballot and awarded during the conference’s gala dinner.

The judging panel is made of ITFA members and representatives from its board.

The award is open to all young professionals globally, although non-ITFA members will need to be referred by an ITFA member.

More information can be found here. The deadline for submissions is June 3.