SINGAPORE, 31 May 2016 – Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in Southeast Asia are set to benefit from the ASEAN SME On-line Academy which offers courses and business information for MSME accessible through computers, smart phones, and tablets. The Academy was launched today on the sidelines of the inaugural ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME (ACCMSME) meeting hosted by SPRING Singapore.
“The launch of the Academy supports ASEAN’s efforts to strengthen the development of ASEAN MSMEs through training materials that will contribute to knowledge enhancement and uplift MSMEs’ capacity and capability in doing business in the Community,” said Dr Wimonkan Kosumas, Deputy Director-General of the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP), Thailand, speaking at the launch.
ASEAN MSMEs will be able to access Academy courses and tools that cover subjects such as finance/accounting, management, marketing, operation, technology and trade/logistics. The business information on the Academy would also assist MSMEs to find networking opportunities and gain access to region-specific information to further grow and upgrade their businesses. The training courses and business information will be upgraded and expanded over time.
“Developing entrepreneurial education and learning programmes are a key plank of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2025 and we are pleased to see the first phase kick-off today, thanks to support from US-ACTI,” says Mr Nguyen Hoa Cuong, Chair of the ACCMSME and Deputy Director-General of the Agency for Enterprise Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Viet Nam.
The US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), which is supporting this effort with ASEAN, believes the ASEAN SME On-line Academy can serve as a force multiplier for U.S. business efforts to support MSME in ASEAN through such programmes. “The goal is to further develop the Academy into a one-stop, online resource for learning about regional and international markets, latest technologies, and for access to service providers and more financing opportunities, and its online presence will substantially expand the reach of US-ABC programs to support MSME,” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, US-ABC Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director, in his opening remarks. “Courses are available for start-up businesses, as well as for more developed enterprises,” he added.
The Academy is supported by ASEAN and the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs. The Business Alliance is a three-year public-private partnership launched in March 2014 between the U.S. Agency for International Development, through the ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment project, and the US-ASEAN Business Council.
Course materials featured in the Academy were contributed by Baker & McKenzie, Facebook, Google, MasterCard, Microsoft, PayPal, International Labour Organization, HP, and Procter & Gamble.