Workshop on the ASEAN e-Business Training Toolkit Development

17 Feb 2023

Hanoi, 22-24 November 2022 - Asia Pacific Women’s Information Network Center (APWINC), appointed as the acting institution of the UNESCO Chair in Communication Technology for Women, successfully held the ‘e-Business Training Toolkit Development Workshop’ of the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Project on "Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women Micro-, Small-, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)" in Hanoi, Vietnam.

APWINC was approved as the implementing agency last year for the 5-year project “Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women MSMEs (2022-26)” by the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF). This project aims to strengthen the e-Business competency of ASEAN female MSMEs through the e-Business and ICT training.

The project will benefit 14 local implementing institutions, 255 local e-Business experts, and 4,002 female MSMEs in ASEAN countries. ASEAN women entrepreneurs will build capacity for using ICT and online business platforms. APWINC expects that this project also contributes to promoting cooperation among the ASEAN Member States (AMS) and between AMS and Korea.

A total of 21 people, including local consultants from 10 countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), 2 Korean consultants, and government officials from Vietnam who are related to the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (ACCMSME), participated in this workshop.

This workshop was held to discuss the development of the 'e-Business Training Toolkit' that reflects the current status of women-owned MSMEs in the AMS based on the preliminary research results conducted by an R&D Team. The R&D team was launched in May 2022 with 12 experts in the fields of digital economy and e-Business, consisting of 10 local consultants selected from each ASEAN country and 2 Korean consultants.

As a result of the R&D team's research, it was identified that ASEAN women-led MSMEs express their needs for the use of digital technology such as digital marketing, digital contents development, and digital information security to promote digitalization of the business. Accordingly, to strengthen the digital competency of women-led MSMEs in ASEAN, it was discussed to develop the training toolkit focusing on ▲e-business model generation and innovation ▲digital marketing ▲digital contents development ▲e-commerce registration and regulations by each country in AMS ▲digital security, etc.

The training toolkit is developed through a bottom-up approach based on the needs of AMS, such as digital trends, e-commerce market status, patent information, and e-commerce transaction. The purpose of this toolkit is to meet the needs of ASEAN women-led MSMEs and strengthen their capabilities through hands-on practices. In addition, by providing highly effective courses and contents to female entrepreneurs, they can secure field competitiveness, achieve digital technology and discover new growth items.

The training toolkit, jointly developed by local consultants from 10 ASEAN countries and Korean consultants, is planned to be used in the Training of Trainers (ToT) in Korea, which will be held in July 2023.

The workshop began with the opening remarks made by Dr. Jungin Jo, the executive director of APWINC, she said, “Due to the global pandemic, women-owned MSMEs in ASEAN are facing unprecedented challenges.” In addition, she mentioned, “After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Korea has secured high crisis response capabilities and has grown into a global e-commerce powerhouse.” Finally, she encouraged, “I am convinced that ASEAN will take difficulties as a challenge and utilize the e-Business field as a new growth engine to achieve empowerment of ASEAN women and economic growth at the same time.”

In March 2023, APWINC will hold an ‘Action Plan Workshop’ in Korea to develop an action plan for each implementing institution in ASEAN countries.