More micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can take advantage of the upgraded version of an online learning platform to develop their digital skills to keep their businesses afloat and accelerate recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic.
The US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) officially launched on April 8 ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 aiming to serve as a world-class, attractive, user-friendly, and inclusive MSME learning platform.
Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said the ASEAN SME Academy is a one-stop-shop multiplatform online training and information resource which aims to provide training and mentorship to enhance ASEAN MSMEs capability to grow and recompete regionally and internationally.
Aldaba said ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 can help facilitate the digital transformation of MSMEs and accelerate a broader economic recovery to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable post-pandemic future in the ASEAN region.
“The post pandemic future demands MSMEs to adapt to the new normal of doing business, highlighting the need to adopt new technologies and capture opportunities in the digital economy. The ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 ensures that we continue to embrace a people-centered digital transformation and accelerate recovery through customized entrepreneurial training courses and platforms for business linkages and networking,” she said.
The platform features localized courses on a variety of topics of interest to MSMEs, and features multilanguage support, new visual, mobile-friendly interface, top online resource for these firms, and self-certification.
Dato’ Suriani binti Dato’ Ahmad, chair of ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME (ACCMSME), said a set of new and customized learning content on cash flow and revenue management business continuity plan, and digital literacy and transformation will help MSMEs adapt to the new ways of doing business and recover stronger from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
Ambassador Ted Osius, US-ABC president and chief executive officer, said a specific module tab for Covid-19 recovery will be available in the third quarter of 2022.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said the launch of the ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 will contribute significantly to raising the competitiveness of SMEs in the region.
“The learning experience and access to resources and wider accessibility will truly help us rise through the pandemic and together push forward in the development of the region,” he said. “I believe SMEs will be key in the economic recovery of our countries.”
MSMEs can start learning now by registering for the academy at https://www.asean-sme-academy.org.
ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 is an upgraded version from the existing online learning platform which has already been operating since 2016.
Since its establishment, the ASEAN SME Academy has grown significantly, and now offers more than 90 courses and 375 additional online resources for SMEs. It has also reached over 460,000 unique visitors and more than 9,600 active users regularly accessing new knowledge and skills training resources.
The Academy is an official ASEAN platform, co-administered by US-ABC, the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry under Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED – DTI) and the Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC).