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ASEAN business to unveil mentorship program for MSMEs


By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

An initial 180 ASEAN business mentors, who will help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of the region scale up, will be formally organized with the launch the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) here.

Joey Concepcion, chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC), said that each member of the 10 ASEAN countries will be deploying 20-50 mentors to comprise AMEN. These experts from various fields will help the MSMEs of ASEAN ensure their business become successful.

More than 1,000 leaders from the business and policy-making communities of ASEAN and the region’s dialogue partners and FTA partners will converge as speakers and attendees during the three-day ABIS event, which runs on the theme “World Leaders’ Roadmap Towards Prosperity for All.”

According to Concepcion, there will be 53 mentors from the Philippines out of the existing pool of 450 who will be part of the network while Indonesia is also bringing in 23 mentors. “We will have between 150 to 180 mentors to be launched,” he said.  These mentors will form part of AMEN and can easily be tapped during small group mentorship programs on specific fields.

“This is a massive move towards mentorship, which is key to the success in entrepreneurship,” he said citing that those successful entrepreneurs have been mentored from generation to generation, but the MSMEs cannot afford to hire mentors because their services are very expensive.

With the creation of AMEN, the government like the Department of Trade and Industry or the Department of Agriculture can get from the AMEN pool to help mentor a particular group of entrepreneurs.

ABIS is the premier annual business forum of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, which serves as the voice of the ASEAN private sector. ASEAN ABAC also provides recommendations to the ASEAN Leaders.  This year’s theme is “World Leaders’ Roadmap Towards Prosperity for All.”

“Creating prosperity for all is not just a theme, but we have to make it a reality,” said Concepcion noting that hiring mentors under AMEN will become cheaper than on a one-on-one mentorship program.

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