More than 125 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs attended a one-day workshop in Phnom Penh today to enhance their knowledge and skills on good business practices presented by U.S. multi-national companies.
Sponsored by the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs, a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), the workshop included training in good business, financial and legal practices, and solutions including e-commerce and logistic tools to help improve the competitiveness of the participating firms.
Organizers worked in collaboration with the ASEAN SME Working Group through the SME and Handicraft Department, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft of Cambodia, as well as with the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia, the Cambodian Women Entrepreneurs Association, Cambodia Women Business Federation, the Hinrich Foundation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
“The corporate partners in this workshop are highly competitive global players engaged in cross-border trade, technology and logistics. I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance the competitive strength and reach of your businesses,” said USAID Cambodia Mission Director Rebecca Black.
The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) – along with the expanding regional and global economy – means that new knowledge, skills and tools are needed for ongoing competencies building and continuous product and process upgrading to access a market of more selective consumers and more competitive enterprises across the world.
“This workshop is part of a multi-year effort by American companies, working through the Council, to support growth and development in the region,” said Anthony Nelson, Director for ASEAN at the US-ASEAN Business Council. “The Business Alliance has successfully trained more than 1,600 entrepreneurs throughout ASEAN. Beyond today’s event, we will be organizing advanced training programs that include one-on-one mentoring as well as talent and leadership development activities by our corporate partners.”<
Building on earlier workshops in other ASEAN countries, leading global companies including Google, UPS, VISA International, ConocoPhillips, Inc. and local partner, Sciaroni & Associates, supported today’s Business Alliance training program to improve the competitiveness of ASEAN SMEs. The workshop also featured clinic sessions and breakout tracks for one-on-one advice and mentoring between speakers and the participating SMEs.
Launched in 2014, the Business Alliance will offer a series of activities throughout 2015 on the use of modern technology and tools in business and on the requirements for supply-chain partnership in ASEAN in 2015. It is also developing an online portal with interactive training and mentoring resources and business information to support the start-up, development and internationalization of Southeast Asian SMEs.