30 June 2018
Published also in Business Mirror
THE Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) paves the way to a more convenient, wider, and open-access online trainings and resources for the Philippines’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as the center becomes the new administrator of the ASEAN Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Academy or the ASEAN SME Academy.
The Academy is a one-stop multiplatform online learning and information resource for Southeast Asian SMEs with support from USAID, Asean Coordinating Committee on MSME and the US-Asean Business Council (US-ABC).
Launched at the sixth meeting of the SME Advisory Board in Singapore on May 31, 2016, the Academy aims to provide training and mentorship to enhance Asean SME’s capabilities to grow and compete regionally and internationally. The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry, was chosen as the first country to become the Academy’s administrator.
PTTC shall also facilitate online forums that will link MSMEs in the Philippines to SMEs in Southeast Asia for the sharing of experiences on common issues, identifying best practice and replicating excellence to scale.
At present, around 50 training courses on finance and accounting, management, marketing, operation, technology, and trade and logistics from Fortune 500 companies and members of the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs are being offered. The core of the Academy is a series of training materials for SMEs contributed by Baker and McKenzie, Facebook, Google, HP Inc., MasterCard, Microsoft, PayPal, Proctor & Gamble and International Labour Organization.
In addition, the Academy contains around 350 relevant links to business information and access to a directory of service providers to whom SMEs can reach out for financial advice, corporate programs and networking.
The Academy reported that as of January 2018, it has been accessed by 49,034 people; 2,866 of whom are registrants and 658 users are completing courses on the Academy.
At present, there are 189 Academy facilitators—29 from the Philippines; 25 from Lao PDR; 30 from Indonesia; 27 from Cambodia; 28 from Malaysia, 19 from Thailand; and 31 from Vietnam.
The core group, together with the Academy Facilitators, will convene in PTTC Manila on July 27 to share knowledge, lessons learned, good practices and tools developed to promote the Asean SME Academy to SMEs in their networks and to formally handover the communication management to the new administrator of the Asean SME Academy—the PTTC.