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Country Launch for Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women MSMEs (IDEAS) Project

ANGGEREK DESA, BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 7 JUNE 2024: The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB), through Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), in its capacity as Brunei Darussalam’s representative to the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), today hosted a country launch for Enhancing Digital Economy Participation for ASEAN Women MSMEs (IDEAS) project, an ongoing initiative implemented by ACCMSME under the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (SAP SMED 2025), in partnership with the Asia Pacific Women’s Information Network Centre (APWINC) of Sookmyung Women’s University, South Korea.


The project aims to provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs to actively participate in the ASEAN economy by increasing their capacity to use ICTs and online business platform through trainings as well as access to information while increasing connectivity among ASEAN member states (AMS) and between AMS and the Republic of Korea. 

With a total funding of more than USD 5.6 million from the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) targeting beneficiaries of more than 4,000 women entrepreneurs across ASEAN, the project commenced its implementation in January 2022 in partnership with consultants and implementing institutions from ASEAN. The project is expected to run until 2026 with activities which include (i) Developing e-Business training toolkit for ASEAN Women MSMEs, (ii) Fostering e-Business Trainers in AMS, (iii) e-Business capacity building training for women MSMEs in AMS and (iv) Encouraging and supporting ASEAN women MSMEs to participate in digital economy.

The launch was jointly officiated by Yang Mulia Norlela Suhailee, Director of Enterprise

Development who is also Lead Representative for ACCMSME Brunei Darussalam and Dr. Han Na Kim, Deputy Secretary General for Planning at APWINC (on behalf of Dr. Jungin Jo, the Executive Director) of Sookmyung University, South Korea. The event was held at the Main Auditorium, D&T Building in Anggerek Desa and attended by relevant agencies and partners, including consultants, mentors, project trainers and trainees. 

In her remarks, Yang Mulia Norlela Suhailee highlighted the significance of the multiorganizational efforts both at ASEAN and national level in mainstreaming women MSMEs’ participation in economic activities through which various development programs and initiatives have been launched to create a supportive environment that enables women entrepreneurs to embark on their entrepreneurship journey, nurture their growth and enhance their impact in the economic landscape. “With the implementation of this project, I hope to see an encouraging participation of Brunei women entrepreneurs in gaining new knowledge and skill, and that it will bring transformative experience that helps to reshape and strengthen their approach to entrepreneurship”, she said. 

For Brunei Darussalam, the IDEAS project is implemented in collaboration with Big BWN as the appointed national implementation partner and will deliver training to a total of 242 beneficiaries across all four districts starting from 9 June 2024 until December 2025. The implementation of this project will involve 14 local trainers expected to deliver training modules that will be customized to the country’s needs, conditions and context. The modules will include topics such as Business Model Generation and Innovation, Customer Development, Fundraising, eCommerce, Digital Marketing Core, Digital Marketing Advanced, Digital Content Development

Core, Digital Content Development Advanced, Privacy and Cyber Security and Women’s Empowerment in Digital Economy. The goal is to empower women entrepreneurs to actively participate in the digital economy by enhancing their capacity to transition to online business through adoption of e-business and digital skills.


The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME) is the ASEAN body responsible for strengthening MSMEs’ participation in ASEAN integration and in deepening and broadening their contribution to ASEAN’s economic growth. Comprising the ASEAN Member States’ Heads and Representatives of MSME agencies, and supported by the ASEAN Secretariat, the ACCMSME facilitates the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (SAP SMED 2025), with the mission to create globally competitive, resilient and innovative MSMEs that are seamlessly integrated to the ASEAN community and to achieve inclusive development in the region.


About APWINC and Sookmyung Women’s University 

APWINC: The Asia Pacific Women’s Information Network Center (APWINC), a UNESCO chair organization in Communication Technology for Women at Sookmyung Women’s University, is an institution, established in November 1996 that aims to promote gender equality and increase women’s potential and skills in the digital field in the Asia Pacific region. The APWINC serves as the leading hub of an international development network for women's empowerment. APWINC collaborates with international organizations, governmental organizations, and NGOs to develop digital-related projects for women and plays a pioneering role in women’s informatization by conducting research, field surveys, education, and training.


Sookmyung Women's University: Sookmyung Women's University is the first institution to illuminate the path of women's education in Korea, forging a new era of women's leadership. Sookmyung Women's University has established the world's first mobile campus, and has been recognized as the UNESCO-designated leading women's information technology university in the Asia-Pacific region. 

About AKCF 

The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) was launched in 1990 to further strengthen the ASEAN-ROK relations. AKCF has supported more than 456 projects agreed by both parties, in the areas of education & training, culture & tourism, public health, economic resilience, environment, peace, security, and connectivity. ASEAN-ROK Programme

Management Team (AKPMT) is currently manage activities under the AKCF."


About Big Begawan Project (BigBWN) 

Big BWN Project’s mission is to empower, encourage and support local youth, women, and entrepreneurs, in order to become self-sustainable and to create a diverse community of entrepreneurs from different fields who support each other to grow their businesses and ideas, accompany them through delivering their initiatives to communities and addressing the key challenges affecting the growth of business initiatives.



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