Bringing mentorship across the Asean

At the forefront of our advocacy, the 3Ms of entrepreneurship — mentorship, money, and market — play a crucial part in the advancement of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. We believe that mentorship is one of the important factors that ensure the success of many entrepreneurs. This — coupled with the exposure to market and ease of access to financial institutions (money) — makes for a winning formula to success. With regards to mentors, we believe that MSMEs should be guided throughout the process, from inception to conceptualization and implementation of their business ideas.

My commitment and advocacy is to empower MSMEs through the 3Ms model, and to strengthen the partnership between public and private organizations. This is the objective of the upcoming collaborative project between Go Negosyo and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council-PH. Together with our knowledge partner, Singapore Management University (SMU), we will launch the first-ever ASEAN Family Business Conference in the country on Oct. 21, to equip our entrepreneurs with practical knowledge they can apply in their respective fields.

We have invited distinguished international and local leaders of well-known family businesses from across ASEAN to share their insights and expertise in rising to the challenges that come with transgenerational transitions, in becoming value creators, and in contributing towards a more integrated and prosperous ASEAN region.  We will have Professors Annie Koh and Arnoud de Meyer as representatives from the Singapore Management University, some of the country’s leading family enterprises such as Hans Sy of SM Prime Holdings, Michael Tan of the Lucio Tan Group Inc., Chris Po of Century Pacific Food Inc., Mark Lopez of ABS-CBN Corp., Lucio Tan Jr. of Tanduay Distillers, Naty Cheng of Multiflex RNC, William Belo of Wilcon Depot, Miguel Aboitiz of Aboitiz Power Corporate Business Group, Jojo Concepcion of Concepcion Industrial Corp., and notable family businesses across the region including Chirawan Diskul of Siam Park Bangkok, Robert Yap of YCH Group, Hajah Noor Monasalieana of Seri Pekatan Bdn Bhd, Ma Khine Zaw of Earth Group of Companies, Nguyen Duy of KOVA Trading, Donny Pramono of Sour Sally, and many others.

The conference will serve as an avenue to convene and recognize the vast contributions of family businesses to the global economy. We will also highlight the significance of innovation, succession planning, and other potentials of an enterprising family business in driving the economy of the whole ASEAN region.

We have already demonstrated this commitment to empower MSMEs last Sept. 27, with the successful implementation of the pilot program of the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) in three ASEAN member states (AMS), namely Malaysia, Indonesia, and in the Philippines.

ASEAN-BAC PH chair and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion led the pilot run of the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) last Sept. 27. The ABAC PH through the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship is implementing the AMEN project in the three pilot ASEAN member states: Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Through the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), which represents the governments of the AMS, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and Go Negosyo officially launched the AMEN Project last March with the support of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The idea behind AMEN was to provide MSMEs with free, quality mentorship by bringing together a network of competent mentors across the ASEAN states. I started the advocacy with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who also felt the need for a strong public and private partnership to achieve inclusive growth. The AMEN project assembled a pool of duly certified mentors across the ASEAN region. They are agents of inclusive growth whose goal is to build the capacity and technical know-how of our MSMEs.

Creating prosperity for all is what binds the ASEAN group and its member countries. Some of the 10 countries that are part of the ASEAN are fortunate in their economy, but many others are still struggling. What we want to create as our legacy is a united ASEAN for the empowerment of our MSMEs. Our international programs — AMEN and the ASEAN Family Business Conference — are testimonies to the importance of sharing knowledge, expertise and business acumen of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs with our MSMEs. It also affirms the effectiveness of our very own mentorship programs, such as the Kapatid Mentor Micro- Enterprises (KMME) Program, which Go Negosyo launched in 2017, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The success of our programs, done in collaboration with public and private stakeholders, demonstrates the value of PPP. It strengthens our pillars of inclusive growth - agribusiness, tourism, and digitalization, these opportune areas where collaboration among institutions is seen to be most beneficial is anchored on a strong sustainable development model.

We are encouraging more participation from other countries in the hopes that they will find value in our advocacy and adopt their own initiatives. Through these partnerships, we open up huge opportunities for our MSMEs, helping them to hurdle challenges and empowering them to scale up their operations. We laboriously built a close network among countries so that MSMEs across all nations can grow together through AMEN.

In the next 10 years, the whole landscape will drastically change. But we will be stronger together. Thanks to all those who have become part of the AMEN program. I’m hoping that that the council will continue to push hard, establishing more fruitful partnerships between the public and private sectors. At the center of it all will be our inspiring ASEAN mentors. Their time, effort, and passion to serve and help our MSMEs are needed to achieve the region’s and each respective country’s success. I am looking forward to more milestones and partnerships with other countries across the globe.