Go Digital ASEAN launched

Lyna Mohamad

DARe (Darussalam Enterprise), as Brunei Darussalam’s focal agency representative to the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), launched Go Digital ASEAN yesterday.

Go Digital ASEAN is a regional initiative by the ACCMSME and The Asia Foundation, supported by Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org in partnership with local implementing partners Big BWN Project and Young Entrepreneur Association Brunei (YEAB).

Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Sani officiated the launch at the Main Auditorium, Design and Technology Building in Anggerek Desa with virtual participation by The Asia Foundation, Google.org and ASEAN Secretariat.

Supported by a USD3.3 million grant from Google.org, Go Digital ASEAN is designed to equip 200,000 people as well as micro and small enterprises across ASEAN member states, including 60 per cent women and 40 per cent youth from rural regions and underserved communities, with crucial digital skills and tools.

The programme aims to address the rising unemployment rate in Brunei and expand economic opportunity across ASEAN to minimise the negative impacts of COVID-19 by helping enterprises learn about programmes or assistance to continue operating during
the pandemic.

Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Sani at the launch. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

In Brunei, the Go Digital ASEAN initiative will deliver training to youth and business owners to gain the skills to open up markets for their products, craft their own digital marketing campaigns and provide them with tools to monitor and adapt marketing campaigns.

Digital training will be customised to the country’s needs, conditions and contexts. Local implementing partners will utilise part of the funding to develop digital literacy training modules for 4,000 micro entrepreneurs and underemployed youth, including those from ethnic minorities and with disabilities.

The goal is to instil entrepreneurial and digital literacy skills to encourage the target audience to start their own businesses and expand their ventures. Training will be held in Brunei-Muara, Belait, Tutong, and Temburong districts.

Following a region-wide announcement on June 22, the Go Digital ASEAN initiative marks ACCMSME’s first private-public initiative and a unique effort to partner with civil society and the corporate sector.

It also demonstrates the synergy and partnership with non government bodies in supporting the implementation of the Action Agenda on Digitalisation of ASEAN micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which also contributes to ACCMSME’s goal of “globally competitive and innovative MSMEs” under the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development (SAP SMED) 2016-2025.