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Member-states of the ASEAN lauded the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) for the efficient delivery of its targeted outcomes and outputs, which ultimately are designed to contribute to MSME development and overall prosperity in the region.
AMEN is the legacy project of the Philippines’s chairmanship of the ASEAN-BAC in 2017 under Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion. Concepcion for his part is delighted that other nations are now benefiting from mentorship adding that “Access to mentorship is critical to an entrepreneur’s success and with AMEN, we are able to share this with the rest of ASEAN. MSMEs comprise majority of the businesses in the Philippines and this is almost the same for our neighbor countries. Nano, micro and small entrepreneurs are the most in need and we will continue to make sure that this legacy project will continue,”.
Legacy projects incorporate private-public partnership to promote human capital development and entrepreneurship in the region, with each country initiating its own legacy project during its chairmanship of the private sector advisory body of the ASEAN.
The feedback from the region on the AMEN report comes as its Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) convened its second meeting during the 15th ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (ACCMSME) Meeting last May 22 to 26 in Bangkok Thailand. Last May 23, the Project Management Office led by Project Executive Director, Engr. Merly Cruz, presented the achievements and milestones of the AMEN Project Phase 2 thus far together with the challenges encountered, lessons learned and recommendations put forward by the project stakeholders.
AMEN’s Phase 2 is nearing its completion after having been rolled out in February 2023. Phase 2 involves the regional rollout of the project after having been successfully piloted in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines The AMEN Project Phase 2 is implemented by the ASEAN-BAC Business Advisory Council together with the ASEAN Secretariat and the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).
AMEN is a modules-based training program facilitated by accredited mentors. The ten modules in its training system covers subjects ranging from the Entrepreneurial Mind-setting and Values Formation, to more practical tutoring on Enterprise Accounting and Financial Management, to Good Governance. Through AMEN, regional experts and dialogue partners share their best practices in helping their local MSMEs, bringing formal training to millions of MSMEs in the region.
Go Negosyo originated the blueprint for AMEN, and patterned it after its Kapatid Mentor Micro-Enterprises (KMME) Program, which it runs in partnership with the country’s Department of Trade and Industry. The KMME program has been implemented in the Philippines since 2016, and has since produced more than 13,000 graduates. For its ASEAN-wide implementation, its modules were translated into seven languages, namely Khmer (Cambodia), Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesia), Lao (Laos), Malay (Malaysia), Burmese (Myanmar), Thai (Thailand) and Viet (Vietnam).
AMEN aims to certify and train at least ten mentors from each ASEAN member state, and mentor at least 30 MSMEs from each ASEAN member state. Upgrading and upskilling MSMEs, is seen to have a great impact on ASEAN economies because these make up a majority of enterprises, especially in low to middle-income countries. There are an estimated 70 million MSMEs in the ASEAN, responsible for generating 85 percent of the jobs and 45 percent of the GDP in the region.