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ASEAN Foundation launches Social Enterprise Development Programme

The ASEAN Foundation on April 16 launched the ASEAN Social Enterprise Development Programme (SEDP) and a webinar to discuss regional social enterprise-related issues.

Supported by GIZ and SAP group, ASEAN SEDP aims to galvanise youth-led social enterprises to lead the efforts in alleviating the negative socio-economic impact brought by COVID-19 to the communities across ASEAN.

The programme offers an opportunity for social enterprises to grow and achieve sustainability by providing them with access to mentorship, networking, funding grants and wider market across ASEAN.

Dr Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, said that young people are one of the greatest assets of ASEAN as they have proved their capacity to adapt to new challenges in the previous year by applying digital technology along with new skills and approaches for sustainable development.

The ASEAN SEDP is to provide business skills for the youth and help them contribute more to social welfare in the ASEAN Community, she added.

For his part, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh said that Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand have the largest number of social enterprises in the region. The firms operate in various fields and hold major influence on the national economy, he added.

He underlined that stakeholders need to coordinate to create an ecosystem and favourable conditions for the development of such enterprises./.