“The ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) presents the pool of mentors, of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and the AMEN Partner Organizations and Institutions. It brings attention to the business, investment opportunities, issues, and directions in the ASEAN today, organized to serve as a platform for conversations among regional and global stakeholders in the ASEAN Economic Community. These stakeholders are expected to be business leaders, public personalities, entrepreneurs, and entities considered as thought-leaders with subject matters covering: Digital Economy, Agripreneurship and Trade and Industry, and priority sectors focusing on Women and Youth. AMEN is the formalized eco-system of regional mentors that aims to facilitate the scaling up of micro and small entrepreneurs through the power of the 3MS for MSME Development: Mentorship, Money and Market.
AMEN was officiallylaunched by President Rodrigo Duterte together with the AMEN Pioneer Mentorsat the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit last November 12, 2017.
With the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s mandate to provide private sector feedback on the implementation of ASEAN Economic Cooperation and identify priority areas for consideration of the ASEAN leaders, it has moved to optimize Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the same goals. During the celebration of ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary last August 8, 2017 in Manila, Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, likewise, stressed that PPPs must be fully harnessed to end poverty. (DFA 2017) The ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) was established by the ASEAN BAC during the Philippine Chairmanship as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) platform where mentors and teaching modules for MSMEs can be continually developed and actively shared across ASEAN as an effective way to promote inclusive growth and prosperity for all, as showcased by its theme for 2017 (ASEAN BAC 2017). Empowering the MSMEs as bearers of jobs and livelihood opportunities and as agents of economic growth is vital to achieving inclusive growth and poverty reduction. As the backbone of the ASEAN economy, they constitute 89-99 percent of establishments and provide 52-97 percent of total employment in the region.
AMEN was officially launched last November 12, 2017 as part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, ASEAN 2017 Chair who in his speech recognized the growing importance of MSMEs who account for over 80% of all businesses in the world. 143 pioneer mentors attended the launch from the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS).
ASEAN BAC has also launched AMEN with an ASEAN dialogue partner Australia in partnership with Australia-ASEAN Business Council through series of events in parallel with the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit held in Sydney last March 2018. Support valued at AUD $100,000 was committed to facilitate the movement of startups between ASEAN countries and Australia through reciprocal co-working agreements, as well as sponsored positions in world-class entrepreneurial programs such as incubators and accelerators. A virtual mentorship network will form the backbone for market access (internationalisation) support.