Mentors coming from big businesses of Southeast Asia met very early this morning at the City of Dreams to discuss the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Mentors Entrepreneurship Network (AMEN), establish a system to certify a mentors pool that would eventually lead to a mentors’ academy.
The idea of AMEN was initiated by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) chairman Joey Concepcion, founder of Go Negosyo and Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship, which had been mentoring Philippine micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for many years.
The session began with a getting-to- know-you among the ASEAN private and public sector delegates, who surprisingly came in big numbers to map out the Manila Declaration that would be presented later today before heads of states and nations attending the ASEAN Leaders Summit.
The Philippines had been implementing its Kapatid or Big Brother mentorship program, a close collaboration and partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Go Negosyo, which Concepcion founded, that has already helped micro small and medium enterprises in 16 regions, 81 provinces, 89 batches and 1780 graduates and 400 certified mentors nationwide.
Through AMEN, it is hoped that the bloc would have an ASEAN Mentors modules, an ASEAN certification program for mentors and an ASEAN Mentors Academy.
Establishing a regional mentorship program is a “history happening” for the bloc to ensure that MSMEs would be better equipped to face the global market challenges, said Merly Cruz of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.
Henry Widjaja, chairman of Dharma Bhakti Astra Foundation of Indonesia presented to the delegates the mentoring program it implemented to its SMEs imparting in them the core values of compassionate, adaptive, responsible and excellent (CARE) businesses as it undertook six stages in helping the small enterprises. These stages are: leading sector projects; prospecting foster fathers; pilot SME development; mentor addition; establishment of cooperatives and the self-reliance process.
Just like Kapatid program of the Philippines, Indonesia’s mentorship program entailed mentoring; market facilitation and financial facilitation, Widjaja said.