6,000 Women in Malaysia and Indonesia gain digital and financial literacy skills with Accelerate My Business

Upskilling platform launched in February 2022 by The Asia Foundation in collaboration with Visa and AT&T to support women-led MSMEs

KUALA LUMPUR, 30th September 2022 – Over 6,000 women across Malaysia and Indonesia have completed the upskilling training program, Accelerate My Business, gaining access to vital digital skills to grow their small businesses. Designed to address the challenges women entrepreneurs today face, the ongoing curriculum includes live, instructor-led virtual training sessions, self-paced learning, engaging speaker series by industry leaders, and an open hour session for additional support and networking.

Women entrepreneurs benefited from a range of topics offered by the program such as digital marketing, financial management, cyber security, customer experience, logistics, and more. “When I inherited my father’s electrical appliance business amidst the pandemic, the store had no online presence. I needed to act fast and found the Accelerate My Business program - which taught me how to market my business online as well as manage my business transactions with useful digital tools.” said entrepreneur Bong Song Ying who is based in Batu Niah, Sarawak.

Aside from digital skills, the women entrepreneurs also gained practical financial skills to better manage their businesses. "I gained a lot of knowledge from Accelerate My Business including learning how to improve the attractiveness of my packaging and becoming more efficient with my cost of production. The experience gave me the confidence and drive to be creative in my business which has now improved my sales significantly,” said Asminiwati, a small business owner selling local snacks in Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia.

“Thanks to our strategic partnerships with Visa and AT&T, the modules and mentorship provided have supported the women entrepreneurs to upskill and remain competitive in the digital economy. We’re also grateful to see the enthusiasm from our implementing partners StartupMalaysia in Malaysia and The Center for Women’s Resource Development (PPSW) in Indonesia who have put immense effort into mobilizing the training across the country as well as the full endorsement and support of the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development,” said Dr. Robin Bush, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation.

Since its inception, the initiative has provided more women-led MSMEs with the business acumen to tackle challenges, access vital skills and tools in order to reach new and existing customers, as well as to grow their small businesses. Working with local community partners such as the Sarawak Multimedia Authority and Yayasan Johor Corp to name a few, are integral to ensure success in narrowing the digital skills gap between urban and rural areas.

“Visa believes that everyone, everywhere, should have equal access and the skills and knowledge to participate meaningfully in the digital economy. We are proud to have been a partner in this initiative, providing support and education content from our Practical Business Skills platform to help women entrepreneurs in Malaysia and Indonesia gain the skills and knowledge they need to grow and thrive,” said Patsian Low, VP, Inclusive Impact & Sustainability, Visa Asia Pacific.

“AT&T’s mission is not only to create and deliver the best connectivity experience to our customers but also to empower everyone with the digital skills needed to succeed. We are thrilled to see so many women empowered by the digital and financial literacy skills acquired through the program. We cannot be more proud to be part of such a great initiative. Thank you for all you have done,” said Claudia Selli, Vice President European Union Government Affairs, AT&T.

Currently, the program is recruiting an additional 500 women entrepreneurs to participate in DHL’s ‘Go Global with DHL’ program, which is conducted by the company’s network of logistics specialists. Women entrepreneurs interested in joining the Accelerate My Business program may visit https://accelerate-msme.com/

Women entrepreneurs interested in joining the Accelerate My Business program may visit http://accelerate-msme.com/

For media inquiries, please contact:

Qistina Kamarudin
The Asia Foundation
[email protected]

Nadzirah Hashim
[email protected]

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