The ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) and Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has launched ASEAN 10x10 program. The event also witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark the partnership between both parties. This concerted effort was strategically curated to create exponential businesses through open innovation between SMEs and startup companies at the ASEAN level.
ASEAN 10x10 program will be the official inauguration of the SMEs and startups network. This collaborative effort will be led by AWEN Malaysia. The launch was witnessed by CEO of MaGIC; Ashran Dato’ Ghazi, Executive Director of Finance MaGIC; Amiruddin Abdul Shukor, Chairperson of AWEN ASEAN; Pacita Juan, Co-Chair of AWEN ASEAN; Maria Aurora Geotina Garcia, and Head of AWEN Malaysia; Nadira Mohd Yusoff.
The implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 opened up SMEs to a larger potential consumer base. As ASEAN member states integrate into a single market and production base, businesses can access much larger markets than before, rather than being limited to a single market within the country.
AWEN and MaGIC will implement together a comprehensive program that will help businesses achieve their innovation goals by having well-defined objectives, a carefully-designed business case, suitable organizational processes, options of collaboration models and matched with the best solutions.
ASEAN 10x10 aims to bridge the new relationships between SME & start-ups across ASEAN countries in solving SMEs challenges through open innovation at ASEAN level. 10x10 program focuses on 10 ASEAN countries, in which 10 SMEs will be selected from each country to derive 100 challenges while leveraging on 1 ASEAN startup community for multiple strategic solution matching.
This promising innovation approach is hoped to make ASEAN 10x10 the driving engine towards business and regional economic growth. Successively, aspire to be a platform for startups community that has the goal to grow businesses, transform sectors and industries, and accelerate regional economic growth and integration.
“I would highly encourage SMEs and startups to take advantage of this opportunity provided by AWEN and MaGIC to learn from each other as this ASEAN 10x10 is meant to provide a venue to share input and expand businesses to develop a better solution. SMEs can now look into new areas of innovations partnership with startups and build instructive solutions and impact with regional integration. The aim of 10x10 program is getting SMEs in 10 countries across the region, to find solutions from the best of ASEAN” said Head of AWEN Malaysia, Nadira Mohd Yusoff during her opening remarks.
“MaGIC is excited to work hand-in-hand with AWEN to drive innovation. We hope ASEAN 10x10 will encourage greater collaboration between SMEs and startups, ultimately leading to a more sustainable, vibrant entrepreneurship and business ecosystem. Through our MaGIC Activate platform, our core focus will be to host challenges, provide a robust framework, exciting training materials, as well as consultation. SMEs will have the ability to react quickly to changes in the marketplace and become actively involved in the community. And as for startups, ASEAN 10x10 will train them to be more agile and up to speed on running a business,” said CEO of MaGIC Ashran Dato’ Ghazi.
“As ASEAN celebrates its 50th birthday this year, we need to plan what the region can do to stay relevant, influential, and competitive for the next 50 years. It is important to foster the culture of innovation early as we prepare for the future economy. This is why we are excited to take the lead in uniting Southeast Asia’s business community with the thriving entrepreneurship scene, helping the region realize its true innovation potential,” added Pacita Juan, Chairperson of AWEN ASEAN.
AWEN and MaGIC believe that the external parties can help SMEs and startups align their objectives and solve real problems, challenges and disruptions via this program which will benefit them in various ways.
10x10 initiatives bring multiple mutual benefits towards startups and SMEs by bringing two distinct and equally integral skills to the table. SMEs can assist and gain access to startups’ prowess at creating proof of concepts via early-stage funding. Through this program also it will encourage mission-oriented collaboration which is, focusing on something larger than financial success.
AWEN and MaGIC have laid out certain criteria to qualify SMEs according to these: SMEs that have the goals to innovate and transform existing business or venture into a new area of business (with potential value creation of USD 1M within the next 2 years) and committed to collaborate with startups to develop the solution or product.