Last June 23, the DLSU Center for Business Research and Development conducted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Academic Partnerships for Small Business and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Knowledge Transfer at the 20th floor multipurpose hall of the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall together with practitioners and academicians from DLSU, Mahidol University, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Victoria University, and Australia-ASEAN Council.
During the opening remarks, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely stated, “I’d like to congratulate the organizing team for putting together this event today and promoting the concept of academic partnerships for ICT knowledge transfer. Through initiatives like these, we will be able to improve the efficiency of business and knowledge transfer in the ASEAN region. This will also help improve small businesses and economic development in the region.”
The event highlighted several research papers about the ASEAN small and medium enterprise (SME) sector and sought to establish potential collaborative research projects among the practitioners and academicians present in the event. Among some of these researches include the challenges and opportunities of SMEs and ICT, and the SME Development Plan. Undergraduate students also presented their papers on Facebook content creation and user engagement of social enterprises, and online crowdfunding as a source of startup capital.
Fifty years since the establishment of the ASEAN, member nations are now moving towards sustainable development and inclusive growth following the significant improvement of the standards of living in ASEAN countries. As the central theme of the research workshop, the ASEAN countries are called to “strive to sustain scientific, socio-cultural, technological, economic, and political growth driven by innovation, efficiency, peace, security, stability, prosperity, and social progress.” One important aspect of this growth is the SME sector.
According to 2015 data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are over 900, 914 establishments in the country, 99.5 percent of which are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) and the remaining 0.5 percent of which are large enterprises. Moreover, of this number, 896, 839 MSMEs are in wholesale and retail trade.