If you’re an SME who has been in business for over 10 years now, you’re one of many who fear the now oft heard term ASEAN integration. For many fearful entrepreneurs this means the entry of ASEAN products in direct competition with what we have been selling or services we have been offering.

But fear not. If you are small and do not have an R&D department your innovation idea may just come from overseas. Today, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center or MaGIC has teamed up with the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network or AWEN to find you a match—the right innovation for your fearful enterprise.

The other side of innovation
“The start up community , on the other hand, keeps coming up with new ideas, new pitches of the same flavor because they lack the exposure to business people,” says MaGIC CEO. “When Nadira Yusoff let me meet the women leaders of AWEN, I knew we had to collaborate,” he continues.

Ashran Ghazi

Bringing the start ups to pitch their innovations to a target SME may be the start of business solutions that seemed impossible at first. “I think our SMEs fear change but know that they need to move if they want to survive,” says Nadira Yusoff, head of AWEN Malaysia.

Nadira Yusoff

The perfect match, now called ASEAN 10×10, was thought out by AWEN’s Co-chair Boots Garcia during the STEAM Ahead conference in Manila last March 2017.  A few weeks after, Nadira Yusoff, and Ghazi pitched the idea to MaGIC.

Last November 29 a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by both organizations at the MaGIC headquarters in Cyberjaya, Malaysia and a match was born.

AWEN secretariat will gather entries or nominations by SMEs of the Ten Asean member states through the AWEN focal points or the women business organizations who will source target SMEs from among their membership.

Who knows? Maybe an SME from Myanmar will be helped by an innovator start up from the Philippines while an SME from the Philippines may get assistance from an innovator from Malaysia. Or, it can be any combination and permutation of innovators and SME origins.

Get in touch with AWEN or through Facebook: AWEN and Twitter. Or ,send an email to Tell your story and how you would like to use innovation to address a business challenge.


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