unctad.org | 48 Asian entrepreneurs trained to harness the digital economy's potential
48 Asian entrepreneurs trained to harness the digital economy's potential
13 June 2019
eFounders
The sixth class of 'netpreneurs' from ground-breaking UNCTAD-Alibaba Business School eFounders fellowship programme graduates, bringing total to 212.


Another milestone was achieved with the graduation of the sixth class of the eFounders Fellowship, a joint initiative by UNCTAD and Alibaba Business School.

The aim of the Fellowship is to empower ecosystem building entrepreneurs from developing countries to create inclusive and sustainable digital economic development in their respective markets.

Jack Ma, founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, in his capacity as the UNCTAD Special Adviser for Young Entrepreneurs and Small Business made a commitment over five years to empower 1000 entrepreneurs from emerging markets to leverage the power of digital economy to create economic development.

The graduation of this class is a key development towards this commitment. Together, Alibaba Business School and UNCTAD have already trained 212 entrepreneurs from across Asia and Africa in the past two years.

This class saw participation from 48 entrepreneurs from six Southeast Asian countries covering five different industries namely ecommerce, fintech/payments, tourism, logistics, and big data.

Collectively, these entrepreneurs are creating over 2700 jobs directly, generating close to USD 400 million revenue last year, and serving over seven million businesses and consumers.

“This programme is part of a set of activities we carry out in our efforts to make digitalization work for development,” said Arlette Verploegh, Coordinator of the eFounders Fellowship Programme at UNCTAD.

“Following the completion of the study tour, the participating digital entrepreneurs help building an inclusive e-commerce environment.

“At national level, they act as game changers by incorporating the SDGs in their business plans and raising awareness about their learnings as eFounders Fellows.

“They also contribute to our research work on the digital agenda and participate in international events where they exchange views with governments, private sector and other stakeholders.”

Game Changers for the New Digital Economy

In the 12-day programme, using Alibaba as a study model, the Asian entrepreneurs gained first-hand insights into the core success factors and key challenges of the Alibaba Group growth story.

Through lectures and field visits, the entrepreneurs gained a deeper understanding of the digital economy ecosystem in China and how they could apply ideas from this into their own venture thereby enabling a larger impact in their home countries. By reviewing their business plans against the Sustainable Development Goals, the entrepreneurs also develop a sense of global and social responsibility.

“With the Fellowship, our aim is to inspire young entrepreneurs from across regions to create inclusive and sustainable digital ecosystems in their home countries while propagating the ecosystem’s benefits of bringing small businesses, entrepreneurs and other previously marginalized groups into the mainstream economy,” said Brian Wong, Vice President of Alibaba Group, who heads Alibaba’s Global Initiatives program.  

“The program is designed to provide them exposure to the Alibaba ecosystem and its role in developing the Chinese digital economy so they have a reference point for their own development as leaders and for their companies,” he added.

A truly global Fellowship

Besides getting insights into the digital transformation in China and best practices from the Alibaba Group ecosystem, the Fellowship network aims to foster more regional partnerships for which the class engaged in interactive sessions with co-Fellows, lecturers and advisors.

During their trip to Bainiu Village, a role model Taobao village that has adopted ecommerce as a source for economic development located in East China's Zhejiang province, participants also celebrated the dragon boat festival with the residents, where they learned to make zongzi (a traditional rice dumpling in China to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival) gaining a first-hand exposure to the culture.

UNCTAD and Alibaba are committed to ensuring that the Fellows leverage their learnings from the program and apply the same within their communities, with regular engagement and monitoring every three months to  support the progress of the Fellows.

“Upon graduation the entrepreneurs make a two year commitment to apply these learning in impactful ways to their communities and at the same time become part of a global fellowship that provides support, encouragement and partnership for regional and global collaboration,” said Wong.

With the aim of creating a truly global community, the Fellowship begins with a study tour of Alibaba’s headquarters in China and is followed by a two-year engagement.

During this time, the Fellows interact through collaboration, follow-ups of the work they have done in their home countries and reunions. On 19 June, the Asian Fellows will have a reunion in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia to connect with each other and celebrate the progress they have made following the training program.

“It has been such an honor to join the eFounders Fellowship. On behalf of the eFounders, my deepest thanks (….) for the incredible moments for us to learn, share & dream. E-commerce is going to play a big role in Southeast Asia’s economy.

“The world’s growth is driven by entrepreneurs, but we all need to have support from the governments. I think entrepreneurship should stand strong with UN Goals to solve the world’s problems for a sustainable society.

“Our world was created for humans to live so it’s our responsibility to solve the world’s problems through entrepreneurship. On behalf of I Love Asia Tour, I will keep moving forward to build a big impact for the sustainable tourism developments,” founder of I Love Asia Tour, in Vietnam Nguyen Thi Huong, said.

"To see and learn about Alibaba's ecosystem and culture during the program is truly an eye-opener experience to me. It was encouraging and inspiring to witness the result of digitalization in a scale that can change life of millions.

“Alibaba, and its ecosystem, is a proven concept that digital technology can and should promote inclusivity. 

“As an entrepreneur we have the social responsibility to help develop and grow our community. This can be done by creating the ecosystem that is sustainable for the whole chain and stakeholders, not only our business,” said Chrisanti Indiana, founder of Sociolla, Indonesia.

About UNCTAD

The eFounders Fellowship is part of a set of smart partnerships UNCTAD is creating to help countries reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere and the company aims to achieve sustainable growth for 102 years.

eFounders Fellowship Programme

Participant Details:

 

Participant Name

Venture Name

Country

Industry

1

Aditya Minarto

PT Raksasa Laju Lintang

Indonesia

eCommerce

2

Archie Carlson

Stickearn

Indonesia

Big Data

3

Ali Sadikin

Marlin Booking

Indonesia

Tourism

4

Casper Sermsuksan

Kulina / Edaf

Indonesia

eCommerce

5

Johannes Ardiant

Lemonilo

Indonesia

eCommerce

6

Ananto Wibisono

Alterra

Indonesia

Fintech / Payment

7

Irzan Raditya

Kata

Indonesia

Big Data

8

Chrisanti Indiana

Sociolla

Indonesia

eCommerce

9

Frans Yuwono

Asia Commerce

Indonesia

eCommerce

10

Suwandi Soh

Mekari

Indonesia

Fintech / Payment

11

Benz Budiman

Pomana

Indonesia

Big Data

12

Rico Satria Chandra

PlazaKamera.com

Indonesia

eCommerce

13

Vikra Ijas

Kitabisa

Indonesia

Fintech / Payment

14

Jeff Budiman

The FIT Company

Indonesia

eCommerce

15

Andree Susanto

WareSix

Indonesia

Logistics

16

Winzendy Tedja

Yuna & Co

Indonesia

Big Data

17

Giden Lim

BloomThis

Malaysia

eCommerce

18

Erik Cheong

Park n Parcel

Malaysia

Logistics

19

Isaac Leong

Kumoten

Malaysia

eCommerce

20

Yuh Wen Foong

SushiVid

Malaysia

eCommerce

21

Nadhra Fauzi

TresGo

Malaysia

Logistics

22

Jee Shen Lee

Softinn

Malaysia

Tourism

23

Arif Tukiman

Run Cloud

Malaysia

Big Data

24

Kar Yik Puah

Wonderfly

Malaysia

Tourism

25

Karl Loo

ServisHero

Malaysia

eCommerce

26

Chee Kin Leong

Wobbjobs

Malaysia

eCommerce

27

Heinrich Wendel

iPrice

Malaysia

Big Data

28

Rungsun Promprasith

QueQ

Thailand

Fintech / Payment

29

Samir Cherro

GoWabi

Thailand

eCommerce

30

Teerachart Kortrakul

StockRadars

Thailand

Fintech / Payment

31

Nuttaporn Voonklinhom

Joyfulness

Thailand

eCommerce

32

Wootinun Sungong

CloudCommerce

Thailand

eCommerce

33

Supasinan Pusanuwongrak

Backyard

Thailand

Big Data

34

Nopphorn Danchainam

Digio

Thailand

Fintech / Payment

35

Camille Sarte

PetWareHouse

Philippines

eCommerce

36

Steve Sy

Great Deals Corp

Philippines

eCommerce

37

Mylene Magleo

Paynamics

Philippines

Fintech / Payment

38

Joshua Rueben Aragon

Pushkart

Philippines

Logistics

39

John Christian Bisnar

Investagrams

Philippines

Fintech / Payment

40

Ho Huynh Lam

Haravan

Vietnam

eCommerce

41

Phuong Ha Thi Tu

Metub

Vietnam

eCommerce

42

Nam Lee

Logivan

Vietnam

Logistics

43

Viet Dung Nguyen

Caudatfarm

Vietnam

eCommerce

44

Le Hong Thao Quyen

ViralWorks

Vietnam

eCommerce

45

Julie Huynh

Rita Phil

Vietnam

eCommerce

46

Lien Nguyen

I Love Asia Tour

Vietnam

Tourism

47

Buntha Ly

Morakot Technology

Cambodia

Fintech / Payment

48

Tharo Sen

MSA Digital

Cambodia

Big Data

 


Media Contacts

UNCTAD

+41 22 917 5828 / +41 79 502 43 11

unctadpress@unctad.org

Alibaba Group

Rico Ngai

+852 9725 9600

rico.ngai@alibaba-inc.com


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