22 ~ 24 June 2022 HybridWorkshop
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(SME) and Startups have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, disproportionately affecting firms, in turn, people and places. The restrictions to mobility, trade and business activities to contain the virus have forced some of SMEs and Startups to suffer revenue losses and even others to close operations. However, the crisis also raised a new opportunity, heightening the importance of digitalization and accelerating SME and Startup digital transformation. During the crisis, digital technologies have been essential for many SMEs and Startups to sustain economic activities and provide necessary services. Moreover, highlighting that SMEs account for two-thirds of employment globally and between 80% and 90% of employment in low-income countries, the digitalization of SMEs is integral to building an inclusive and resilient economy and societies.
In reality, SMEs and Startups have been adopting their business models through the uptake of digital tools during the pandemic. For example, SMEs’ online sales did considerably better than that of their offline counterparts, with 50% of SMEs rising digital uptake, according to OECD report. Especially, in Asia and the Pacific region where the use of digital platforms was fastest-growing in the pre-pandemic days, the demand for digital technology-based products has surged in 2020 despite the overall economic downturn. Asian Development Bank(ADB) also reported a few notable cases of Malaysia and China. Even with Malaysia’s GDP declining by 5.6%, the rising production of digital hardware gave a boost to its digital economy by 3%. China’s digital economy grow even faster to 8% in comparison to its overall economy to 2.3% through digitally oriented capital investments. Thus, timely interventions to accelerate SMEs and Startups’ digital transformation is critical in taking this momentum for sustainable productivity growth and speed the recovery across the region.
However, SMEs and Startups are facing several barriers in shifting to digitalization globally. The digitization of South-East Asia’s economy is being experienced unevenly, and the gaps with large companies remain huge, widening inequalities. Digital divides are associated with gaps in productivity, scaling up, innovation and growth. Smaller firms face heightened difficulties such as lack of information, digital skills gaps, insufficient capital to finance, volatile regulatory environment, and accessing affordable digital infrastructure. To address these challenges, it is essential to create right framework conditions for the digital transformation of SMEs and Startups with more innovative public-private support.
The private and public sectors must work together to tackle the barriers and speed up the pandemic recovery of SMEs and Startups. Governments are requested to place a priority on strengthening SMEs and Startups resilience, proactively supporting e-commerce and e-government services, and connecting SMEs and Startups with innovation and digital solutions providers. Private sectors are also playing an important role by promoting digitalization among their networks, and specialized start-ups support other SMEs to implement digital strategies through tailored services and products. They should have a collective mind to address structural barriers such as skills gaps and lack of digital infrastructure and facilitate fintech innovation. Ultimately, cooperation among public and private sectors is key in enabling the digital shift of SMEs and Startups to overcome the challenges and seize the benefits of digitalization.
In this regard, UNITAR CIFAL Jeju and UNIDO ITPO Korea hold the meaningful workshop for diplomatic corps, policymakers and representatives of private-sector who are leading the change. The workshop identifies barriers as well as opportunities in the digitalization of SMEs and Startups with a special focus on Public-Private Partnership. It highlights how the cross-sectoral cooperation could be leveraged for COVID-19 recovery through digital technology in Asia and the Pacific. The workshop will also provide a broad range of policy areas and digital strategies including SME financing, innovation, productivity, skills, and others. It eventually helps key actors at national and local levels localize new innovation in their countries, further, to achieve broader inclusive growth and economic development in the region.
*The above program is subject to change.
For the capacity building, this event will:
· Offer a venue for knowledge sharing and to discuss regional status and issues of supporting the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Startups.
· Provide an opportunity for diplomatic corps, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and experts to share and exchange their good practices.
After this event, participants will be able to:
· Raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for the inclusive and sustainable recovery of SME
· have the understanding of business models to enhance digital innovation, and skills’ capacity development, and furthermore policies and business strategies to support access to finance, market and human capital.
Contents and Structure
The training will be composed of the following sessions:
[Session 1] SMEsandStart-ups’ Digitalization in the context of COVID-19
[Session 2] Integrated Policy Approach to SMEsandStart-ups Digital Transformation
[Session 3] Public-Private Partnership: Government Initiatives and Incentives to all interested SMEsandStart-ups
[Session 4] Cooperation between Korean and Asian countries’ SMEs and Startups with a focus on digitalization and innovation
[Session 5] Success stories and outlook of the overseas business of SMEs and Startups through global PPP
[Session 6] Preparing for implementation/adoption of digital transformation and 4IR
**The sessions are subject to change **
The training will be comprised of:
· Lectures and presentations by experts
· Self-assessment exercise
· Group work and discussion
· Field visit *for offline participants
The offline event is open to:
· Diplomatic Corps of Asian countries residing in Korea
· Representative of SMEs and Startups
In addition, the following personnel can participate online:
· Government officials, policymakers whose works are related to Digitalization, Digital, Technology, Skills, SMEs, Entrepreneurship, Policy, Public-Private Partnership (PPP), fintech and employment
· Personnel from SMEs and Startups
Application and Deadline
*Applicants who want to attend the session offline and field trip, submit the application form by 31 May 2022. They need to meet the requirements below.
Currently stay in South Korea
Submit (1)a vaccination certificate to show that 14 days are passed after you have the second dose of vaccination, and (2) a Self-testing result 48 hours before your departure.
After the event, submit the Feedback form and share your workshop experience preferably on SNS
Submit the application form at Google Link by 12 June 2022.
*Kindly note that only selected applicants will be notified individually.
Selected participants are required to:
· actively engage in the training program
· be fluent in written and spoken English
· Keep cameras on during the workshop sessions
A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who have completed one online session at least and fulfilled a required task for the program
The participants will be awarded a certificate jointly issued by UNITAR, UNITAR CIFAL Jeju,andUNIDO ITPO KOREA
Assistance with Travel expense
· UNITAR CIFAL Jeju/JITC provides financial assistance with the airfare for domestic travel to Jeju-do, Republic of Korea up to 200,000 won
· Local expenses (transportation, accommodation, and meals) during the workshop will be covered by UNITAR CIFAL Jeju/JITC.
Co-Host and Organizer
UNITAR CIFAL Jeju / Jeju International Training Center http://cifaljeju.org/
UNIDO ITPO KOREA http://www.unido-itpo.kr