Project Title

APEC Women-Led Start-Up Accelerator Initiative 

Project Year

2019   

Project Number

SME 13 2019A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

SME 13 2019A 

Project Title

APEC Women-Led Start-Up Accelerator Initiative 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Women and the Economy 

Project Year

2019 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

139,565 

Co-funding Amount

249,355 

Total Project Value

388,920 

Sponsoring Forum

Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) 

Topics

Small and Medium Enterprises 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Chinese Taipei 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Malaysia; Philippines; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/01/2020 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2020 

Project Proponent Name 1

Chang Shu-Ju 

Job Title 1

Section Chief, Business Startup and Incubation Division 

Organization 1

Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(886-2) 23662261 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

srchang@moea.gov.tw 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Chang Shu-Ju 

Project Summary

Echoing the APEC 2019 Priority, “Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth”, and APEC’s key pillars of women’s economic empowerment, this project addresses the obstacles to women throughout the entrepreneurial phases – lack of capital and lack of market. This project aims to increase women’s access to capital and market, which will lead to advanced female entrepreneurial participation and greater competitiveness of women-led startups. Further, it seeks to encourage APEC economies to exchange information on entrepreneurial resources of entrepreneurship or pre-acceleration programs for women. Key project outputs include: three (3) Workshops for female entrepreneurs (April/Sept/Nov 2020 in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Chinese Taipei), and one (1) Forum for stakeholders to discuss how female entrepreneurs and respective APEC economies’ women entrepreneurship or pre-acceleration programs can interact and collaborate in accelerating female entrepreneurship (Nov 2020, Chinese Taipei). Through these events, we wish to advance women’s economic participation and create a more enabling environment toward inclusive growth.

Relevance

Relevance –Region: Around 38% of the SMEs in the APEC region are owned by women.[1] Women entrepreneurship is on the rise worldwide; still, women are less likely to be entrepreneurs and face more obstacles in starting and expanding their businesses – in 40% of economies, female early-stage entrepreneurial activity is half or even less than half of that of their male counterparts.[2]  Moreover, female-owned enterprises tend to have less growth potential (e.g. number of employees, export value) than male-owned enterprises, even though women-led startups and men-led startups have similar survival rates in many economies.[3]  Also, according to the APEC Secretariat Gender Focal Point Report, “Access to Capital” and “Access to Markets” are two PPWE’s priority pillars which APEC projects address the least – with respectively only 15% and 29% of the total projects. Built on past experience in implementing “APEC Startup Accelerator Initiative” (SME 10 2013) and “APEC Gendered Innovative for Technology and Science (GIFTS): Promoting Women in STEM for Sustainable Growth” (PPWE 04 2017S), the project seeks to improve access to finance and market opportunities for women entrepreneurs via encouraging interaction and collaboration among women-led startups pre-acceleration programs.

Relevance – Eligibility and Fund Priorities: Taking multi-stakeholder approach, the project greatly satisfies the eligibility criteria of APEC Women and the Economy Sub-Fund. In accordance with the PPWE’s pillars impacting women’s economic participation, the project specifically aims to improve the enabling environment for economic participation for women and further advance their access to capital and access to markets. Besides, the project builds capacity of women-led startups as well as encourages cross-fora collaboration and integration of gender issues across APEC.

Relevance – Capacity Building: This project strengthens APEC member economies’ capacity to empower women to start and expand their own businesses, which helps to realize the APEC’s goals for capacity building –-- to attain sustainable growth and equitable development in the Asia-Pacific region and to deepen the spirit of community in the Asia Pacific.

The project will benefit, first and foremost, early-stage female entrepreneurs in the region and developing economies undertaking the women entrepreneurship and/or pre-acceleration programs, as the project especially echoes the following operational principles for capacity building:

a.   Needs/opportunities driven:  This project targets at the needs to eliminate the barriers for women to access to capital and to expand into global market.

b.   Internal/regional replicability:  The beneficiaries of this project will be able to spread the knowledge and skills they learn from the Workshops and Forum; moreover, stakeholders of this project are capable of replicating the Workshops by referencing Training Manual.

c.   Inclusiveness:  With chiefly focusing on women-led startups, the direct beneficiaries will be female entrepreneurs; however, it will benefit all those who want to start their own businesses.

d.   Enabling:  The project outputs, Workshops and Forum, aim to build up the knowledge and skills of participating women entrepreneurs, which will enable them to enter and compete in the global market.

e.   Continuity and sustainability:  By creating training modules for early-stage female entrepreneurs at Workshops and establishing networking platform at Forum for stakeholders, the project will serve as a catalyst to facilitate each member’s efforts in promoting women entrepreneurship.

f.    Aligned:  This project is in line with the key Leader’s declarations, Fora Strategic and Working Plans, and the Host Economy’s Priorities. (Refer to Section A - Question 3, for more details).



[1] Zhu, H. & Kuriyama, C. (2016). Gender-related constraints faced by women-owned SMEs (APEC Policy Support Unit-Policy Brief No.15). Retrieved from https://www.apec.org/Publications/2016/06/Gender-related-Constraints-Faced-by-Women-owned-SMEs

[2] Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. (2017). GEM 2016/2017 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report. Retrieved from https://www.gemconsortium.org/report/gem-20162017-womens-entrepreneurship-report

[3] OECD. (2016). Policy Brief on Women’s Entrepreneurship. doi:10.2767/50209

Objectives

Our project aims at enlarging female entrepreneurial participation and strengthening business competitiveness of women-led startups by providing female entrepreneurs with trainings and mentorship that help increase access to finance and market opportunities. Further, this project also encourages interaction and collaboration of female-focused programs among APEC by acting as a platform of information exchange and networking opportunities for pre-acceleration female entrepreneurship programs. Through the events and publications, we wish to increase female entrepreneurial participation, to generate women’s contribution to the economy, and most importantly, to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and inclusive growth.


Alignment

Alignment - APEC: As the full potential of women’s economic contribution to the Asia-Pacific region remains untapped, APEC has put women’s economic empowerment and the greater inclusion of women within the region high on its agenda. By focusing on accelerating women-led startups, the project will mainly contribute to two of the priorities for APEC Chile 2019, “Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth” and “Digital Society”, as well as two PPWE key pillars of women’s economic empowerment – “Access to Capital” and “Access to Markets”. It also recalls APEC’s inclusive growth strategy to ensure quality growth and to increase the women’s economic participation (“APEC Regional Trends Analysis”, May 2019, pp.22-23). In addition to stressing on women and the inclusiveness, our project also reiterates the importance of SMEs/startups development and acceleration in the region  acknowledged by APEC leaders and ministers in past declaration and statements. In particular, “the Chair’s Era Kone Statement” from 2018 AELM (paras. 20 & 21) and the 2018 APEC Ministerial Chair’s Statement (paras. 51, 52 & 61) address on (a) improving women-led MSMEs access to finance, technology and capacity-building, (b) tackling discriminatory barriers that impede women from pursuing opportunities for entrepreneurship, training, innovation, access to markets, and financial services, and (c) promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and internationalization amongst MSMEs.

Alignment – Forum: With the focus on facilitating access to capital and markets for women-led startups, the project firmly aligns with the below priority areas and objectives respectively stated in SMEWG’s Strategic Plan 2017-2020 and PPWE’s Strategic Plan 2019-2021. First, the project echoes all four SMEWG’s priority areas:

a.  Entrepreneurship, innovation, and the internet and digital economy:  By helping women-led startups to build capabilities to compete for effectively in the digital economy, the project hopes to foster innovative entrepreneurial for female.

b.   Financing for business expansion and capability development: The project aims to improve women-led startups’ access to financing and funding support for business growth.

c.   Inclusive business ecosystems that support SME growth:  We aim to advance public-private sector collaboration to support female entrepreneurship to further work towards a friendly environment with equal opportunities for female enterprises.

d.   Market access for SMEs:  The project also intends to strengthen women-led startups’ abilities to expand into global market, and further reduce the market access gap for female entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, the project coheres with the PPWE’s objective 1 & 2 – “Create and promote new gender focused policies and programs, and strengthen their integration across APEC fora” and “Advance women’s economic participation through five priority pillars”. This project, proposed in SMEWG fora and seeking APEC Women and the Economy Sub-Fund, will promote cross-fora partnerships. Meanwhile, by conducting multiple consultations with experts and practitioners across member economies, this project increases women’s engagement and advancement in APEC.  The project also contributes to four of the five priority pillars, with great emphasis on the first two pillars of “Access to Capital” and “Access to Markets”:

a. Access to Capital: Trainings, mentorship, and networking opportunities of this project will increase female entrepreneurs’ access to capital.

b. Access to Markets: Trainings, mentorship, and networking opportunities of this project will help female entrepreneurs expand their businesses into global market.

c.  Skills and Capacity Building: Through serial events and publications, women entrepreneurs’ skills and capacity will be reinforced to prepare them for greater access to capital and market.

d.  Technology and Innovation: Training sessions at Workshops will provide women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to improve their access to capital and access to market through leveraging the technology.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:

1) Preliminary Research:

a.   Purpose: The Preliminary Research will be conducted to understand APEC economies’ baseline situation on female entrepreneurship and startup acceleration.  It aims to provide an overview on the regional circumstance, to develop a better plan on designing events.

b.  Work plan: The Preliminary Research is scheduled to be undertaken in December of 2019.

c. Reference: At the stage of conducting the Preliminary Research,investigation on the “female entrepreneurship programs” and the featuring measures implemented by APEC members will be made. The “female entrepreneurship programs” refers to the economies’ governmental policies or supportive measures to support female entrepreneurship; for example, Chile’s “Mujer Emprende” (for helping women to start a business) and Malaysia’s I-KeuNita Entrepreneurship Incubator.

d.  Finding: The results would be presented as descriptive, issue-based summaries in the Final Report which is to be completed in December of 2020.

2)  Training Manual for Workshops

a.   Purpose: The Training Manual will be distributed to participants of the Workshops, in order to assist participating female entrepreneurs and experts in facilitating the “flow of Workshops”. The Training Manual will facilitate the Workshop’s flow and help the event to run more smoothly in several ways: First, participants are more likely to catch up on the key points of the presentation, and have better learning effects with a material for preview and review; Secondly, participants would be less likely to be distracted from the need to take note or photos of slides.

b.   Work plan: The working period for Training Manual lasts three months (January - March 2020) before the first Workshop takes place in April 2020.

c.   Reference: As we conduct the Preliminary Research and investigate on the  “female entrepreneurship programs” (as mentioned above), we will contact the focal points and program executives of these programs for further cooperation. By consulting these executives of female entrepreneurship programs, discussing and comparing the current training provided in different economies, we  can gain a better understanding on what courses/trainings/skills women entrepreneurs need the most, and arrange the proper material.

d.   Content: The 20-page Training Manual will focus on information regarding female entrepreneurs’ access to capital and access to markets, for examples, strategies and know-hows to get access to capital and markets, or checklists of requirements for women-led startups to expand and grow.

3)  Three (3) two-day Workshops held in three (3) economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei)

a.   Purpose: The interactive Workshop is designed to facilitate the views exchange and collaborative problem-solving between various stakeholders.

b.   Work plan: Three two-day Workshops are tentatively scheduled to be held in three (3) cities: Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei, respectively in April, September and November. The Workshops will be held in partnership with PPWE members and focal points. Specifically, the Workshop held in Malaysia in September is planned to be held on the margins of 2020 APEC Women and the Economy Forum.

c.   Target participants: It is planned to host 30 participants including early-stage female entrepreneurs, experts, and other stakeholders such as investors, experienced entrepreneurs, and executives in charge of female entrepreneurship programs. Experts serving as speakers and mentors will mainly professionals from incubators and accelerators.

d.   Funding arrangement: Three Workshops held in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei will be funded by APEC. APEC-funded travelers: In total, 18 experts/speakers and 22 participants will be funded by APEC for Workshops in three economies, with 6 experts and 7 or 8 participants for each Workshop. Each APEC-funded traveler (either speaker or participant) will only be funded once to a Workshop. For more detailed funding arrangement, kindly refer to the budget table in Section E.

e.   Agenda: The tentative sessions of the Workshop are as follows (please note that the arrangement of sessions will be subject to changes after discussions with the confirmed speakers and mentors):

(a)   Working Session: The session will be conducted through interactive group discussion between mentors/experts and participating female entrepreneurs. Based on the instruction and guidance provided by the mentors, the mentees will be required to reflect their own situation and thoughts, so that the mentors/experts could help provide suggestions to the problems that the participants are encountering.

(b)   Simulation Meeting: The objective of this session is to let the female entrepreneurs share their experience and provide business guidance to one another. Each presenting female entrepreneurs will first make a presentation at the Simulation Meeting to present their business concepts/products/services as well as their prioritized need and challenges they face in their business to the experts from the accelerators and incubators. The prioritized need of each women-led startup could be different – some might seek for funding from investors, and others might be search for potential markets and customers. Thus, the simulation meeting is not identical to the pitch competition, as each participant has different goals. After each presentation all mentors, experts, and other participants can provide feedbacks, suggestions and guidance to the presenter,  to help sort out what the presenting female entrepreneurs could improve from their presentation and proposal.

Workshop

Day 1

Day 2

Morning Session

Opening remarks

Experience-sharing (by participating female entrepreneurs) on what obstacles they faced and how they overcame them.

Working session (3): Access to Market

Working session (4): Innovation

*It is expected that the trainer/speaker will talk about how innovative business models could lead to great market opportunities.

Afternoon Session

Working session (1): Access to Capital

Working session (2): Technology

*It is expected that the trainer/speaker will talk about how applying technology can help seek more funding.

Simulation meeting: demonstrating to potential investors/customers (commented by speakers)

Evening

Session

Exercise: preparing for simulation meeting

*parallel session: one-on-one mentoring or group mentoring

Networking Dinner

4) One (1) one-day Forum as a concluding event (Chinese Taipei)

a.   Purpose: The concluding Forum  aims to bring together several experts and participants from previous Workshops, particular two Workshops held in Indonesia and Malaysia, to show how capacity-building is vital to accelerating growth of the women-led startup. Also, the Forum will involve all stakeholders, particularly policymakers and accelerators, to join further discussion of how all economies could work together in advance women’s entrepreneurial participation by launching women-focused accelerators in each economy in the future.

b.  Work plan: The Forum will be held back to back with the third Workshop in November 2020 in Taipei.

c.   Target participants: It is expected to have 150 participants, including expert speakers and women-led startups. Experts and women-led startups will include the attendees at the Workshops held in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

d.  Funding arrangement: The Forum will be fully self-funded by the CT side.

e.   Agenda: The Forum will feature the following sessions (tentative plan):

Forum

Agenda

Morning Session

Opening remarks

Keynote speech (could be addressed by female entrepreneur whose enterprise has undergone record growth after taking part in the accelerator)

Panel Session (1): What and how have we learned from the capacity-building workshops?
*Participants from previous Workshops will be invited to share their experience and observation.
*Selected participants might be those who have outstanding performance in simulation meeting in the Workshops and have successfully accessed to funding or regional/global markets after the participation of Workshop).

Afternoon Session

Discussion Session: What and how could an accelerator help female entrepreneurs?

*Experts and experienced female entrepreneur could serve as “mentors”, divided into several groups; Participants who have never attended in Workshop or similar acceleration programs could be the “mentees”. In each group, ”mentors” and “mentees” could talk about how accelerator could benefit the participants in a more practical and efficient way.   Panel Session (2): Why does women-led start-up accelerator matter, and how do we work toward the goal of launching it in each APEC economy?

*Mentors and other experts from accelerators/incubators may share their ideas and insights of women-led start-up accelerators.

*Mentors may also wrap-up the group discussion from previous session in terms of what participants expect from the accelerator.

Evening

Session

Networking Dinner


5)  
Final Report (exact title TBC)

a.   Purpose: The Final Report is to benefit more female entrepreneurs and to disseminate project impact.

b.  Work plan: The preliminary research in APEC economies’ baseline situation of female entrepreneurship and startup acceleration will begin in December 2019; the formal working period of Final Report will be throughout the years (Jan – Dec 2020). The overall Final Report is set to be due around mid-December.

c.   Content: The Final Report will be 50 pages long composed of elements collected from preliminary research and four (4) events, including key takeaways extracted from speakers and mentors presented as descriptive, issue-based summaries, as well as recommendations and experience-sharing from female entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. The 50-page Final Report is also inclusive of the appendixes below: (a) lists of useful resources for women entrepreneurs based on research at initial project period, and (b) finalized Workshops’ Training Manual.

Outcomes: 

1) At individual level –
Capacity and confidence of female entrepreneurs is enhanced.

a.   Participating female entrepreneurs will be empowered with more up-to-date information and skills regarding obtainment of funding and expansion into new markets.

b.  Participating female entrepreneurs will be more willing to reach out to diverse funding and business opportunities with greater confidence built through lessons and mentorship gained from serial activities.

c. Mentorship: Involving communication between mentors and mentee, mentorship allows participating women entrepreneurs (particularly Workshops’ participants) to seek advice from the mentor team whenever they feel lost or have any questions on accelerating growth for their enterprises. First of all, as the mentor team is formed at the initial stage of the project. These mentors are there for every participating female entrepreneur throughout the project implementation period. Also, one-on-one mentoring or group mentoring would be incorporated into the agenda of the Workshops as a parallel breakout session.

2) At organizational level – Incubators and accelerators have increased their supports for female entrepreneurs.

a.  By witnessing great potential of female entrepreneurs via presenting at Workshops’ simulation meeting, it is expected that incubators and accelerators will increase their willingness to support female entrepreneurs.

b.  The support refers to but is not limited to the following measures: providing more training or counseling for female entrepreneurs; paying more attention on the development of women-led startups; accepting more women-led startups as residing companies.

3) At organizational level – Networking opportunities for female entrepreneurship programs are created.

a. The serial events will provide networking opportunities for policymakers or executives of female entrepreneurship programs. Experts and mentors of such female entrepreneurship programs (mostly publicly funded) will learn from various kinds of formats and concepts behind the trainings.

b.  The networking opportunities will lead to further partnership and cooperation among female entrepreneurship/pre-acceleration programs (it could be short-term cooperation in co-hosting workshops or other events for women-led startups, or long-term cooperation in developing these pre-acceleration programs into accelerators).

Beneficiaries: 

1)  Direct beneficiaries of the project outputs are, first and foremost, the participating female entrepreneurs. Different selection criteria are applied for APEC-funded participant (travel-eligible economies) for Workshop and for Forum. The nominated APEC-funded participants will be evaluated by the following items:

No.

Topics for Evaluation

Items

Points

Weighting for Workshop

Weighting for Forum

1

Enterprise

Founder of the enterprise

Yes (the only founder): 3
Yes (co-founder): 1
No (other position): 0

*1

*1

Years of establishment

Under 3 years: 3
Between 3 to 5 years: 1
More than 5 years: 0

*2

*1

2

Experience

Participation in any accelerator

Never: 3
Yes (similar experience, e.g. government’s programs): 1
Yes (currently residing in an accelerator): 0

*3

*1

Access to Capital

Received less than 2 funding opportunities: 3
Received 3 to 5 funding opportunities: 1
Received more than 5 funding opportunities: 0

*2

*2

Access to Market

Currently still only in its own economy: 3
Expand to at least one other economies: 1
Expand to more than two other economies: 0

*2

*2

3

Language skills

English proficiency for discussion and presenting ideas

Up to the standard: 1
Fail: 0

*2

*1

Total

32

24

The target female entrepreneurs are the founders of startups established within three (3) years at growing stage. In particular, target female participants for Workshop would be those who do not have much experience in training programs or courses. Member economies’ focal points of SMEWG and PPWE will be invited to nominate or recommend appropriate participants to the Workshops and Forum based on the above corresponding criteria set by the PO and mentor team which will be demonstrated in the General Information Circular of each event. The PO and proposing economy may select the APEC-funded nominees on the merit-based selection process. During the project implementation, these early-stage female entrepreneurs and their startups will benefit from updated information, mentorship, and networking opportunities with accelerators and other startups via serial events. After the project completion, female entrepreneurs – regardless the participation of the events – can all benefit from the project publications – Final Report (with Workshop’s Training Manual enclosed).

2) Indirect beneficiaries include other stakeholders in the startup ecosystems such as incubators, accelerators, and government officials who are responsible for the female entrepreneurship program or other related programs aiming to advance women’s economic empowerment. These stakeholders who are experienced in helping startup access to capital and expand the markets will be invited to be as speakers and mentors.  For incubators and accelerators, they could benefit from the knowing women-led startups with huge growth potential.  For government officials of female entrepreneurship programs, they would learn from other similar programs with different ways of trainings and featuring measures (with different focuses such as fundraising, marketing, and leaderships). We particularly welcome stakeholders from developed economies to share their experience and expertise with us. In the long term, it is to be hoped to also benefit all women and men (i.e., the general public) with the project publications, as this project hopes to ultimately create a sound and enabling entrepreneurial environment supporting inclusive economic growth of the economies.

Dissemination

This project will produce two publications: (a) Training Manual for Workshop; (b) Final Report. Training Manual will be incorporated into the Final Report. Only the Final Report will be published as an APEC Publication. Main target audience of the project is female entrepreneurs and women who would like to start their own businesses. As we hope that the publication could serve as supplement materials which female could refer to while encountering difficulties, there is no intention to sell the below publications of this project.

1)  Training Manual for Workshops

a. The Training Manual will be developed primary based on the ‘existing training materials’ APEC members use for their own governmental female entrepreneurship program. Still, prior to the drafting of the Manual, the existing materials will be coordinated and reorganized to fit in the Workshops’ framework. Most importantly, new contents from counseling with mentors and Workshops’ speakers will be added. The compilation work will be contacted mainly by the proposing economy in collaboration with other partner economies.

b.    Current plan is to print 125 hard copies for Workshops (covered by self-funding), which will be distributed between April and November 2020.

2)  Final Report

a.  The main contents include key takeaways extracted from speakers and mentors, recommendations and experience-sharing from female entrepreneurs. Appendixes will contain (a) lists on useful resources of women entrepreneurs, and (b) Workshops’ Training Manual.

b.  Current plan is to complete the Final Report for the Secretariat’s review and for Working Group’s endorsement by mid-December. Eventually, the Final Report will be published electronically onto APEC PubDB website. Additionally, we will invite member economies to disseminate the publications via websites and official social media accounts of government agencies concerned. Also, we plan to print approximately 200 hard copies for post-event distribution (covered by self-funding); prioritized recipients of hard copies will be participants of the events.

Gender

This project promotes four (Access to Capital and Assets; Access to Markets; Skills, Capacity Building and health; and Technology and Innovation) of the five pillars of women’s economic empowerment as identified in Appendix G of the Guidebook on APEC Projects. The project objectives and outcomes concentrate on advancing women’s economic empowerment and lifting women’s ability to expand business with sufficient funding and wider market opportunities. Women are not solely the participants of the project. The overall project is designed because women lack the equal access and opportunities than men do. Driven by the needs of women, this project incorporates women into the project design and planning in the first place; also, women are also the main actors throughout the project implementation.  As targeted workshop participants are female entrepreneurs, we can foresee the active participation of female. Nonetheless, we concern low participation and less active engagement of men. Men can be engaged as speakers and mentors. Despite that male might not have undergone the same obstacles female entrepreneurs might have encountered, male speakers and mentors could have a lot to offer with their extensive experience in accessing to capital/markets as well as in helping startups getting access to the entrepreneurial resources.  Also, we will invite male-led startups to attend Forum, as these outstanding women-led startups could be possible partners of the male-led startups. Our goal is to ensure total male participation rate would be more than 30%. In addition, we would also ensure 30% male speakers rate -- that is to say, 8 speakers out of 24 experts/speakers will be male. Just as importantly, the project publications, especially Training Manual, could serve as a reference material to both female and male early-stage entrepreneurs.

Work Plan

Time

Tasks

Deliverables

Dec 2019

Invite member economies to discuss further details of cooperation in each Workshop and Forum.

Draft detailed internal deadlines for each key project outputs.

List proposed experts or lecturers to form “mentor team” for Workshops.

Conduct preliminary research regarding APEC members’ baseline situation in female entrepreneurship and startup acceleration.

Project planning

Preliminary research

Jan 2020

Engage other APEC fora, private sector and other stakeholders, for example women associations, investors, and accelerators via email communications and online meeting (and visit, if possible and necessary).

Form “mentor team” & counsel with mentors about the initiative and baseline survey questions to female entrepreneurs.

Start drafting Training Manual for Workshop.

Develop baseline survey for Workshop participants (female entrepreneurs).

Develop agenda & organizing logistics for Workshop-INA.

Invite potential speakers and participants for Workshop-INA.

Engagement with other stakeholders

Formation of mentor team

Feb – Mar 2020

Report project implementation progress to the Secretariat on 3 February.

Confirm key visuals for the project with designer (short-term clerical support).

Complete Training Manual for Workshops.

Finalize agenda & confirm list of speakers/participants for Workshop-INA.

Conduct baseline survey for female entrepreneurs attending Workshop-INA.

Confirm short-term staff to assist on-site with the Workshop-INA.

Event preparation

Completion of Training Manual

Apr 2020

Submit APEC Project Monitoring Report to the Secretariat on 1 April.

Host two-day Workshop in Jakarta & conduct on-site survey (APEC Project Evaluation Survey) for Workshop, Indonesia

APEC Project Monitoring Report

Workshop – Indonesia

May 2020

Start drafting Final Report.

Develop agenda & organizing logistics for Workshop-MAS.

Invite potential speakers and participants for Workshop-MAS.

Event preparation

Jun – Jul 2020

Report project implementation progress to the Secretariat on 1 June.

Conduct post-event follow-up with Workshop-INA’s participants (by late June).

Analyze baseline survey, on-site survey & post-event follow-up for Workshop-INA.

Develop agenda & organizing logistics for Forum.

Invite potential speakers and participants for Forum.

Event preparation

Aug 2020

Report project implementation progress to the Secretariat on 3 August.

Develop agenda & organizing logistics for Workshop (Chinese Taipei)

Invite potential speakers and participants for Workshop (Chinese Taipei)

Finalize agenda & confirm list of speakers/participants for Workshop (Malaysia)

Conduct baseline survey for female entrepreneurs attending Workshop (Malaysia)

Confirm short-term staff to assist on-site with the Workshop (Malaysia)

Event preparation

Sep 2020

Host two-day Workshop in Kuala Lumpur at the margins of APEC Women and the Economy Forum & conduct on-site survey (APEC Project Evaluation Survey) for Workshop (Malaysia)

Workshop (Malaysia)

Oct 2020

Report project implementation progress to the Secretariat on 1 October.

Finalize agendas & confirm lists of speakers/participants for Workshop (Chinese Taipei and Forum).

Conduct baseline survey for female entrepreneurs attending Workshop (Chinese Taipei)

Confirm short-term staff to assist on-site with the Forum & Workshop (Chinese Taipei)

Event preparation

Nov 2020

Host two-day Workshop plus one-day Forum in Taipei & conduct on-site survey (APEC Project Evaluation Survey) for Workshop (Chinese Taipei and Forum).

Conduct post-event follow-up with Workshop (Malaysia) participants (by late November).

Analyze baseline survey, on-site survey & post-event follow-up for Workshop (Malaysia)

Workshop (Chinese Taipei and Forum)

Dec 2020

Report project implementation progress to the Secretariat on 1 December.

Complete the Final Report & submit to the Secretariat for review and online publication by mid-December.

Final Report (APEC Publication)

Jan – Feb 2021

Conduct post-event follow-up with participants of Workshop (Chinese Taipei and forum) by late Jan.

Analyze baseline survey, on-site survey & post-event follow-up for two events held in Chinese Taipei.

Data Measurement and Analysis

Feb 2021

Submit APEC Project Completion Report to the Secretariat at latest by 28 Feb. 2021 (within two months of the Project Completion Date).

APEC Project Completion Report

Jun 2021

Participate in Long Term Evaluation of APEC Projects

Long Term Evaluation



Risks

a) Low interests in participation of men, particularly male entrepreneurs: To ensure more participation of men, we will also inviting male speakers and mentors. We hope a more gender-balanced invited speakers list and mentor team could encourage participation of male entrepreneurs and any men who are interested in the issues or would like to start their own business.

b) Difficulty observing the actual project impact in a short period: As the actual project impact on the economies or the overall APEC startup ecosystem might only become apparent or observable over the long term. Despite the risk listed above, we will observe the project impact by undertaking post-event follow-up after each Workshop and Forum. We will first look at the project’s impact at two different levels: (i) at the individual level – how the events have helped early-stage entrepreneurs and participants gain know knowledge, bridge networking opportunities, or even build confidence, and (ii) at the organizational level – how incubators and accelerators have increased their support for women-led startups. We will exploit the observation results to improve the next serial activities and for monitoring purposes.

c) Difficulty constraining the sector fields of participating women-led startups for Workshops: The organizers will assess the appropriate sector fields for Workshops by preliminary research on recent priority industries/sectors of APEC economies, as well as by discussion with partner economies and experts of mentor team. Focal points are required to nominated the APEC-funded participants based on the more detailed selection criteria listed in the General Information Circular for each event. With clear focused fields, organizers, speakers and mentors can place more emphasis on those sectors, which we believe it could better off women-led startups in a more effective way.

Monitoring and Evaluation

a)    Data collection:

i.    Baseline survey: Developed from the preliminary research and the counseling with mentors, the baseline survey will target at participating female entrepreneurs and experts (incubators and accelerators). 

ii.   On-site survey: During the event, “APEC Project Evaluation Survey” will be distributed to all participants (especially at Forum with more audience) to know the level of satisfaction, as well as degrees of enhancement in terms of new knowledge and skills. 

iii. Post-event follow-up: Conducted two months after the end of the event, the follow-up will consist of (a) online questionnaires, (b) selected interviews via email or phone/video call, and (c) ongoing research into the changes of entrepreneurial environment and women entrepreneurship/pre-acceleration programs. 

b)   Measuring project outputs: 

Outputs

Measurement/ Indicators

a.       Training Manual
(Output 4.1)

(a)    The Training Manual will be 20 pages long, including fixed content applying to all participating female entrepreneurs

(b)   Training materials from at least seven (7) economies will be the references.

(c)    Six (6) experts are invited as “consultants” (mentor team) to the composition of the Manual, with at least two (2) male experts in mentor team.

b.      Workshops
(Output 4.2)

(a)    Three (3) two-day Workshops are to be held in three (3) economies.

(b)   For each Workshop, 30 participants will be involved, including 6 APEC-funded foreign experts, 7 or 8 APEC-funded female entrepreneurs.

(c)    In total, 18 experts (at least 6 male experts) and 22female entrepreneurs have attended the events.

c.       Forum
(Output 4.3)

(a)    One (1) one-day Forum will involve 150 participants.

(b)   In total, 6 experts (at least 2 male experts) and 22 female entrepreneurs have attended the event.

d.      Final Report
(Output 4.4)

(a)    The Final Report will be 50 pages long, including main body and appendixes.

(b)   Main body includes key takeaways from the talks at four (4) events, and stakeholders’ feedback on the events and the project as a whole.

(c)    Appendixes include lists of useful resources and Workshop’s Training Manual.

e.      Overall target
on attendees

Total 24experts and 90 Workshops’ participants are from the following categories:

(a)    Government official (i.e., policymakers and executive of women entrepreneurship program): One (1) as expert in each event; six (6) as participants in Workshops.

(b)   Incubators and accelerators: Two (2) as expert in each event; 18 attendees as participants in Workshops.

(c)    Female entrepreneurs (women-led enterprises): Two (2) as expert in each event; 36 attendees as participants in Workshops.

(d)   Female communities and associations: One (1) as expert in each event; 30 members as participants in workshops.

c)    Measuring project outcomes: 

Outcomes

Measurement/ Indicators

a.       Capacity and confidence of female entrepreneurs is enhanced. (Outcome 5.1)

(a)    80% of female participants gain more new knowledge and skills.

(b)   80% of female entrepreneurs feel more confidence in approaching new funding opportunities or expand their markets.

b.      Incubators and accelerators have increased their supports for female entrepreneurs.
(Outcome 5.2)

(a)    80% of participating incubators and accelerators consider an increase in willingness to support female enterprises.

(b)   Six (6) incubators and accelerators provide best practices and/or future plans of improving female entrepreneurial participation.

c.       Networking opportunities for female entrepreneurship programs are created.
(Outcome 5.3)

(a)    Policymakers, executives and lecturers of female entrepreneurship/pre-acceleration programs from seven (7) economies are engaged.

(b)   Observation or evidence in newly-established partnership and/or cooperation between different female entrepreneurs/pre-acceleration programs.

 
Measuring gender impact: The gender impact will be especially assessed by the gender stakeholders and by the growth of participating female entrepreneurs confidence and business opportunities.  The above-mentioned gender-disaggregated data for all speakers/experts and participants will be collected by registration, research, and surveys.  Our goal is to ensure that total participation rate of male, the underrepresented gender in this event, exceeds 30%.

Linkages

a)  Engagement: This project will primarily focus on engagement within APEC. Several APEC stakeholders will be invited to engage with the project. The PO will first invite SMEWG members to spread the information of this initiative to their economies’ focal points in other APEC fora like PPWE, ABAC, and HRDWG. First, we will work closely with PPWE in terms of capacity and skill building for women to be prepared for success in business development and entrepreneurship. Next, ABAC MSME and Entrepreneurship Working Group will be involved to build a closer public-private partnership in supporting women entrepreneurship and fostering women-led MSMEs. The project will also invite HRDWG Capacity Building Network (CBN) to together develop and to enhance women’s entrepreneurship skills.

b)   Previous work: The proposed project is mainly built on the past SMEWG project proposed by Chinese Taipei – “APEC Startup Accelerator Initiative” (SME 10 2013). Two projects share the same concept of “co-acceleration”; however, the difference lies in different target audience. The proposed project focuses on women-led startups; meanwhile, it connects not only female entrepreneurs, but also female entrepreneurship programs within APEC. Moreover, it involves pre-event coordination of training materials and mentors from respective women-focused programs or organizations before the events. Thus, there won’t be duplication of tasks and work of previous initiative.

Additionally, this project will also touch upon one of the PPWE’s priority pillars, “Innovation and Technology”, stressed by the PPWE initiative, “APEC Gendered Innovative for Technology and Science (GIFTS): Promoting Women in STEM for Sustainable Growth” (PPWE 04 2017S).  We encourage the participation of the women-led startups in technology fields. Besides, the use of digital tools will be adopted to be part of the aspect of the Workshop.

c)   APEC’s comparative advantage: Since the endorsement of the San Francisco Declaration at the 2011 APEC Women and the Economy Summit, APEC have been working on promoting women’s economic empowerment. By putting women’s economic empowerment at the top of the agenda, it is more likely to drive actual improvement. Furthermore, as APEC is the pioneer of new initiatives driving greater well-being and better outcomes among and beyond the APEC, we genuinely anticipate this initiative could act as a call for action from other multilateral organizations or forum, to together advance women’s economic empowerment and to create a sound and enabling environment for women.

Sustainability

a)  Support for beneficiaries to carry forward the results and lessons: Firstly, the Workshop’s Training Manual and Final Report will act as reference materials for female entrepreneurs or other participants to review past lesson or to disseminate the knowledge and skills. Apart from the publications, the connection and network built between female entrepreneurs and other stakeholders will last even after the closure of the project.

b)   Possible next steps:

i)  Female entrepreneurs: transferring the knowledge and skills to other women in home economies; building connection and network with female entrepreneurs across different economies.

ii)  Incubators & accelerators: accepting more women-led startups as residing companies; working with government or other private actor to establish women-focused accelerators.

iii) Female entrepreneurship/acceleration programs: creating collaborative network or platform to exchange ideas or discuss further partnership/cooperation.

c) Measuring progress on the outcomes after project completion

i)  Training modules and Manual of the Workshops are replicated by any participating stakeholders.

ii)  The network and relationships are developed to continue advance women’s entrepreneurship.

iii)  The follow-up of the participating female entrepreneurs indicates business growth.

Project Overseers

The Project Overseer is Ms. Shu-Ju Chang, currently serving as Section Chief of Business Startup and Incubation Division at Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) under Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Ms. Chang and her team work on promoting and fostering female entrepreneurship. Ms. Chang can be reached via the following contact details: Tel. +886 (2) 2366 2261 and email at srchang@moea.gov.tw.

The main point of contact responsible of this project is Ms. Siao-Wun Chen, Technical Specialist of SMEA, MOEA. Ms. Chen takes charge of women entrepreneurship program and works closely with women association which helps accelerate women-led startups. Ms. Chen’s contact details are: Tel. +886 (2) 2366 2266; swchen@moea.gov.tw.


Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Self-funded, short-term clerical and administrative supports will be on-site assistance on the event dates and pre-event preparation assistance.


Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Created at 25/12/2019 22:08  by Lucy Phua 
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Gender

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