Project Title

2023 APEC Forum on Promoting Innovation for Women-led Entrepreneurship 

Project Year

2022   

Project Number

SME 06 2022A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

SME 06 2022A 

Project Title

2023 APEC Forum on Promoting Innovation for Women-led Entrepreneurship 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2022 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

99,899 

Co-funding Amount

100,000 

Total Project Value

199,899 

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)

Korea 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; Chile; Malaysia; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/06/2023 

Expected Completion Date

30/06/2024 

Project Proponent Name 1

Bongsu Wyi (wef 22 January 2024) 

Job Title 1

Director 

Organization 1

Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME) 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(82-55) 7519677 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

wyisu@kosmes.or.kr  

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

Bongsu Wyi 

Project Summary

Most of SMEs and startups, especially women-led start-ups are increasingly recognizing the importance and opportunities of innovation in enhancing their competitiveness and accessing to regional and global markets in the context that they enter the markets at later stage and with less advantages and resources.

However, the fact is that not many start-ups are capable of utilizing innovation as an efficient tool to gain the advantages against bigger rivals due to their inexperience and/or incapability in innovation management approaches/processes/tools; or lack of finance, technology, human resources or incentives to implement innovation; or all. Since SMEs account for more than 95 per cent of enterprises in the APEC region, this project will definitely draw the attention as well as bring about benefits to many APEC member economies especially the APEC developing ones. Their increasingly competitive participation in the economy will create a firm momentum for economic growth as well as poverty reduction since they help create jobs, increase revenues, and bring about social stability. The forum will be held in Seoul, Korea as a 1-day event in the second half of 2023.

Relevance

Benefits to Region: In the APEC region, SMEs/MSMEs make up 97 per cent of private companies and employ over half of the region’s workforce and play a critical role in each economy as a backbone of economy. They also have emerged as key drivers of economic growth and job creation, and are often catalyst for radical innovation. 

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, startups have continued to play a critical role for economies. Some innovative young firms have reacted fast and flexible to the pandemic, and have been critical in helping many economies shift towards fully- digital work, education, and health services, and have provided innovations in medical goods and services. In this sense, women, especially, an important part in startup development ecosystem. Around 30% of the SMEs in the APEC region are owned by women. Women entrepreneurship is on the rise worldwide; yet, women are less likely to be entrepreneurs and face more obstacles in starting and expanding their businesses. 

In the world of business, there should be no distinction between male and female entrepreneurs, however, women entrepreneur and their companies face greater social pressure comparing to their male counterparts and has restricted many potentials for the developments. For instance, even though women-led startups and men-led startups have similar survival rates in many economies, female-owned enterprises tend to have less growth potential then male-owned enterprises in terms of the number of employees and export value. According to the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey dashboard (March 2021 version), it indicates that women-led business have generally seen larger declines in sales and profits during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have been more likely to close down in many economies. When we consider the facts mentioned above, we realize that we still have a long way to go. We have to put our utmost effort to pursue the goal of gender equality to achieve the overall inclusiveness and share prosperity of the APEC region. Furthermore, APEC member economies are making a lot of efforts to put in place measures to support women entrepreneurs and their businesses and to nurture them into successful entrepreneurs. 

In light of this, the project aims to provide a platform that brings together governments’ officials, representatives from both SMEs, start-ups as well as bigger enterprises, multinational corporations, international financial organizations, research institutions, etc., that are involved in either start-ups and/or innovation to share experiences and best practices in how to facilitate innovation especially for women- led start-ups with the views of improving their competitiveness and access to markets and we will also discuss necessary government policies to nurture and support women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, it also aims how to identify challenges facing start-ups led by women while pursuing innovation and etc. Lastly, this project grants sustained benefits for all economies in the region and beyond, and we wish to advance women’s economic participation and create a more enabling environment toward inclusive growth.

Eligibility and Fund Priorities: This project is aligned with the founding priorities of APEC Support Fund (ASF) - General Funds established by the Senior Official Meeting (SOM) and ECOTECH Priority Themes to develop and strengthen the dynamism of SMEs. 

Develop Human Capital: The project will facilitate and enable SMEs in the APEC region to nurture and develop core human resources to manage and operate countermeasures for occupational safety and health including mental health.

Develop and Strengthen the Dynamism of Small and Medium Enterprises: Through the project, people from SMEs related fields will share their experiences and have precious opportunities to strengthen their capabilities to protect the businesses and prepare countermeasures in advance.

Capacity Building: SMEs and MSMEs play a critical role in economic development in all APEC developing economies. They are also the largest source of domestic employment across all economic sectors. In this context, this forum is expected to be a venue for women- led SMEs and startups, especially in developing economies to obtain comprehensive knowledge, experiences with best practices in order to build capacity and resilience of women owned enterprises in the region so that they can better mitigate, prepare and response to unexpected accidents through a medium/long term view within the APEC objectives. The project will be designed to be interactive forum, which facilitate the exchange of views and collaborative problem-solving opportunities between various stakeholders while the 2023 APEC Forum on Promoting Innovation for Women-led Entrepreneurship serves as the concluding event for the initiative, inviting successful women leader and key stakeholders to discuss the future prospects for the women entrepreneurial development. The event aims to build strong bonds between its participants, provide market and capital access knowledge to startups as well as connect women entrepreneurs to potential partners and investors. We hope to promote the project theme of gender equality, capacity building and women empowerment in the APEC region. In addition, participants are expected to disseminate the useful knowledge to the women-led startups and SMEs in their economies


Objectives

2023 APEC Forum on Promoting Innovation for Women-led Entrepreneurship was aimed at the following objectives:

(i) gaining an understanding of the innovation of start-ups in the region, opportunities, challenges, potentials; (ii) identifying challenges facing start-ups led by women while pursuing innovation; (iii) sharing experiences and best practices in facilitating innovation for women owned start-ups from the perspectives of both the public and private sectors, and international organizations as well as research institutions, etc.; and (iv) making recommendations to APEC to support innovation for women-led start-ups.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC: The project aligns with 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”. Also, the project is in line with 2016 APEC Leaders’ Declaration, “Given that full and productive employment for all population groups is essential for human development in the region, we also recognize that the economic empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities should be a priority under the APEC agenda for enhancing quality growth and human development”. In addition, the 2018 APEC Ministerial Chair’s Statement 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: First, this forum is aligned with the first priority area of SME Working Group Strategic Plan 2017-2020, “Promote an entrepreneurial culture amongst the youth, women, and other individuals.” Also, this project contributes to the implementation of SMEWG’s Proposed Work Plan for 2016, “Foster the inclusion of women-owned and operated companies into commercial operations and activities within the APEC trade region.” 

Secondly, the project is aligned with the first priority area (Entrepreneurship, innovation, and the internet and digital economy) of SME Working Group Strategic Plan 2017-2020, “Promote an entrepreneurial culture amongst the youth, women and other individuals” as well as “Foster innovation in SMEs to strengthen business competitiveness”. 

Third, the project firmly aligns with the priority areas and objectives respectively stated in SMEWG’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024 and PPWE’s Strategic Plan 2019-2021. The project echoes several SMEWG’s priority areas: (a) Entrepreneurship, innovation and startups, (b) Inclusive capability development towards digitalization, (c) Access to finance and alternative financial solutions, and (d) Government to business interaction. The forum also 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 pillars.” Lastly, the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth (2019-2030) and its key action area of “Empowering women through access to capital and markets.”

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: We will hold a 1-day forum in Republic of Korea in November 2023. The key objectives of the proposed project that could improve the

competitiveness of the women-led SMEs/MSMEs in member economies are the following: 

(i) gaining an understanding of the innovation of start-ups in the region, opportunities, challenges, potentials; (ii) identifying challenges facing start-ups led by women while pursuing innovation; (iii) sharing experiences and best practices in facilitating innovation for women owned start-ups from the perspectives of both the public and private sectors, and international organizations as well as research institutions, etc.; and (iv) making recommendations to APEC to support innovation for women-led start-ups. 

The most immediate output will be hold of the ‘2023 APEC Forum on Promoting Innovation for Women-led Entrepreneurship’. For women-led start-ups and entrepreneurs from around the world are invited to share their experiences and success know-how. The forum is expected to minimize risk factors and maximize their chance of success. And women entrepreneurs will be able to from all industry sectors to lay a foundation for cooperation. In addition, it will have several immediate outputs expected during the forum, which include the following:

1. Ex-ante Evaluation: During the event the ex-ante evaluation will be conducted to ask whether the event is successful and to listen to participants’ opinions. It will be a great help to make a better program in the future.

2. Sharing best practices: Speakers of the program are expected to share best practices on their success stories and business knowhow as well as network each other, helping them come up with new ideas for their business. And it will be a good opportunity to enhance women entrepreneurs’ capability to compete on the global stage.

3. Policy recommendations on promotion of start-ups: Through a series of presentations and discussions, the program is expected to offer valuable policy recommendations for policy makers from APEC economies, and those recommendations will be disseminated to the member economies with a summary report. 

4.   Opportunity to network and to benchmark: The event provides an excellent opportunity for participants to network with successful women entrepreneur business leaders from APEC economies taking part in the event who might be able to offer valuable advice and tips on how to become a successful business leader and also it will provide a chance to share startup support measures implemented by their own economies to benchmark each other.

We are expecting to have about 100 participants in the forum and will have two or three sessions including pannel discussion with 10 experts/speakers in the forum.

Summary Report: A summary report (estimated 10-20 pages) with outcomes and recommendations from the forum will be produced for dissemination/information to SMEWG. The report will be composed of the following, but not limited to, sections: introduction of the forum; briefings of the presentations made at the forum; including best practices briefings on discussion and suggested recommendations made by the attendants and experts.

Outcomes:

This project will build the capacity of women entrepreneurs and engage APEC developing economy members. In addition, this project will support the development of human capital and/or entrepreneurial capacity among APEC member economies. Based on the forum, presentations, and panel discussion, the project aspires to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills in improving their businesses. The expected outcomes of the project will be: 

1)  Enhancement of female entrepreneurs’ capacity and confidence. Participating women entrepreneurs will be empowered with more up-to-date information and skills regarding obtainment of funding and expansion into new markets. Therefore, they will have a chance to understand an innovation of start-ups in the region, including opportunities, challenges, and potentials. 

2)  Increased knowledge, awareness, and financing opportunities for women entrepreneurs. While women-led businesses are eager to improve their capacity and capabilities, some find it difficult to create a plan of action. Therefore, they are suffering from identifying exact challenges they are facing with while pursing innovation. In the forum, it is expected to discuss best practices, share successful experiences and strategies for women-led firms in the region building capacities through presentations by experts, speakers, and panel discussion. 

3)  Strengthened public-private partnership on recommendations and policies. It will be measured by the number of participants representing the public and private entities and the number of policy recommendations relates to enhancing public-private partnerships. Furthermore, through the forum, we will develop recommendations and future capacity-building activities to facilitate women’s participation in start-ups and promote inclusive growth. 

Governments and SMEs will have a better perspective that helps boost the importance of establishing a comprehensive strategy for women-led entrepreneurship at the domestic level. It will provide more competitive environment for women owned companies. This will be possible through the combined contributions of a wide range of organizations and actors such as Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Korea SMEs and Startups Agency. In the forum, policies and action measures of Korean government related to women-led entrepreneurship would be presented and it could be a leading policy measurement which can be adopted by other member economies.

Lastly, we will try to conduct an ex-post evaluation to assess the impact of the project in terms of improving awareness and knowledge of the project issues after the forum is completed.

Beneficiaries: The target participants include public and private sector of APEC economies and non- governmental organizations, VCs, ACs and experts who can provide professional knowledge and best practices regarding startup related issues such as common challenges for startups and women entrepreneurs, market access, capital access and problem solving. During the forum, participants from APEC economies, including policy makers, researchers, and entrepreneurs will be invited to share expertise and good practices. Good experiences and knowledge will also be drawn from international organizations, public sectors and private sectors. The main beneficiaries are listed below:
 
The primary beneficiaries will be the forum participants such as (1) SMEs and startups including women owned businesses are certainly and directly the beneficiaries for this project. SMEs’ lack of capacity and resources in coping with women-led enterprises issues, the project is capable in assisting them to ensure their business operations by providing value-added information and they will be able to use the outputs from this project. (2) Delegates from attending APEC economies who are experts or working in the field of investment, access to capital including business management would be a part of the project. The delegates will be encouraged to share their views and ideas about policies and interventions (3) Government agencies and related associations such as Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME), Korea Technology Fiance Corporation (KIBO) and etc. will acquire the knowledge, expertise and experience to enhance startup-related countermeasures to create startup friendly ecosystem especially women owned businesses in the medium and long term. The second beneficiaries will be those that may not attend the event but may benefit from the forum including SMEWG, ABAC, PPWE and developing and developed APEC economies as it can reinforce the projection on women-led startups and its supply chain.

Dissemination

This project will produce a summary report for information and all relevant materials will be shared with SMEWG members. In addition, the news about the forum will be reported by local Korean newspapers, and also all the materials of the forum will be posted on APEC SME Innovation Center’s website at www.apec-smeic.org. We plan to create a website only for the forum so that other participants who cannot participate in the event physically will be attended through online which will be a great help for them. 

A summary report (estimated 15-20 pages) with outcomes and recommendations from the forum will be produced for dissemination/information to SMEWG and the report will not be published by APEC. The summary report will include introduction of the forum; briefings of the presentations made at the forum with best practices; briefings on discussion and suggested recommendations made by the attendants and experts.

Gender

This project is one of the main goal is participation of women, including experts in various fields and women business owners.  Therefore, the organiser will coordinate with other economies and chamber of commerce or associations of women entrepreneurs in each economy, in order to ensure women representatives' participation in the event.  In addition, the organiser will try to include as many women entrepreneurs as possible in the speakers list so that they can share their experiences and problems in the forum.

Moreover, this project is directly related to the women entrepreneurs, ultimately aiming to nurture successful female entrepreneurs. After this project is finally approved, the PO will contact PPWE to discuss development and promotion of the project. To be more specific, the PO will consider inviting PPWE members from travel-eligible economies as participants, or inviting PPWE members as speakers. 

In addition, this proposal potentially meets 4 out of 5 Gender Criteria pillars of women’s economic empowerment as identified in the Appendix G of the Guidebook on APEC Projects. Women will be prioritized to be invited as speakers to the forum. We are confident there will be robust participation by all participants in the event. Women play a particularly important role in the success of APEC SMEs. They will benefit from the project’s efforts to increase our knowledge about productivity and management capability. It is also important to note that women are vital contributors to the project team as well as the extensive network of champions supporting this effort. The project organizers will ensure that the evaluation forms to be distributed at the end of the forum will include information on gender for disaggregating data for project assessment. 

We set the target of 70% of forum participants will be female including experts and speakers. In this regard, the forum will encourage active participation of women from APEC economies to engage in the event as both speakers and participants. This is important since women-owned businesses face heavy barriers including the lack of access to information related to technologies and markets as well as finance. 

Lastly, we will invite male-led start-ups and SMEs to attend the forum, as these outstanding women-led start-ups could be possible partners of the male-led companies. Our goal is to ensure total male participation rate would be more than 30%. In addition, we would also ensure 30% male speakers or experts rate. PO is committed to collect sex-disaggregated data for all speakers and participants (and not only the APEC funded) from the project event.  This data will be included as part of the submission of the Summary Report and Completion Report to the Secretariat when the project comples and will serve to guide future POs on their own gender parity targets.

2. Gender Participation Target Goals

As    Participants (%)

As         Speakers/Experts (%)

Male

30

30

Female

70

70

Check this box if no event is proposed in the project


Five pillars of the Gender Criteria:
X Access to Capital and Assets
X Access to Markets
X Skills, Capacity building and health
X Innovation and Technology

Work Plan

9. Work Plan

SN

Start From

Finish By

Description of Tasks

Deliverables

1

01-06-2023

01-06-2023

Establishment of a work plan for the forum and selecting a contractor for the project

Member of Global Business Department in KOSME will conduct and start to make detailed agenda.

2

01-06-2023

30-09-2023

Recruiting of speakers from in and out of APEC economies. Contact each APEC economy for recommendation of speakers, participants and organizations.

Participants and speakers list will be started to be made and Dissemination of GIC.

3

01-08-2023

01-08-2023

GIC will be disseminated to participants

8 weeks in advance of the event

4

01-10-2023

01-10-2023

Submit the APEC Monitoring Report to the Secretariat

APEC Project Monitoring Report

5

01-10-2023

31-10-2023

Once all participants are confirmed, we will conduct an ex-ante evaluation to check the level of knowledge about trend and current status of women-led entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The ex-ante evaluation will be used to compare with the result of the ex-post evaluation.

6

01-11-2023

30-11-2023

Conduct the forum

Ex-post evaluation will be implemented after the event is completed.

Conducting and executing of the forum.

Ex-post evaluatijon can be done through online and physically at the forum.

7

01-12-2023

31-12-2023

Summary Report will be prepared and submitted.

Submission of the APEC Project Completion Report and supporting documents to the APEC Secretariat

All documents will be submitted first to the Secretariat for review and approval.

Once approved, it will then be sent for comments and endorsement by the forum.

Submission of a Summary Report. Submission of the APEC Project Completion Report.

8

01-01-2024

30-04-2024

No later than 1 May 2024, submit draft final report to the secretariat (summary report)

9

30-06-2024

24-08-2024

Submit the APEC Project Completion Report and supporting documents to the secretariat 2 months within two months of completion of the project

APEC Project Completion Report

10

31-12-2024

30-06-2025

Participation in the long-term evaluation of APEC Projects conducted by the Secretariat.



Risks

SN

Describe the Risk

Mitigation

1

COVID-19 pandemic situation

Considering the current status of the pandemic situation, we assume that the forum would be implemented physically but if the pandemic continues, travels to other economies will not be possible so that the forum should be implemented in a form of virtual or hybrid.

2

Recruiting appropriate speakers

It might be difficult to find excellent women entrepreneurs as experts or speakers. Through internal discussions, the PO and his team are planning to utilizing a contractor also will ask SMEWG representatives of member economies to recommend speakers or experts.

3

Low engagement

Low participation rate from APEC economies due to lack of interest and understanding in the start-ups. Although the women-led start-ups has been discussed widely, but without proper outreach, some member economies may not initially be interested in participating in the project activities.

4

NMP approval

This risk can be eliminated by receiving an approval from APEC Secretariat in advance as usual. Also, PO will try to finalize a list of NMP early and check with APEC Secretariat to receive the approval on time.


Monitoring and Evaluation

11. Monitoring and Evaluation

Output

SN

Outputs

Indicators

Target Goals

Evaluation Method

Reporting

1

1. Forum

1. Conduct the forum

November 2023

Completion Report & Summary Report

Completion Report

2

2. No. of speakers/experts engaged(M/F)

3/7

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

3

3. No. of attending economies (by participants only)

15

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

4

4. %. of participating men/women (Count both APEC-funded and self-funded participants but exclude sepakers/experts)

30/70

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

5

5. No. of participants from travel-eligible economies (M/F)

7/15

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

6

6. %. of participants funded by APEC (M/F)

30/70

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

7

7. No. of APEC- funded speakers/experts (M/F)

2/4

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

8

8. No. of other organizations engaged

3

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

9

9. No. of businesses and/or academic organizations engaged

5

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

10

2. Project Report

1. No. of pages

10-20

Summary Report

Email to the Secretariat

11

2. Submission to the Secretariat

End of December 2023

Submission to the Secretariat

Email to the Secretariat

Outcome

SN

Outcomes

Indicators

Target Goals

Evaluation Method

Reporting

1

1. Enhanced understanding and knowledge on the importance of women-led entrepreneruship

1. % of participants report substantial knowledge increase

70%

Ex-ante and ex-post evaluation

Completion Report

2

2. Women report substantial knowledge increase

30%

Ex-ante and ex-post evaluation

Completion Report

3

3. Developing APEC economies report substantial knowledge increase

30%

Ex-ante and ex-post evaluation

Completion Report

4

2.

Recommendations made form the forum

1. No. of recommendations made

1-5

Included in the Completion Report

Completion Report

5

2. No. of best practices made

5-10

Included in the Completion Report & Summary Report

Completion Report

6

3. No. of panel discussion

1

Included in the Completion Report & Summary Report

Completion Report

Others


Linkages

This project will can be actively engaged with PPWE and ABAC to promote cross-fora collaboration opportunities in the forum by sharing information focusing on promoting innovation for women-led start-ups. Also, governmental organizations, private sector, and non-governmental agencies will be involved to support the project. Close cooperation between APEC’s other fora will help consider all aspects of problems and establish an essential system for SMEs and startups. In addition, APEC Support Fund will be a great help to achieve success of the project. Lastly, SMEs, especially,

women-led businesses are critical pillar of the economy in most of APEC economies so that this project will be a stepping stone to provide a solution in order to build strong and vibrant ecosystem of women owned enterprises in the APEC region.

Engagement: We will ask for support from APEC to have expert/speakers from SMEWG and PPWE because the major topic of the event is also related to women-led entrepreneurship and its ecosystem in the region. If we can collaborate with the relevant fora, it is expected to draw much more efficient, effective, and applicable results for start-ups and SMEs owned by women in the APEC region. We will work closely with PPWE in terms of capacity building for women to be prepared for success in business development and entrepreneurship. The project will also invite HRDWG Capacity Building Network to together develop and to enhance women’s entrepreneurship skills.

Previous work: This proposed project is built on the past projects such as APEC Startup Accelerator Initiative (SME10, 2013), APEC Young Entrepreneurs Networking Program (SME10 2017A). The previous projects share similar concept of ‘co- acceleration’, however, the difference lies in different target audience. The proposed project focuses on women-led start-ups and SMEs, meanwhile, it connects not only female entrepreneurs, but also female entrepreneurship programs within APEC. Despite the number of previous works undertaken in this area, it will be interesting to see the current state and ecosystem of women-led businesses and the organizer will prepare various programs in the forum for the capacity building to be focused on.

Thus, there won’t be duplication of tasks and work of previous initiative.

APEC’s comparative advantage: APEC is the best source of funding for this project because APEC supports the project with involvement of governmental bodies, private sector, representatives of international and non-governmental organization. Moreover, since the endorsement of the San Francisco Declaration at the 2011 APEC Women and the Economy Summit, APEC has 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. Therefore, we will work closely through cooperation with other APEC fora considering all the aspects of the problems, and developing a system and coordinated approach. Women and women-led entrepreneurships are the economic backbone of most of the economies in APEC and we strongly anticipate this project could act as a call for action from other multilateral organizations or forum, to advance women’s economic empowerment and to create a sound and enabling environment and ecosystem for women.

Sustainability

Women’s entrepreneur development is one of the major agenda in APEC and SME development and entrepreneurship is also related to the development of human resources, particularly to facilitate self-employment. Therefore, we firmly believe that the 2023 APEC Forum on Promoting Innovation for Women-led Entrepreneurship project will play a role as one of the platforms for promoting human resources and entrepreneurship agenda envisioned by Leaders’ under the APEC Growth Strategy. It will act as a stepping stone to develop and nurture entrepreneurial culture and spirit for women entrepreneurs and young women who want to be an entrepreneur in the future. This will help to bring them into the business mainstream as well as address needs for further capacity building for female entrepreneurs in APEC economies. It will also help economies to formulate right policies to promote and encourage entrepreneurship in economies. 

Furthermore, this project will also help create a network and build relationships between economies to continue working with each other, sharing information, and collaborating on women-led startups and SMEs. The forum materials such as final project report will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders and beneficiaries for future recall and reference. Participants are encouraged to exchange contacts during the event to keep constant information exchange. We hope to establish a communication channel that facilitates further interaction among economies after the forum. 

To sustain the impact of the project, nurture and bring together women entrepreneurs and create startup-friendly business environment on the APEC level, the PO suggests the APEC to take initiative and encourage member economies to hold similar program regularly. As for the budget of the program, each economy may use self-funding to help nurture their young entrepreneurs. SMEWG can support this effort by encouraging its member economies to pay attention and actively participate in the event. In addition, the participants can report their success in a timeline such as 1 year, 3 years and 5 years as a next course of action after the program has been done.

Lastly, it will be difficult to apply or change policies right after the event. PO will keep trying to contact all participants in order to receive feedbacks from them. Also, PO will be able to make a follow-up event if it is necessary and the project result will be presented in the subsequent meeting such as SMEWG meeting, etc. Furthermore, there will be a concerted effort to build upon the forum’s outputs through a continued call for regional cooperation to implement APEC principles and highlight cross sectoral collaboration.

Project Overseers

Not Applicable.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

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