June 6, 2014—Businesswomen in ASEAN Member States can now share experiences and promote a favorable environment for women's entrepreneurship through the ASEAN Women’s Entrepreneur Network (AWEN).
The ASEAN Committee on Women created AWEN and hosted a launch event on April 23, 2014, in Hanoi with 60 businesswomen in attendance. The launch was held with the support of the ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (ACTI) project, which Nathan Associates manages on behalf of USAID, U.S. State Department, and ASEAN. U.S. firms Google, Motorola, and Procter and Gamble contributed their expertise to the event as well.
David B. Shear, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, attended the launch, as did Alicia de la Rosa Bala, the deputy secretary general of ASEAN for the Sociocultural Community, and Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, Vietnam’s minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs.
AWEN activities planned for 2014 and 2015 include developing marketing material profiling members and their products and services and conducting a baseline study on women entrepreneurship in ASEAN in cooperation with the OECD. It was agreed that the regular forum, where AWEN members engage in business matching and share knowledge and good practices, should be held annually.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, chair of Vietnam’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Council, is the chair of AWEN. The chairwoman position will rotate among ASEAN member states every two years.