Education Services
Business Continuity and Resilience: Fostering the Growth of ASEAN MSMEs through Sustainable and Innovative Learning


Since 2021, ASEAN Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are at a crossroads, confronting challenges that could shape their future. Representing between 97% to 99% of firms and accounting for 60% to 80% of total employment in ASEAN countries, MSMEs are crucial economic actors. However, their journey is fraught with hurdles, including limited access to financing, regulatory complexities, and a persistent skills gap in the labor market. These challenges are compounded by the digital transformation imperative, requiring MSMEs to adopt new technologies to streamline operations and improve customer experiences. The pandemic has accelerated this shift, yet the road to recovery is steep, marred by financial constraints and the need for more robust digital capabilities​​.

Looking ahead to 2024, the scenario for MSMEs is one of cautious optimism, underscored by a concerted push towards sustainability and digital innovation. Yet, as they navigate this transformative landscape, MSMEs face a myriad of obstacles: from securing the necessary financing and complying with a maze of regulations to protecting their intellectual property amidst a digital overhaul. The emergence of e-commerce and remote work as permanent fixtures offers opportunities and challenges, necessitating a delicate balance between embracing innovation and managing risks associated with cybersecurity and supply chain disruptions. The support of governments and financial institutions in fostering an environment conducive to growth, innovation, and resilience is pivotal, as MSMEs strive to stay relevant in a rapidly changing market​​​​.


In addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by ASEAN MSMEs, the initiative led by Mereka, in partnership with a USAID-funded regional project, adopts a comprehensive and forward-looking approach. This endeavor is designed to empower MSMEs through a digital transformation journey, underscoring the pivotal role of sustainable practices in fostering economic and environmental benefits. By harnessing the power of an integrated online platform, the program offers access to a wealth of resources including e-learning modules, webinars, and communities of practice. These resources are meticulously tailored to bolster business continuity and resilience among MSMEs, supporting their recovery in the post-COVID-19 era and facilitating their transition into the digital economy.

Program Highlights:

  • Digital and Entrepreneurial Skill Development: The initiative focuses on the creation and dissemination of four comprehensive e-learning courses. These courses are designed to equip MSMEs with essential digital and entrepreneurial skills, covering a broad spectrum from business fundamentals in the digital age to managing digital teams effectively. Each course is crafted to provide an interactive and engaging learning experience, ensuring the acquisition of practical, real-world applications.
  • Localization and Accessibility: Recognizing the diverse linguistic landscape of ASEAN, Mereka has localized these courses into English, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, and Vietnamese. This strategic localization significantly enhances accessibility, enabling a broader audience of MSMEs across the region to benefit from the program.
  • Sustainable Practices and Global Competency: The courses also emphasize the importance of adopting sustainable practices and developing global competency. By integrating these elements into the curriculum, the program aims to prepare MSMEs not only for local success but also for participation in the global market.
  • Community and Networking: Beyond the educational offerings, the initiative fosters a vibrant community of practice. This community provides a platform for MSMEs to share experiences, exchange insights, and collaborate on innovative solutions, thereby strengthening the collective resilience and adaptability of the sector.

Goals & Results

Strategic Goals Achieved

  • Comprehensive Course Development: Successfully developed 2 courses each for Business Continuity and Resilience, totaling 4 courses, to empower ASEAN MSMEs with critical knowledge for navigating the digital and post-pandemic landscape.
  • Module Completion: Crafted 16 total modules across all courses, ensuring a wide range of topics are covered to enhance MSME capabilities.
  • Webinar Engagement: Hosted 8 total webinars, providing interactive learning and networking opportunities for course participants.
  • Digital Resource Expansion: Created 5 landing pages and 22 micro-videos to facilitate easy access to course materials and key information.
  • Interactive Learning Enhancement: Introduced 19 interactive lessons, promoting active learning and engagement among MSMEs.
  • Promotional Outreach: Launched promo and demo video to effectively communicate the program's value and attract participation from across the ASEAN region.

Success Metrics: Insights from Program Implementation

  • Course Participation: Achieved significant enrollment in the e-learning courses, demonstrating high interest and demand among ASEAN MSMEs for digital skill development.
  • Knowledge Increment: Recorded an average increase in participants' knowledge of digital transformation strategies related to future-proofing and building resilience for their businesses, pointing to the effectiveness of the course content and delivery.
  • Community Building: Fostered a robust community of practice among MSMEs through webinars and interactive platforms, enhancing peer learning and network support.
  • Content Engagement: High engagement rates with the digital resources, including landing pages and micro-videos, indicating the relevance and usefulness of the content provided.
Virtual, Kuala Lumpur

Hear from Our Participants!

I really enjoyed this program and gained a lot of experience. The part I found most helpful was learning on my own through videos, assignments, and tutorials. It let me learn at my own speed and really understand the topics. Also, using a tool called Airtable to pick up new skills was great. It made organizing my learning easier and showed me new ways to handle information. This program helped me grow and learn a lot in a fun way.

Nur Daniela ariesha binti ajab khan

This program is truly wonderful for young people to learn about the basics of digital technology, especially since many of us lack knowledge in this area. I firmly believe this program is a fantastic opportunity for the youth. Given the pandemic and the restrictions we faced, it's a great chance to pick up something new. Moreover, these skills are not just limited to one area but can be applied broadly. For me personally, the self-learning aspect, through videos, assignments, and tutorials, was incredibly beneficial for my progress. It allowed me to learn at my own pace and truly absorb the material. Highly recommend it to anyone looking to expand their digital skills!

Anis Kamalia Binti Kamarulzaman

Joining this program was motivated by my desire to enhance my skills, deepen my understanding of digital capabilities, and receive mentorship and guidance from experts in the field. The best part for me has been the Webinar Sessions. They gave me real-time tips and let me talk to experts. I've also used something called the Canvas Learning Platform a lot. It's helped me get better and more comfortable with this tool. This whole experience has been really valuable for growing my skills and learning things that mix ideas with real-world use. It's been amazing for my growth and learning!

Nur Nabilah Fitri Binti Norazad

Hear from Our Participants!

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