48 Asian Entrepreneurs Graduate from Class 6 of UNCTAD and Alibaba Business School's eFounders Fellowship Program
Thursday, 13 June 2019 () Another milestone in Alibaba and UNCTAD's commitment towards inclusive and sustainable digital economic development
GENEVA and HANGZHOU, China, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --* *Another milestone was achieved with the graduation of the sixth class of the eFounders Fellowship, a joint initiative by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Alibaba Business School. The aim of the Fellowship is to empower ecosystem building entrepreneurs from developing countries to create inclusive and sustainable digital economic development in their respective markets.
Jack Ma, founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, in his capacity as the UNCTAD Special Adviser for Young Entrepreneurs and Small Business made a commitment over five years to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs from emerging markets to leverage the power of digital economy to create economic development. The graduation of this class is a key step towards this commitment. Together, Alibaba Business School and UNCTAD have already trained 212 entrepreneurs from across Asia and Africa in the past two years.Entrepreneurs from six Asian countries at the Alibaba headquarters as part of the eFounders Fellowship program organized by Alibaba Business School and UNCTAD
This class saw participation from 48 entrepreneurs from six Southeast Asian countries covering five different industries namely e-commerce, fintech / payments, tourism, logistics, and big data. Collectively, these entrepreneurs are creating over 2,700 jobs directly, generating close to USD 400 million revenue last year, and serving over seven million businesses and consumers.Participants of the eFounders fellowship program organized by Alibaba Business School and UNCTAD try their hands at zongzi wrapping in Bainiu Village
"This programme is part of a set of activities we carry out in our efforts to make digitalization work for development," said Arlette Verploegh, Coordinator of the eFounders Fellowship Program at UNCTAD. "Following the completion of the study tour, the participating digital entrepreneurs help building an inclusive e-commerce environment. At national level, they act as game changers by incorporating the SDGs in their business plans and raising awareness about their learnings as eFounders Fellows. They also contribute to our research work on the digital agenda and participate in international events where they exchange views with governments, private sector and other stakeholders."
*Game Changers for the New Digital Economy*
In the 12-day program, using Alibaba as a study model, the Asian entrepreneurs gained first-hand insights into the core success factors and key challenges of the Alibaba Group growth story. Through lectures and field visits, the entrepreneurs gained a deeper understanding of the digital economy ecosystem in China and how they could apply ideas from this into their own venture thereby enabling a larger impact in their home countries. By reviewing their business plans against the Sustainable Development Goals, the entrepreneurs also develop a sense of global and social responsibility.
"With the Fellowship, our aim is to inspire young entrepreneurs from across regions to create inclusive and sustainable digital ecosystems in their home countries while sharing the ecosystem's benefits of bringing small businesses, entrepreneurs and other previously marginalized groups into the mainstream economy," said Brian Wong, Vice President of Alibaba Group, who heads Alibaba's Global Initiatives program.
"The program is designed to provide them exposure to the Alibaba ecosystem and its role in developing the Chinese digital economy so they have a reference point for their own development as leaders and for their companies," he added.
*A Truly Global Fellowship*
Besides getting insights into the digital transformation in China and best practices from the Alibaba Group ecosystem, the Fellowship network aims to foster more regional partnerships for which the class engaged in interactive sessions with co-Fellows, lecturers and advisors. During their trip to Bainiu Village, a role model Taobao village that has adopted e-commerce as a source for economic development located in East China's Zhejiang province, participants also celebrated the dragon boat festival with the residents, where they learned to make zongzi (a traditional rice dumpling in China to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival) gaining a first-hand exposure to the culture.
UNCTAD and Alibaba are committed to ensuring that the Fellows leverage their learnings from the program and apply the same within their communities, with regular engagement and monitoring every three months to support the progress of the Fellows.
"Upon graduation the entrepreneurs make a two year commitment to apply these learning in impactful ways to their communities and at the same time become part of a global fellowship that provides support, encouragement and partnership for regional and global collaboration," said Wong.
With the aim of creating a truly global community, the Fellowship begins with a study tour of Alibaba's headquarters in China and is followed by a two-year engagement. During this time, the Fellows interact through collaboration, follow-ups of the work they have done in their home countries and reunions. On 19^th June, the Asian Fellows will have a reunion in Kuala Lampur (Malaysia) to connect with each other and celebrate the progress they have made following the training program.
Applications are now open for the next Asia eFounders Fellowship class. For details, please visit: https://activity.alibaba.com/supplier/efounders-fellowship-class-8.html
For more information on the eFounders Fellowship, please visit https://agi.alibaba.com/efounders-fellowship and http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1615 and https://unctad.org/en/Pages/eFounders-Initiative.aspx
The eFounders Fellowship is part of a set of smart partnerships UNCTAD is creating to help countries reach the Sustainable Development Goals.
*About Alibaba Group*
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere and the company aims to achieve sustainable growth for 102 years.