ASEAN broadens linkages with Northeast Asia: USAID sponsored 20 ASEAN women entrepreneur mentors as part of the StartOpps Study Tour initiative launched on November 18 in Taipei. This inaugural exchange emphasizes engagement in how Taiwan’s startup ecosystem works to mentor and cultivate the next generation of women entrepreneurs, promotes sharing of best practices between ASEAN and Taiwanese mentors, and builds new networking opportunities for ASEAN female entrepreneurs. The participants are also delegates attending the 18th Small-Medium Enterprises Leadership Summit and the Women’s Expo promoted by the Office of Global Partnerships.
“By empowering entrepreneurs and helping them succeed, they naturally encourage governments, the private sector, and educational institutions to keep recreating the foundations of a free society – namely democratic governance, the rule of law, and the protection of intellectual property. Entrepreneurs are, in many ways, the real driving force not only of innovation, but of the entire free and open Indo-Pacific,” stated W. Brent Christensen, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, in his remarks at the StartOpps Opening Ceremony.
The StartOpps initiative aligns with USAID’s commitment to strengthen women’s empowerment and advance Small-Medium Enterprises development through the expansion of private-sector partnerships ultimately unlocking economic growth, prosperity, and stability in the Indo-Pacific.