SAP and ASEAN Foundation Collaborate to Strengthen Economic and Social Impact in Southeast Asia

Press Release

Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) aims to raise education efforts, enhance digital skills among youth, and accelerate growth of social enterprises across ten ASEAN Member States.

Dr. Piti Srisangnam (Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation) and Verena Siow (President and Managing Director of SAP Southeast Asia) officially signs MoA for a collaboration between SAP and ASEAN Foundation

JAKARTA, Indonesia – SAP and ASEAN Foundation today announced the continuation of their strategic collaboration to empower youth-led social enterprises and young talent in ASEAN focusing in two areas: digital skilling and social enterprises.

The announcement marks the seventh year of industry collaboration between SAP and ASEAN Foundation designed to provide Southeast Asian youth with skills essential to build a future-ready workforce and to encourage the participation of young social entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions that deliver inclusive economic benefits across the region.

Data Analytics Skills Focus on ASEAN Data Science Explorers Program

As one of SAP’s largest CSR programs focusing on data analytics skills advancement since its inception in 2017, the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEAN DSE) has equipped over 43,400 youths across ten countries with data analytics skills as of 2022. The announcement today confirmed this program will continue.

“Young people are both our greatest asset, and the hope of tomorrow. It is encouraging to witness our collaboration with SAP to constitute more focus areas like data analytics, to help drive a greater impact in the region. I am confident that this joint effort will build on previous successes in improving digital access as well as career and education opportunities for our youth, encouraging young minds to innovate for the betterment of the region,” said Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation.

“The youth in Southeast Asia (SEA) represent the next generation of leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers. Their potential as catalysts for positive change, progress and purpose in SEA is limitless, and it is essential that we continue to nurture our youth to be future-ready digital natives who are capable of advocating for social impact and sustainable development in the region. However, we cannot do it alone. Public, private, and plural partnerships are absolutely quintessential, and our collaboration with ASEAN Foundation has clearly demonstrated our collective vision to empower our youth to build a brighter and more promising future for generations to come,” said Verena Siow, President & Managing Director, SAP Southeast Asia.

ASEAN Foundation and SAP celebrate MoA signing for program collaboration

Youth enablement remains an integral focus for ASEAN as youth already comprise approximately a third of the region’s combined population, accounting for the largest ever cohort of youth in the region. Especially amid a Southeast Asian landscape that poses challenges with a widening digital divide and scarce female talent in the technology sector, the program will retain its priority focus on digitally skilling under-represented communities.

Enhancing Social Enterprises in ASEAN, TikTok as New Partner

SAP, ASEAN Foundation, and TikTok have also come together to continue the implementation of ASEAN Social Enterprise Development Program (ASEAN SEDP) in 2023. Under the program, SAP has empowered 20 youth-led social enterprises and nearly 1,200 direct ASEAN SEDP beneficiaries with access to resources for capacity building, mentorship, networking, funding grants, and the wider market since 2020. The addition of TikTok will further equip early to growth-stage youth-led social enterprises with a tech-based platform that can help social enterprises to expand their market presence and sustain their impact in the region. The collaboration comes at a timely juncture with TikTok as a growingly important tool for small and medium businesses to drive public engagement, especially as the user base continues to increase in ASEAN.

“Aside from digital skills alone, public-private industry collaborations play an important role in empowering communities with access to opportunities in the marketplace, that provide training and development experiences as well as the direct mentorship and tutelage needed for long-term success. In the past two years, we have seen the inspiring innovative spirit of social entrepreneurs under the ASEAN SEDP. With the right exchange of expertise and necessary skill sets, we believe these youth-led social enterprises will be key to driving real impact in their communities,” said Siow.

Other initiatives include the ASEAN Digital Empowerment (ASEAN DE) program and ASEAN SAP Apprenticeship Program (ASEAN SAP), which will avail underserved communities with online education and certification opportunities through the SAP Learning Hub, as well as training opportunities in workplace environments respectively.




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About ASEAN Foundation

Three decades after ASEAN was established, ASEAN leaders recognized that: there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among people of ASEAN. It was of this concern that ASEAN leaders established ASEAN Foundation during ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 15 December 1997. ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. The Foundation exists because of one vision: to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. As an ASEAN’s body, the Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction, and development of the people of ASEAN. For more info about the ASEAN Foundation, visit: www.aseanfoundation.org


Annex A

ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEAN DSE)

ASEAN DSE is a regional digital literacy program aimed to introduce and equip youths, including underserved youths, with data analytics skills through SAP Analytics Cloud. It also aims to promote ASEAN awareness and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and inspire the youths to actively tackle socio-economic issues across the ASEAN region through data-driven solutions. It has been endorsed by the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Youth (SOMY) and ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED). It is devoted to ASEAN youths aged 16 – 35, taking full-time education at educational institutions based in the 10 ASEAN Member States, and underserved youths. It is manifested in two primary segments: the regional data analytics competition and enablement session. The competition is organised across all ASEAN member states with a regional final taking place onsite in Jakarta on 24 October 2023. For information on past iterations and participants of the program, please visit https://aseandse.org


ASEAN Digital Empowerment (ASEAN DE)

The program provides free access to an online learning platform (https://learning.sap.com/student-zone) and SAP certification examination for underserved youths aged 18 to 30 years old to learn essential skills and enable them to be able to strive and compete in the labour market. The platform has e-learning content to prepare youths for three following roles: (1) Developer roles, (2) Consultant roles, (3) Data Analyst roles. The platform provides varying courses aligned with the crucial skills as referred by the World Economic Forum (WEF), including but not limited to 1) Human experience management; 2) Business Intelligence; 3) Data Science; 4) Software development; 5) Computer sciences; 6) Design Thinking and Business Model Innovation, and many other courses covering a broad scope of career paths. Through this initiative, all selected youths will gain access to learning materials to prepare for a professional SAP Global Certification – increasing their career opportunities in the global job market.


ASEAN Social Enterprise Development Program (ASEAN SEDP)

The ASEAN Foundation, with support from TikTok and SAP, launches the ASEAN Social Enterprises Development Program Phase 2 (ASEAN-SEDP 2.0), which is an accelerator program that aims to provide customised capacity-building training, mentorship and coaching, facilitation to market and finance, and seed funding to 20 youth-led social enterprises in ASEAN in 2023. The program aims to help social enterprises, from minimum viable products (MVPs) to growth-stage level, to be equipped with solid knowledge in business models, revenue model diversification, branding and marketing, pitching, and social impact assessment. We will also improve their access to finance by connecting them with investors to sustain their impact.


ASEAN SAP Apprenticeship Program (ASEAN SAP)

The program will employ six apprentices in 2023. They will assist the SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs across the ASEAN+6 region (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand) and ensure that these program support the work plans and priorities of the ASEAN+6 region. They will also be required to support the ASEAN Foundation-SAP Joint Initiatives. The selected apprentices will have full access to SAP’s and ASEAN Foundation’s systems during the apprenticeship program.