In Cambodia, a humble honey farmer and beekeeper thinks about what it would be like to expand his business to the international market. However, he isn’t sure where to start. Where does he get the funding to produce enough to send abroad to India or Thailand? What are the logistics involved in doing so? How does he know that his product will be accepted based on recognized international standards, or if there is even any interest in the product at all? Entering international trade for the first time is no easy task and requires knowledge and skills that many businesses don’t have.
This is a hypothetical situation, but all too real for many businesses across various sectors looking to grow their business. PROFIT Accelerator is a programme of the Asian Development Bank to promote regional opportunities for investment and trade, implemented by a consortium including IMC Worldwide, the Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and ASSIST. It is aimed at businesses in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and in India who would like to grow their business and could use support as they find new customers, partners, and distributors in other countries, among other activities.
The PROFIT Accelerator programme is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and skills so businesses in the region have the ability to start exploring international opportunities by allocating the necessary resources. Participating small and medium enterprises (SMEs) benefit from various training courses, technical assistance, direct mentoring, introduction to key partners, and guided trade missions to target countries. Furthermore, the online platform has various educational resources available publicly for any interested.
ASSIST is primarily represented in the project through Aru David, our Global Director of Private Sector Partnership, as Business Accelerator Manager for the Greater Mekong Subregion. Aru is further supported by members of our Mekong team who ensure that the project is able to produce the needed learning materials, connect relevant actors, and coordinate with participating SMEs. About 370 SMEs have registered, with 140+ already trained on general trade knowledge and able to receive mentoring support.
This article is featured in the July-September 2021 issue of the ASSIST Now Newsletter.