USAID and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Launch SMART UP, an online learning platform for SMEs

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USAID and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Launch SMART UP, an online learning platform for SMEs
USAID and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Launch SMART UP, an online learning platform for SMEs
Athit Chanthalath/USAID

USAID and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Launch SMART UP, an online learning platform for SMEs

For Immediate Release

Saturday, September 18, 2021

VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — On September 16, the Department of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion, Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Lao ICT Commerce Association, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Laos Business Environment Project, formally launched the SMART UP e-learning platform, designed to help SMEs and entrepreneurs enhance their digital skills from anywhere at any time. The platform can be accessed through www.smartup.lica.com

The e-learning platform went live during a ceremony led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Somchith Inthamith, and USAID Country Representative to Laos Mr. Michael Ronning.

SMART UP’s eight modules were developed and delivered by prominent professors from the National University of Laos with support from USAID.  The e-learning platform is designed to provide SMEs and entrepreneurs with the skills they need to enhance and promote their businesses.  Module topics include Multimedia for SMEs; Introduction to Digitization; Digital Marketing and Sales for SMEs; Accounting Tools for SMEs; Data Analysis for SMEs; Introduction to Full Stack Web Application Development; E-Commerce Essentials; and Online Safety for SMEs

Deputy Minister Inthamith thanked USAID for the continued support to SMEs.  “The Government of Lao PDR places great effort into strengthening SMEs’ digital skills to facilitate active participation in the digital economy which will improve Laos’ competitiveness and ensure sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Digital learning platforms such as SMART UP will contribute greatly to improving digital literacy for SMEs and assist them in becoming more agile in the current economic environment.” said Deputy Minister Inthamith.

Mr. Ronning commented on the Government of Lao PDR’s efforts on improving the Lao business environment. “Technological innovation presents new opportunities to respond to critical development challenges. The launch of SMART UP is timely as it will help Laos’ SMEs and entrepreneurs to survive and adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the new economic environment created by COVID in which digital skills are often essential. ” said Mr. Michael Ronning.  “As we continue to address the pandemic’s health impact, the United States will assist the Lao PDR to build back the economy, generating more jobs and opportunities.”

USAID, through Laos Business Environment Project, took the lead in developing the platform’s content to ensure that all materials are relevant and applicable to the needs of the SMEs.

This initiative is in line with USAID’s support of Lao PDR trade and economic growth.  The United States partners with Lao PDR to improve health, education, rule of law, and counter trafficking in persons.

Last updated: September 22, 2021

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