E-commerce bootcamp for ASEAN SMEs launches in Brunei

DHgate, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) China, and ABAC Brunei have launched APEC CBET boot camp in Brunei.

The APEC CBET boot camp is an upgraded version of the APEC CBET capacity building program, and is designed to specifically serve SMEs in the ASEAN region by providing training and resources for  upgrading their businesses to a cross-border e-commerce centric model.

China and DHgate aim to share best practices through online and offline training with ASEAN SMEs. The goal of the APEC CBET boot camp is to cultivate more talent in the cross-border e-commerce industry and to realize the upgrade of training in the industry.

The APEC CBET boot camp will be funded and provided by the government of Brunei. DHgate will provide mentors and professional resources to transform Brunei into the center of e-commerce in the ASEAN region.

The training will start as a one day class and in late 2017 be upgraded to a 3 month class. In addition to classroom training sessions, the boot camp will also provide students with both online and offline hands on experience and guidance.

A special zone on DHgate.com will be launched for mentors and students to engage in discussion and form an online community.

The CBET boot camp will observe the unique needs of local businesses and will provide localized classes in order for students to receive the best support to start or upgrade their businesses.

At the end of every 3 month class cycle, DHgate and ABAC Brunei will select star students and provide them with a series of entrepreneurship incubation resources, including:

        Start-up capital
        Opportunities for partnerships and community relations
        Value added services
        Opportunities for marketing and promotion
        Transform them into role models for SMEs in the ASEAN region


Accoridng to DHgate, there is a lot of room for improvement regarding the lack of awareness among SMEs of the opportunities presented by the trend of digitalization. As a result, many SMEs are not in a position where they are prepared to transform their businesses to a digital model. They have not been educated about the available digital platforms and technologies, nor do they have the skills to correctly utilize them. These factors prevent SMEs from realizing the upgrade of their business model.

The necessary steps that an SME must take to participate in global digital trade are:

1. The transition in mind-set of SME owners and operators from a traditional business to a digital business.

2. The involvement and participation of decision makers and employees to acquire the skills and professional knowledge to run and operate a business with a digital model.

3. To realize the integration and transformation of their business model through the combination of online and offline trade through digital trade platforms.