The ILO and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, through its SME Service Center have come together to host a series of online talks on radio and social media targeted at small business owners to unite, learn and receive support towards COVID-19 recovery.
The ILO project ‘Supporting resilience of Lao MSMEs in response to COVID-19’, with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation has hosted over 10 Online talks for micro-, small- and medium-enterprise owners to gain advice and information in order to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With an expansive reach through the national radio station (103.7 MHz) and broadcasted live on social media, the momentum is building as listeners and viewers absorb knowledge from experts within the business community every week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted MSMEs in Lao PDR, who are often in the informal sector and are likely to struggle to access support. The online talks offers an opportunity for MSMEs to learn first-hand from experts whilst also being able to voice their concerns and needs during uncertain times
The series, which began in July 2021 has helped reduce the isolation between businesses during the pandemic, and has equipped business owners with inspiring and practical tips and tricks on how to manage, survive and recover during and after the pandemic. From the Vice President of the LNCCI, to financial experts, from Business Development Providers to Association representatives, the series continues to grow in its expertise, reach and potential.
Highlights include wisdom from Mr. Daovone Phachanthavong, “You are not alone and we will be able to go through together so try to survive and do not lose hope, don’t be scared to ask help and support from others like LNCCI or SME Service Center”, as he assured the business community, especially small businesses of the role and presence of the LNCCI and the service offerings from the SME Service Center. Further practical tips included: Basic ways to manage your business and finances, ways to reduce costs, opportunities for handicraft businesses and much more.
With a lineup of knowledge support available for small businesses, the series will continue to highlight events, workshops, knowledge and opportunities available during these challenging times.
Mid-September to mid-October will feature a series of resilient and inspirational business women, through the partnership with the Lao Business Women Association.
The initiative also promotes a link between experts, government agencies, business development service (BDS) providers and MSMEs. Gradually, the online talks will encourage MSMEs to share their thoughts and voice concerns through the sessions in efforts to break any feelings of isolation during these challenging times.
The online talks have been an opportunity for key stakeholders to come together in an innovative and creative way in order to reach business owners affected by lockdown restrictions. These will continue until the end of November 2021 with a total of 18 online talks available for MSMEs to access even after the programme ends.
The ILO ‘Supporting resilience of Lao MSMEs in response to COVID-19’ is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and is being implemented in collaboration with Laos National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI)