Supporting enterprises at scale: adapting business training programmes under the COVID-19 ‘new normal'

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of disruption for small and medium-sized enterprises across the Asia-Pacific, often impacting vulnerable groups the hardest. Simultaneously, travel restrictions and hindered social interaction has made it difficult to deliver assistance to affected enterprises, exacerbating isolation and threatening livelihoods. This webinar will discuss how business training programmes can be adjusted to support enterprises to build back better from the crisis whilst adapting under new digitalised circumstances.

When: 4 November 2020, 15:00 – 16:30pm (GMT+7)
Please register for the event here.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges for enterprises across the Asia-Pacific, and it is more important than ever to assist businesses in navigating these challenging times in order to protect workers and employers alike. At the same time, the outbreak has hindered many attempts to deliver trainings and other types of assistance, which typically are in-person, for the foreseeable future.

The ILO webinar will look at how development actors are adapting business training programmes during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

By bringing together various programme specialists, business development service providers, beneficiaries and other partners across Asia and the Pacific, it will look at the impacts of the pandemic on enterprises, and how development actors can support them through this time.

In addition, the webinar will explore how trainings have been adapting under new digitalised circumstances. Specifically, how can programmes be adaptive and scalable during this difficult time whilst being flexible to the ever-changing world of work and provide sufficient support to enterprises at great need.

The pandemic has brought unprecedented negative impacts on enterprises across the region, as such, delivering impactful training programmes at scale is vital for sustainable recovery and decent work for all. As COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted vulnerable groups, the discussion will also focus on how to best support enterprises towards closing crucial inequality gaps. ‘Success stories’, benefits and future challenges will be shared in order to pave new pathways for business development in the ‘new normal’.

This webinar welcomes a breadth of knowledge and experience from enterprise development actors from Asia and the Pacific, whilst engaging in fruitful discussions on how to ‘build back better’ from the crisis.

This webinar is open to all and would be of particular interest to key enterprise actors such as UN agencies, development partners, workers’ and employers’ organizations, civil society organizations, BDS providers and policymakers.

This event is part of the ILO’s launch of the Peer Learning Hub for Enterprises in Asia-Pacific, an initiative supported by multiple enterprise development projects across the region. The Peer Learning Hub is an interactive digital platform for accessing updates, information and materials on the ILO’s activity-based and peer learning training programmes.

General Discussion Questions

  • How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted enterprises across the Asia-Pacific?
  • How can business training programmes help enterprises overcome and build back better from the pandemic?
  • How are business training programmes being adapted under the ‘new normal’?
  • Looking forward, how can business development training pave the way in ‘building back better’ in the world of work?


Moderator: Irene Laochaisri, co-founder and managing partner of Insightpact
Commentator: Charles Bodwell, enterprise development specialist at the International Labour Organization for East and South East Asia and the Pacific

Olive R. Ybanez: Director, Human Resources (OD) at Teleperformance, Philippines

Panouane Phetthany: Executive Director at MicroFinance Association, Lao PDR

Rini Wahyu Hariani: Master Trainer and Chair of Indonesian Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Association, Indonesia

Sue Tym: Programme Director, Care International, Myanmar