16 February, 2021 2:59 PM

ASEAN SEDP: Call for Applications Is Now Open!

Application Package

ASEAN Social Enterprise Development Programme 

Applications Deadline:  30 April 2021

Apply at: http://bit.ly/ASEAN-SEDPform

Send enquiries to: [email protected]

Programme Overview

The ASEAN Foundation, with support from GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and SAP, launches the ASEAN Social Enterprises Development Programme (ASEAN-SEDP). This programme will provide social enterprises in ASEAN with access to more significant opportunities to improve their ventures through mentorship, facilitation, trade of knowledge from a network of the region’s social enterprises, financing, and access to market places.

This programme aims for better economic progress in the ASEAN region while also impacting the poverty alleviation, working in line towards achieving SDGs. ASEAN-SEDP is designed to build a greater socio-economic condition of the ASEAN region through social enterprises empowerment. In reference to the values of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), this programme aims to engendering a culture of social entrepreneurship to youths in ASEAN. 

Along with creating a culture of social entrepreneurship, this initiative will become a meaningful partnership model among the different stakeholders at the ASEAN level that work together in achieving sustainable development goals that bring tangible impacts to the development of social enterprises in ASEAN.

The ASEAN-SEDP will play a significant role and will contribute to achieve the ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, particularly in supporting the realisation of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 and ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2021-2025.


The ASEAN Foundation with the support of GIZ and SAP will be implementing the ASEAN Social Enterprise Development Programme (ASEAN SEDP) with the following objectives: 

  1. To sustain youth entrepreneurship through structured capacity building and mentoring programmes;
  2. To empower youth-led social enterprises across the ASEAN region through (1). Promoting productivity, technology and Innovation; (2). Increasing access to finance; (3). Enhancing market access and internationalisation; and (4). Promoting entrepreneurship and human capital development;
  3. To achieve SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 4 – Quality Education, SDG 5 – Gender Equality, SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production, and SDG 13 – Climate Action through social enterprises empowerment with specified targets detailed in the challenges Section


ASEAN SEDP, with the theme of “Social Innovations for the Sustainable ASEAN Community,” supports social enterprises throughout the ASEAN region in their journey to harness innovation and creativity to establish the social impact that would contribute to the sustainable development agenda. This programme provides them with access to mentors, seed grants, and market places they require to scale up and grow their projects.

The ASEAN Foundation, with the support of GIZ and SAP are inviting social enterprises from the ten ASEAN Member States with innovative projects that touch upon on the following issues to apply for the ASEAN SEDP:

1. Reducing poverty or improving the livelihood of ASEAN citizens through job creation, employment-related capacity building initiatives, sustainable agricultural practices and/or access to financial resources – SDG 1: No Poverty – Target 1.4.

2. Providing access to better health cares for ASEAN citizens, particularly disadvantaged communities – SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being – Targets 3.1., 3.2., 3.4., or 3.7.

3. Providing or improving access to quality education/capacity development programmes for ASEAN citizens, particularly disadvantaged communities (marginalised groups, women, people living in slum or rural areas, people with disability, etc.) – SDG 4: Quality Education – Targets 4.4., 4.5., or 4.7.

4. Addressing issues on gender equality in the ASEAN region – SDG 5: Gender Equality – Targets 5.6., 5.a., or 5.b.

5. Addressing environmental issues related to irresponsible exploration of the nature – SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production – Targets 12.2., 12.4., 12.5., or 12.8.

6. Undertaking necessary actions to tackle climate change and its impacts – SDG 13: Climate Action – Targets 13.1. or 13.3.

Eligibility & Qualifications

Social enterprises from ASEAN countries who are implementing projects and creating products solving challenges related to the SDGs mentioned above with the following qualifications are eligible to apply:

  1. 50% of the Social Enterprises team members are aged between 18 to 35 years old.
  2. A team must comprise at least 2 members with at least one team member having ASEAN nationality.
  3. As part of promoting ASEAN identity and encouraging cross-national and cross-border cooperation, it is desirous that a team consists of at least one member having different ASEAN nationality and/or reside in a different ASEAN country.
  4. All team members must be currently residing in the following ASEAN countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  5. If selected, each team must be fully committed to participating in the full cycle of the programme
  6. The social enterprise must be in the early stage of the implementation; its project is local and has been in an operation for more than 5 months (preferable); and it has actively been seeking professional support for scale-up and growth and/or funding.
  7. Some team members must have good English as the programme will be in English

Process & Timeline

Stage 1 – Call for Applications (February – April 2021)

Social enterprises express their interest and nominate their team to join the Programme through the Call for Applications.

Under this stage – there will be a Regional Capacity Building and Mentorship

Stage 2 – Shortlisting (April 2021)

The ASEAN Foundation team will contact the shortlisted applicants and schedule an interview.

Stage 3 – Interview and Assessment (April 2021)

All applying social enterprises will be evaluated and selected based on a set of assessment criteria. See Assessment Criteria for detail. The programme will be targeting a total of 20 selected social enterprises from ten ASEAN Countries, two for each country. Selection process will involve panellists from varied stakeholders. At this stage, all panelists will also decide the three best social enterprises who will receive the seed grants, apart from capacity building and mentorship programme.

Stage 4 – Capacity Building and Mentorship (May - September 2021)

In this stage,  a Regional Capacity Building and Mentorship will be conducted.

Benefits of the Programme

Capacity Building

Network to the marketplaces

The programme will provide access to all selected social enterprises to customers/clients worldwide, including those based in Southeast Asia. Mentors will support providing this access and ensure that all selected social enterprises can initiate sales or connection with prospective customers/clients. The support is provided during a second batch of mentorship


Updates with the most relevant grants, Events and Prizes to accelerate growth of their project


Showcase their initiatives and products in a platform of ASEAN Scope

Assessment Criteria

1. Social Impact: An analysis of the social impact

Does the project address one of the specified issues required by the programme?

Will the project bring any social impact/outcome?

How does the project bring social impacts to targeted population?

2. Beneficiary and Market: Particular groups of population to support and reach out.

Does the project target at and support specified groups of people?

Does the project particularly try to reach out to the following disadvantaged groups of people: people with disability, people living in slum areas, people living in remote areas, people with certain ethnic group,

people with certain gender identity, or people with lack access to economic opportunities?

Who will benefit from this idea? What is the value to the end customers/beneficiaries?

3. Resources: An assessment of the teams and necessary resources.

Does the social enterprise comprise team members with different ASEAN nationalities?

How many team members are available?

Does the social enterprise have additional resources which can support the operations and implementation of the project?

4. Creativity, Innovation, & Feasibility: A demonstration that the idea is unique and can be successfully implemented.

Does the project present an innovative and genuine approach and method of executing the project?

Is the project highly likely to be implemented effectively?  

5. Sustainability: Long-term prospects for viability and success.

Does it consider the different dimensions of financial and social sustainability in a conscientious manner?

What resources (people, funds, permissions) would they need to try the idea out?

What partnerships are in place for sustainability?

6. Scalability: Potential to scale up to the regional level

Is there a potential for significant social impact and engagement of the broader community?

7. Collaboration: Prospective collaboration that the team might explore to support their project for their sustainability

Can the team specify stakeholders from government, grassroot organisations, and local communities which can support them for their project sustainability?

How to apply

All interested social enterprises are required to apply to the programme by completing the application form on the following link by 30 April 2021:http://bit.ly/ASEAN-SEDPform. Applications submitted to other channels will not be considered. Incomplete completion of the form will not be further processed for shortlisting.

For inquiries, please contact [email protected]




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