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Alibaba to train Asian entrepreneurs in e-commerce innovation

By He Wei in Shanghai | | Updated: 2018-03-26 17:07
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E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will train a class of 37 Asian entrepreneurs on e-commerce innovation under a partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The 11-day course is part of a commitment by Jack Ma, Alibaba Group's founder and executive chairman and UNCTAD special advisor, to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries in five years, the company said on Monday.

Following a rigorous selection process, the final candidates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will embark on an 11-day intensive course providing first-hand exposure to e-commerce innovations from China and around the world and become eFounders Fellows.

All participants are founders of their respective startup companies, ranging from e-commerce, big data, logistics, fintech, payment and tourism. Upon graduation, these young entrepreneurs are set to become catalysts in their home countries who will spur the digital transformation of their economies.

"We want to reach out to youth and include them in the work we do for inclusive and sustainable economic growth," Arlette Verploegh, coordinator for the eFounders Initiative at UNCTAD, said in a statement. "The initiative is about bridging the digital divide for young entrepreneurs and unlocking their potential.

The program comes after the success of the inaugural class of 24 African participants last November.

"Our goal is to inspire entrepreneurs to serve as pioneers for building a more inclusive development model that is not just good for their business, but also good for society by creating platforms that all can participate in and benefit from," said Brian A. Wong, vice-president of Alibaba Group, who heads the Global Initiatives program.

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