Project Name Digital Entrepreneurship in Asia for Economic Resilience and Post-Pandemic Recovery
Project Number 54301-001
Country / Economy Regional
Korea, Republic of
China, People's Republic of
Viet Nam
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
Operational Priorities OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
Sector / Subsector

Industry and trade / Small and medium enterprise development

Information and communication technology / ICT strategy and policy, and capacity development

Gender Some gender elements
Description The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will support the development of knowledge and policy insights on digital entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific. through a series of detailed comparative case studies of: (i) effective teaching of digital entrepreneurship skills and attitudes; ii) effective nurturing and operation of digital entrepreneurial ecosystems; and (iii) effective integration of digital entrepreneurs in industrial supply chains better understand the potential and nurturing of digital entrepreneurship in Asian economies and how their potential could be better harnessed to advance productivity in the digital economy.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalization in almost all aspects of life, driven by a proliferation of remote working, remote learning, online shopping, movie streaming, and videoconferencing. Information and communication technology (ICT) has enabled organizations to continue operating amid global lockdowns and social distancing measures. The post-COVID-19 'new normal will continue to be highly digitalized, reinforcing the importance for developing Asia of digitally transforming their economies. Digital entrepreneurs were already a growing force in the world economy before the outbreak. Accelerated digitalization brought about by COVID-19 is bringing digital entrepreneurship further to the fore.

Nurturing digital entrepreneurship can help developing member countries (DMCs) adapt their economies to the post-COVID-19 world. Yet there have been few efforts to facilitate knowledge sharing among countries regarding what works in terms of nurturing digital entrepreneurs and digital entrepreneurial ecosystems. This scarcity of knowledge contributes to many DMCs having weak institutions and policies for digital entrepreneurship.

Although entrepreneurs have been hit hard by COVID-19, those that have effectively leveraged digital technology generally have weathered the pandemic more effectively. Digital entrepreneurs have thrived during the pandemic and they are likely to play a large role in the increasingly digitalized post-COVID-19 world. ICT can substantially reduce the cost of starting a business, opening up fresh entrepreneurial opportunities for women, youth, and the poor.

Strengthening digital entrepreneurship can thus help Asian economies recover from COVID-19 and serve as an engine of inclusive growth. Although governments and the private sector in many Asian countries have already begun to respond to digital opportunities, much remains to be done and there is sizable scope for stakeholders to improve their policy-relevant knowledge and build dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems. This TA project will foster digital entrepreneurship by addressing these knowledge gaps.


Remaining poverty and inequalities for developing Asia's population affected by economic crisis reduced

Quality jobs generated amid improved business environment for digital entrepreneurs, companies, and MSMEs

Women's resilience to external shocks strengthened through improved access to job skills and support for women's entrepreneurship

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Knowledge to improve the capacity of DMCs to nurture and unlock the productivity potential of digital entrepreneurs strengthened

Progress Toward Outcome Project studies that served as background materials for the theme chapter of the Asian Development Outlook 2022 Update (ADOU), a flagship economic publication of ADB, have been completed, and dissemination activities have been conducted.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Updated metrics and public data on digital entrepreneurship enhanced.

Innovative research of digital entrepreneurial ecosystems promoted.

Knowledge sharing and capacity building on digital entrepreneurship strengthened.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

National data and entrepreneur-level data from ASEAN-6 survey and other related information on digital entrepreneurship in developing Asia were harmonized and prepared for further analysis.

The ASEAN digital entrepreneurship survey was completed on time. 15 research studies that served as background materials for the theme chapter of the ADOU 2022 on Entrepreneurship in the Digital Age were also completed. In addition, around 10 background notes under the project were prepared for ADOU.

Knowledge sharing and dissemination activities have been undertaken as part of the Asian Development Outlook 2022 Update theme chapter promotion. More research studies on digital entrepreneurship are being planned. In addition, as part of its capacity-building activities, the project will begin developing a tentatively titled Entrepreneurial Asia portal, which will contain practical lessons for entrepreneurs in the region.

Geographical Location China - Nation-wide; Korea, Republic of - Nation-wide; Malaysia - Nation-wide; Myanmar - Nation-wide; Philippines - Nation-wide; Singapore - Nation-wide; Thailand - Nation-wide; Viet Nam - Nation-wide
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation Consulted with national governments on the conduct of the ASEAN digital entrepreneurship survey.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services A total of 42 person-months of consulting services and about 15 resource persons will be engaged. All consultants will be recruited according to ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions.
Procurement RFQ; Direct purchase as applicable
Responsible ADB Officer Park, Donghyun
Responsible ADB Department Economic Research and Development Impact Department
Responsible ADB Division Office of the Chief Economist and Director General, ERDI (EROD)
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
Concept Clearance 25 Sep 2020
Fact Finding -
Approval 12 Jan 2021
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 02 Feb 2023
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