Inspiring “ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs” was the theme of the 2nd ASEAN Women's Summit, held on October 13. The forum focused on promoting gender equality by encouraging women in business.

Held by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the forum recognised outstanding women entrepreneurs from ASEAN countries, who were selected after vigorous evaluations by a committee. The ministry hoped the awards would encourage other women entrepreneurs to increase their contributions to the economic growth of the region.

From Thailand, Nicha Ratanachinda is one of the winners who used her business to boost her nation’s economy. She was excited to attend the event.

“I am honored to receive the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Award today. It is my great pleasure to be a role model for other women on the path towards financial independence,” she said.

Another winner, Mailin Abiva from the Philippines, said recognition would serve as motivation for her to continue contributing to her society.

“Over the years, I have used my business to help strengthen the knowledge of women in my country. I am always pleased to see positive changes in their knowledge and ability to find better jobs,” she added.

The Cambodian winner, Po Chou, an entrepreneurial consultant in accounting and business tax, noted that a large number of women did not have the opportunity to work because they were housewives.

She said that she had established a forum which employed these women, offering them the chance to work remotely online. No matter the circumstances, women can still earn an income. They should not miss out on job opportunities due to family responsibilities, she added.

“Women are often assigned many responsibilities, which means they are more likely to lose the opportunity to earn an income. This loss has hindered the development of women in the business community,” Kong Sorita, undersecretary of state at the women’s ministry.

For this reason, the ministry used many mechanisms, including the Women Entrepreneurs Forum, to demonstrate that women are capable of achieving success in all fields, including business.