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Lao People's Democratic Republic

IGNITE – Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States promote a well-integrated and inclusive ASEAN Economic Community by strengthening a more favorable environment for cross-border trade that benefits both ASEAN and the United States.

The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), works to reduce the cost of international trade, spur e-commerce and increase productivity in Southeast Asia. USAID provides technical assistance to ASEAN bodies in trade facilitation; digital economy; and science, technology, and innovation. USAID also promotes cross-cutting objectives that target micro, small, and medium sized enterprise (MSME) development and gender mainstreaming.


As USAID’s flagship project working in the ASEAN economic pillar, the ASEAN-USAID Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E- Commerce (IGNITE) project promotes close collaboration with ASEAN sectoral bodies and the regional and global private sector to implement the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 across three work streams.


ASEAN is committed to reducing the time and cost of trade through transparency, simplification, predictability and use of technology. These efforts will result in higher business activity and investment, including greater engagement of MSMEs in trade, that drives economic growth. USAID IGNITE supports ASEAN to reduce non-tariff trade barriers, improve logistics, and promote the harmonization of standards.


ASEAN’s share of global e-commerce is less than one percent, but its share of global GDP is three to four percent. This suggests tremendous growth potential for the digital economy and a great benefit for SMEs that can tap into this market. USAID IGNITE promotes the growth of the regional digital economy by supporting efforts to expand digital finance, improve cybersecurity, strengthen data privacy, improve consumer protection, expand broadband access and affordability, and develop smart cities.


Establishing a favorable environment in the ASEAN region to spur science, technology, and innovation growth can face obstacles. USAID IGNITE promotes measures to create a more conducive environment for MSMEs to access technology. The project also supports growth in human capital for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and promotes greater linkages among government, the private sector and academia to encourage growth through applied research and development, including commercialization of research.

Connected Projects, Contracts, Grants, or Awards

IGNITE - WEAVE (Women Entrepreneurs Amplifying Ventures and Economies)

Women Entrepreneurs Amplifying Ventures and Economies (WEAVE) was a program by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women that utilized digital technology to support, empower, and provide entrepreneurship skills to over 12,000 women who were managing small and growing businesses in Vietnam and Indonesia.

WEAVE was implemented from May 2020 to November 2021. The program aimed to promote women's economic empowerment through a three-phased "learning journey" customized to women's progress in their business development. This journey included a mobile learning app called HerVenture, an online business management and investment readiness program known as Road to Growth, and online professional mentoring through the Mentoring Women in Business program, where participants were matched with expert business mentors. Additionally, a new leadership and influencing training component was piloted as an extension to Road to Growth, and it received significant demand, particularly for soft skills training.

WEAVE was delivered collaboratively by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™, and local in-country implementing partners Kinara (Indonesia) and WISE (Vietnam). It received funding from the former Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, and technology and assets were developed in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation. The contract for this program was awarded by the ASEAN-USAID Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade, and E-Commerce (ASEAN-USAID IGNITE) program, which is funded by USAID.

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IGNITE - Resonance Global - Implementing Contract

SSG Advisors, LLC dba Resonance, will support Nathan in implementing three aspects of the project:  1) expansion of private sector engagement, particularly outreach to the regional and U.S. private sector to identify policy issues of interest to the business community and to establish partnerships in implementing programming; 2) implementing the science, technology and innovation work stream; and 3) providing broader support in work planning across all aspects of the program, particularly as it relates to private sector engagement.  Specific tasks under each of these areas will be specified in individual scopes of work provided by the ASEAN-USAID IGNITE Chief of Party, his/her designee, on an assignment-by-assignment basis which will guide the tasks to be completed and set out the expected resource use for that assignment.

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