This course has the following objectives.
1) Discuss the
most recent cloud solutions, concepts, tools, and methodologies for
service-sector digital transformation.
innovation-led productivity improvements for service-sector organizations
within the context of Industry 4.0 technologies, including cloud computing,
cloud-native architecture, and cloud-based solutions.
Module 1: Introduction to the
cloud and cloud computing
Module 2: Applications of cloud
solutions in the service sector
Module 3: Relationship between
cloud technologies and labor productivity in service-sector organizations
Module 4: Case studies of
cloud-driven productivity in the service sector
Module 5: Summary of concepts and
As part of their resilience, SMEs should be flexible in business approaches to adapt to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and other unexpected circumstances. However, given the small size of their workforces and structures, SMEs are often
less clear in their strategic approach. This includes adopting design thinking and design innovation, which is a holistic approach to system changes and process innovation aimed at enabling maximum returns.
According to the European Academy of Design (2019), SMEs around the world often lack an innovation culture. Compared to global giants such as Amazon, SpaceX, Apple, and Salesforce, which possess the resources for highly evolved innovation cultures,
average SMEs have much fewer resources and therefore feel less compelled to promote innovation. Service design thinking, however, is not the sole purview of large global companies. The principles, methodologies, and tools of service design thinking
are applicable to small enterprises. Developing the appropriate service design thinking tools for SMEs will therefore enable the creation of innovation cultures that are essential for the continued growth and sustainable operations of SMEs. This
e-learning course will introduce the participants to the key concepts, benefits, and applications of service design thinking to optimize the profitability and business sustainability of SMEs across APO member countries.
1) Introduce the concepts, tools, and methodologies of service thinking for SMEs.
2) Enhance the adoption of service-thinking approaches in SME operations.
3) Examine future trends in service thinking and their application for the business sustainability and productivity of SMEs.
Module 1: Introduction to service thinking: Benefits to SMEs
Module 2: Essential service-thinking concepts and applications for SME operations
Module 3: Case studies I: Service thinking in the food and beverage industry
Module 4: Case studies II: Service thinking in the hospitality and tourism industry
Module 5: Future trends in service thinking and service design for SMEs
This e-learning course will focus on introducing productivity and innovation tools, techniques, and methodologies in the service sector to acquaint participants with the latest solutions. The knowledge gained and sharing of experience will prepare participants
to advance smart transformation ideas and initiatives across APO member countries and therefore prepare them for the digital economy.
This course has the following objectives.
1) Discuss the latest productivity concepts, tools, and methodologies for service-sector enterprises.
2) Introduce innovation-led productivity improvement solutions for the service sector in the digital economy era, including big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and cloud solutions.
1: Service-sector productivity and innovation for the digital economy and Quiz
2: Applications of productivity solutions in the service sector and Quiz 2
3: Data analytics, cloud computing, and AI contributions to labor productivity
in service enterprises and Quiz 3
4: Case studies of productivity and innovation in the digital economy and Quiz
5: Summary and future directions for service productivity and innovation in the
digital economy and Quiz 5
The purpose of this e-course is to equip workshop participants and other APO professionals to continue their work in scenario planning and also to train other associates in the technique and associated tools. Scenario planning, the focus on this course, is a process that generates a group of plausible stories about the future. These can then be used to aid long-term planning. Well-written scenarios combine rigorous forecasts with immersive storytelling elements to bring possible futures to life. In so doing, they can help inspire readers to take action in a way that more “traditional” methods of communication might not. The traditional scenario planning methodology, pioneered by Royal Dutch Shell, emphasises that scenarios are not intended to present definitive predictions about the future. Rather, scenarios help to articulate the risks and opportunities present in a range of plausible futures, and serve as a discussion tool to stimulate debate about strategies to shape the future. Scenario planning can also be seen as a change management tool — specifically, a way to sensitise the participants in the process to indicators of change and to the unpredictability and volatility of the future. They can help cultivate a “contingency mindset” and build the capacity to react quickly when the need arises.
The course is structured according to the main elements of a strategic foresight / scenarios process. Throughout the report, there are also a number of call out boxes that describe different skills/techniques that are helpful in scenario work.There are 10 modules:1. Thinking About the Future2. Introduction to Scenario Planning3. Establishing a Project4. Driving Forces5. Building Blocks6. Scenario Frameworks7. Storytelling8. Implications, Options and Indicators9. Communicating Scenarios10. Practical ConsiderationsThere is also included, as an extra, a glossary of key terms and a further reading list. This e-learning course includes five interim quizzes and one final exam.Course Objectives:1. Equip participants with the fundamentals and principles of strategic foresight and scenario planning as well as explain its relevance and approaches specific to public and private organizations; and2. Develop the capability of individuals to set forward-looking strategic directions derived from plausible scenarios for the future.
The increased rates of female education and economic participation
have gradually brought a change in women’s position in business. More
women are attempting to be employers like entrepreneurs and business
leaders rather than working in hired positions. According to a report by
the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), 163 million women were
estimated to start or run new businesses in around 74 economies in 2016.
Despite the upward trend and women’s greater involvement in the market,
their visibility is still much lower compared with their male business
counterparts. One of the possible ways to promote female-run businesses
is to support women in developing good business models. For
entrepreneurs setting up a business, the importance of a business model
cannot be overemphasized. Currently, however, most female entrepreneurs
are associated with the wholesale and retail industry in SME family
businesses, which are run by traditional handover practices from
predecessors. Especially, rural women’s active participation in business
significantly affects household income generation, which contributes to
improving the livelihoods of families.
In this regard, this course is designed to build the capabilities of
female agri-entrepreneurs as CEOs, managerial professionals, and
agribusiness enterprise operators contributing to prospering rural
The crux of business success lies in marketing. Marketing helps create awareness in the eyes of the public about a company’s products/services, increase sales, build brand reputation, and foster an environment in the market for healthy competition.
A marketing strategy takes a comprehensive view of all activities related to selling a product or service and helps ensure that these activities support each other. It helps to determine the right price for a company’s products/services, establishes effective distributive channels, and assists in effective communication to the outside world, in addition to creating an organizational environment in which the various units or departments work together to achieve common goals.
Branding is especially important for SMEs as it influences people’s perceptions of the company’s quality of customer service, image, advertising, and logo. When these parts of the business are working well, the overall brand tends to be healthy. A good brand helps improve recognition, creates trust, reinforces advertisements, builds value, generates new customers, and, last but not least, inspires employees.
Today, many SMEs have great products and provide excellent customer service, although most do not know how to develop appropriate marketing and branding strategies to keep the business afloat. This self-e-learning course was developed by the APO with the sole aim of helping small businesses develop the ability to market their products and services effectively.
– There are seven modules in this course. Please start with Module 1 and complete each module in order.
– The recommended timeline to complete each module is:
Days 1–2: Module 1 + Quiz 1
Days 3–4: Module 2 + Quiz 2
Days 5–6: Module 3 + Quiz 3
Days 7–8: Module 4 + Quiz 4
Days 9–10: Module 5 + Quiz 5
Days 11–12: Module 6 + Quiz 6
Days 13–14: Module 7 + Quiz 7
Day 15: Final exam
– To confirm your understanding, quizzes are provided in each module. Please answer the questions and check your score for self-evaluation. Please note that the quiz scores are not related to the final exam results.– It is recommended that you proceed to the next module only after satisfactory completion of the preceding module.– After completing all modules, each participant should take the final exam. Remember that you are only allowed to take the final exam once. Please ensure that you have thoroughly understood all modules before taking the final exam.– After completion of the course, the APO will provide e-certificates to successful participants from APO member countries who pass the final exam (minimum passing score is 70% or 70 points).
This module aims to help SMEs in developing their marketing strategies and product branding strategies. The self-learning e-course modules are designed to enable participants to:
1. Participants who register to take this course and pass the final examination with a minimum score of 70% on the final examination is required to qualify for the APO e-certificate.
Entrepreneurship is a driving force for rural development. It
involves strategic interventions to accelerate and revitalize declining
rural economies by expanding business outreach to farm/nonfarm areas.
People with entrepreneurial mindsets recognize unexploited market
opportunities by thinking intuitively and reading future trends in given
circumstances. In a rural context, entrepreneurship means building
something meaningful by utilizing local resources not practically
perceived or valued previously. In this way, the value of natural,
capital, and human resources in rural communities can be recreated in a
viable way to take the fullest advantage of them.
The interplay between rural development and entrepreneurship
overcomes the constraints of primary industry, mainly agriculture, which
is the principal source of income in rural areas. Rural populations are
highly dependent on agricultural production, although its performance
is volatile due to natural calamities such as droughts, flooding, insect
pests, and others. Similarly, achieving drastic yield increases in
agriculture is often not controllable.
In this regard, rural entrepreneurship can offer innovative,
cost-effective sources of living by crossing the boundaries among
primary, secondary, and tertiary industries. It enables local people to
appreciate the value of resources in the area and utilize them as inputs
for creating value-added products and services. Thus entrepreneurship
diversifies sources of livelihood and increases per capita income.
Furthermore, it creates jobs for the under/unemployed labor force and
improves the autonomy and independence of rural households. In reality,
however, nurturing successful entrepreneurs has often faced challenges
such as a lack of financial support and social recognition, and rural
people rarely start businesses or put their business ideas into
practice. Therefore the social infrastructure that underpins
entrepreneurs’ entry into markets and makes them resilient against
failure needs to be discussed and developed. The entrepreneurial mindset
is based on the idea of taking risks, and entrepreneurs should be able
to enter and exit markets freely even after experiencing failure.
The course is designed to build the capabilities of rural
entrepreneurs, SME operators, and rural development planners, trainers,
and consultants who are engaged in business advisory services and/or are
interested in initiating businesses in rural areas. At the end of the
course, the enrollees will be familiar with innovative entrepreneurial
thinking and have an understanding of various entrepreneurial strategies
in line with sustainable rural development. The specific objectives are
for participants to: