Representatives of the Building Employability through Technology and Entrepreneurship Resources (BETTER) program had the opportunity to host Ms Judith B Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Bangkok, on 19 March. At the Center of Skill Development (CSD), located in Singburi province, the representatives from Microsoft, Kenan Institute Asia (KIAsia) and the Thailand Department of Skill Development (DSD) gave her an overview of the project.


Ms Judith B Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States with representatives from the BETTER program.

“The BETTER program is a perfect example of Thai – US creative collaboration that unites the private sector, government and an institute to develop Thailand’s creative industries and improve people’s lives through information and communication technology (ICT) tools,” said Richard Bernhard, Executive Director, Kenan Institute Asia.

The collaborative three-year project aims to increase employability through the improvement in ICT skills to better prepare entrepreneurs for their engagement in start-up activities. Launched in 2009, the project encourages businesses to focus on upgrading the skills of their workers in order to stay ahead of the competition.

After the 2009 global financial crisis that caused many workers to lose their jobs, the organizers of the BETTER program realized that the lack of basic ICT skills was a key factor of unemployment. Many potential entrepreneurs were also not well-equipped with necessary ICT training to grow their businesses. The situation faced by the workforce spurred the establishment of the BETTER program.

Volunteers from Microsoft have helped boost employment opportunities by providing ICT training. Along with the support from KIAsia, Microsoft has also developed an online Smart Entrepreneur course which allows entrepreneurs access to multimedia content, unit exercises and an evaluation test. This training enhances the knowledge of entrepreneurs, enabling them to improve various aspects of their businesses. Microsoft has also funded this project with the infusion of USD 370,000 to develop various programs for the workers.

“Microsoft Thailand believes that technology can transform lives and enhance living standards. With the BETTER program being warmly received by Thai workers, we will continue to ensure that it plays a crucial role in building workforce capabilities and job opportunities,” said Kasemsri Na Ayudhya, Managing Director, Microsoft Thailand.

“Microsoft Thailand believes that technology can transform lives and enhance living standards. With the BETTER program being warmly received by Thai workers, we will continue to ensure that it plays a crucial role in building workforce capabilities and job opportunities.”
- Kasemsri Na Ayudhya, Managing Director, Microsoft Thailand.

“The BETTER program is a perfect example of Thai – US creative collaboration that unites the private sector, government and an institute to develop Thailand’s creative industries and improve people’s lives through information and communication technology (ICT) tools.”
- Richard Bernhard, Executive Director, Kenan Institute Asia.