April 4, 2019
Tom Coward, Team Leader, DFID Myanmar Inclusive Growth and Livelihoods team
Nay Pyi Taw
-check against delivery-
DFID is pleased to be here today with DICA, the DaNa Facility, ICCO, One to Watch, Phandeeyar and all the key partners engaged in promoting inclusive business, a key tool in addressing poverty, generating social impact, and enhancing inclusive growth through private sector activities.
DFID has long had a strong focus on supporting Inclusive Business because we understand the profound and transformational impact this model can have in Myanmar.
We know that there are many ways in which the private sector activities can benefit society and the poor – such as social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, and charitable activities.
However, these traditional approaches alone cannot change the dynamics of structural poverty or address the systemic issues that many disadvantaged communities face around the lack of economic and social opportunities.
We are very committed to supporting Inclusive business because we see that it is different.
Inclusive Business adds a dimension of both scale and social impact alongside commercial sustainability. It provides a calculated answer to the problems of the poor and near-poor, while making a profit for companies.
In other words, it is a commercially viable and profitable way to improve the lives of the poorest, at scale and with lasting impact.
It is about companies whose core businesses involve meeting the needs of the poor by generating better incomes and livelihoods and providing better services.
Simply working with the poor is not enough. Inclusive businesses engage the poor in a way that offers sustainable solutions to the problems the poor face.
This is the triple win of inclusive business: the poor, the businesses, and the government all win. That is why it can have such a profound impact on society and on the economy, promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development.
And it is important now, to build a strong Inclusive Business ecosystem because it can have a huge positive social impact, and help to steer the whole economy in a positive and inclusive direction.
Which is why today we are so excited to launch our two Inclusive Business Ecosystem Window Grants: managed by ICCO and Phandeeyar.
The 20 enterprises that will be supported by ICCO and Phandeeyar demonstrates the positive social impact Inclusive Businesses can have.
These projects aim to help Myanmar inclusive business entrepreneurs investment-ready and connect them to potential investors, in order for them to scale up and serve the needs of the people at the Bottom of the Pyramid, addressing the problems they face either on the consumer side or the supplier side.
ICCO and Phandeeyar will scope and reach out to businesses with strong potential to empower women, and aim for geographical inclusion through outreach activities.
Each project proposes to expand and improve the start-up ecosystem for inclusive businesses in Myanmar through incubating at least 10 enterprises in the priority areas of AgriTech, FinTech, Health and Education.
The enterprises supported are expected to be potential inclusive businesses, investment-ready and generating revenues by the end of the 12-month grant period. Downstream support will be provided to help them to secure investment capital, in particular from impact investors.
This means jobs and increased economic opportunities and with it, access to greater prosperity for poor people across Myanmar.
This is why DFID is so committed to promoting Inclusive Business and why I am pleasedto be here today to launch these new DaNa Facility projects.
I thank you all for taking the time to come and celebrate the launching of these two exciting projects. In supporting the success of Inclusive Business in Myanmar, I feel sure we will see greater prosperity and inclusive growth for the poor and marginalised in this country.