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Media »Speech at Thura Swiss/ Seedstars and Inclusive Business report launch

November 13, 2018

Dr Gail Marzetti, Head of DFID Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar

 

-check against delivery-

 

Ladies and Gentlemen.  DG DICA.

 

I’d like to welcome you to my home and thank you all for coming here today.

 

I’m Gail Marzetti the Head of DIFD in Myanmar.

 

It’s exciting to have you here today as we launch two projects that DFID and the DaNa Facility have been working on.

 

Firstly we are launching the Inclusive Business report.

 

Our hope in publishing this report is not only to stimulate debate and increase knowledge of Inclusive Business, but for the report to act as a catalyst to support the establishment and success of Inclusive Businesses in Myanmar.

 

The report is a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities for Inclusive Business and social impact in Myanmar and puts forward a series of clear recommendations of how we can support and encourage inclusive business here.

 

DFID is very focused on supporting Inclusive Business because we understand what a profound and transformational impact this model can have in Myanmar.

 

We know that there are many ways in which the private sector can benefit society and the poor.

 

However, these approaches alone cannot change the dynamics of structural poverty or address the systemic issues that many disadvantaged communities face around a lack of economic and social opportunities.

 

We are so committed to supporting Inclusive business because it is different.

 

Because Inclusive Business adds a dimension of both scale and impact alongside commercial sustainability. It provides a deliberate 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 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 company, and society all win. That is why it can have such a profound impact on society and on the economy, promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development.

 

This report offers an opportunity for all of us to explore the transformational potential of Inclusive Business and start to map a way forward to a more inclusive and sustainable business environment in this country.

 

And it is important now, as focusing on Inclusive Business, and the social impact that it can create can have a hugely positive impact, which can help to steer the whole economy in a positive and inclusive direction.

 

(SECOND PROJECT)

 

Which is why it is encouraging that today we are also launching an Inclusive Business here in Yangon.

 

The second project we are announcing today provides a concrete example of the type of business we are examining in the report. It demonstrates the impact an Inclusive Business can have.

 

The project established by Thura Swiss in partnership with Seedstars Myanmar, is receiving funding through DaNa Facility’s Business Innovation Window and will see almost two million dollars invested in an innovative new business idea that looks to serve small businesses excluded from the full benefits of formal financial services.

 

It seeks to addresses the lack of financing for micro, small and medium enterprises within Myanmar, with banks typically only lending against real estate as collateral and MSMEs virtually excluded from the credit market.

 

This lack of finance suppresses the growth of enterprises that support a large part of Myanmar’s population, including the poor, women and other disadvantaged groups.

 

The project will do this through the introduction of an ‘invoice factoring’ product called “InvoizPAID”, where MSMEs are able to use their confirmed orders as collateral for loans.

 

The project will work with MSMEs that conduct business with some of the largest companies operating in Myanmar and will initially target the garments sector where women-owned MSMEs will be the primary clients.

 

The ultimate goal is to develop a supply chain financing market as an open e-platform for relevant companies in Myanmar.

 

Supply chain financing directly alleviates the strain on the cash flow of a business, allowing companies to expand sales volumes and drive stronger growth.

 

Over the medium to longer term, this project is expected to promote more equitable development and reduce the inequalities between SMEs and large companies which will help to increase jobs for poor and disadvantage people and reduce poverty.

 

Innovation in lending to SMEs will empower them and enable them to grow and thrive, where in the past their growth and success has been stifled by lack of credit and difficulties in financing.

 

And this is why we are so supportive of Inclusive Business. Because as with InvoizPAID and other projects we’re supporting, what inclusive business means on the ground for individuals, families and communities is truly transformational.

 

It means jobs and increased economic opportunities and with it access to greater prosperity for poor people across Myanmar.

 

And it means new services and products that meet the real needs of poorer consumers, as well as more prosperous lives for families from poorer communities across the country.

 

This is why DFID is so committed to promoting Inclusive Business and why I am so encouraged to be here today launching this report and the funding for this new project.

 

I thank you all for taking the time to come to this event. In supporting the success of Inclusive Business in Myanmar I hope we will see greater prosperity and inclusive growth for the poor and marginalised in this country.