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Media »UK aid Investment Spurs Inclusive Enterprises in Myanmar

April 4, 2019


Yangon, Myanmar: ICCO Cooperation, Phandeeyar and the DaNa Facility, a UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme, today announced a joint investment of almost 1 million into two inclusive businesses ecosystem grants in Myanmar.


ICCO Corporation, together with One to Watch and Truvalu, will implement the ‘Accelerate Inclusive Burmese SMEs for Shared Prosperity’ project. Phandeeyar will be the sole implementer of the “AccelerateMM: Using Technology to Grow Inclusive Businesses in Myanmar”.


Through these investments, ICCO and Phandeeyar will strengthen the foundation for the ecosystem to implement Inclusive Businesses (IBs) from the pre-acceleration phase up to investment management and scaling up.


Each project will 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 sectors in Myanmar. Inclusive businesses are commercially viable, scalable and innovative enterprises which incorporate low-income populations into corporate value chains, and create triple wins: for the poor, for companies, and for government.


ICCO and Phandeeyar will scope and reach out to SMEs with strong potential to empower women, and aim for geographical inclusion through selected outreach activities. They will help Myanmar inclusive business entrepreneurs to be ready to approach potential investors, so they can grow and address the problems of the people at the bottom of the pyramid, either on the consumer side or the supplier side.


U Aung Naing Oo, Director General of the Investment and Company Administration (DICA), welcomed that there is great enthusiasm, strong support and good collaboration among different players in the inclusive business sphere to build a stronger ecosystem that will not only help businesses succeed, but also bring about positive social impacts throughout the country.


Tom Coward, Team Leader of DFID Myanmar Inclusive and Livelihoods team, speaking at the launch event in Yangon today said, “DFID has a strong focus on supporting Inclusive Business because we understand the profound and transformational impact this model can have in Myanmar. It is important 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.”


Also speaking at the launch today, João Dutra (Kyaw Aung), Accelerator Director at Phandeeyar, said,

“With the support of the DaNa Facility and DFID, Phandeeyar will build the capacity of 10 entrepreneurs, enabling their inclusive businesses to grow, improving the lives of more and more people in the country. Our mission is to harness technology to accelerate change in Myanmar, DaNa Facility and DFID’s help will enable this process to be more efficient and effective.”


Robbert Groenen, Country Director of One to Watch Myanmar also said, “In collaboration with the government, investors, donors, accelerators, retail and wholesale markets, NGOs, and other private sector and development organizations, we aim to develop an entrepreneur support ecosystem and a pipeline of investable deals to increase investments into Inclusive Businesses in Myanmar.”


Notes to editors:


For more information please contact the DaNa Facility communications team at: +95 9782500752 or through email: danapress@danafacility.com


The DaNa Facility: The DaNa Facility is a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme, established in May 2016 as one of three components of DFID’s wider ‘Business for Shared Prosperity’ (BSP) programme. The DaNa Facility, implemented by DAI Europe and KPMG, supports inclusive economic growth and private sector development in Myanmar through responsible and sustainable business growth, investment and trade. For more information on the DaNa Facility please visit: www.danafacility.com. Follow the DaNa Facility on Twitter | Facebook.


ICCO Cooperation: ICCO Cooperation is an international non-governmental organization, whose mission is to end poverty and injustice in the global south, in partnership with enterprising people. Through Public Private Partnerships, our interventions focus on responsible business, inclusive markets, and sustainable food production and consumption. For more information, please visit: www.icco-cooperation.org.


One to Watch: One to Watch is an investment management company that invests in SMEs in Nepal and Myanmar, and supports entrepreneurs to become investment ready via accelerator and pre-accelerator programs.


Truvalu: Truvalu develops fair and inclusive agro and food chains by supporting innovative and scalable SMEs in high-potential entrepreneurs through the different stages of the companies’ life cycle to support them through the pioneering gap.”


Phandeeyar: Phandeeyar (“creation place”) is an innovation lab that is spearheading the use of technology to accelerate change and development in Myanmar. Phandeeyar invests in local technology startups, trains new entrepreneurs and builds the pool of tech talent. Phandeeyar also helps civic and social entrepreneurs, CSOs and independent media use technology to increase their impact and runs a co-working space out of its 10,000 square foot space located in the heart of downtown Yangon.


You can find a Myanmar language version of this press release here.