Improving the Start-Up Ecosystem for Inclusive Businesses in Myanmar

ICCO Cooperation, Phandeeyar and the DaNa Facility announced a joint investment of more than 1 million dollars into two inclusive businesses ecosystem grants in Myanmar.

Improving the Start-Up Ecosystem for Inclusive Businesses in Myanmar

ICCO Cooperation, 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 in Myanmar 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.

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.”

About the partner organizations

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.

One to Watch: One to Watch is a partner of ICCO Cooperation and 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, a partner of ICCO Cooperation, 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.

As of 1st January 2021 ICCO has joined forces with Cordaid and continues as one organization under the name Cordaid.

ICCO’s international website will remain online for the time being and can be visited here or go to Cordaid: