The grant of $1 million has been jointly awarded by the DaNa Facility, a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme, ICCO Cooperation and local community hub Phandeeyar to two inclusive businesses projects in Myanmar.
ICCO Cooperation is an international development organisation that operates across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Accelerate Inclusive Burmese SMEs for Shared Prosperity project, the first initiative, will be implemented by ICCO Cooperation and two specialist partners, One to Watch, an investment management company, and Truvalu that develops food supply chains linking SMEs.
AccelerateMM, the second project, will be implemented by Phandeeyar, which aims to use technology to grow inclusive businesses in Myanmar.
The ICCO-led project will be receiving £250,523 (about $326,000) and Phandeeyar’s AccelerateMM project will get around £436,681 (about $568,000) in grants.
Team leader of DFID Myanmar Inclusive and Livelihoods team, Tom Coward said, “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.”
Each of the two projects will incubate at least 10 enterprises in the priority areas of agritech, fintech, health and education sectors in Myanmar.
According to the Global Impact Investment Network, Myanmar has received commitments of only about $56 million in impact investing as of 2016. Many of the impact investors are said to be serving the market from outside due to the limited opportunities that fall under the radar of impact investment.
DaNa Facility’s approach is to support the incubation/acceleration of inclusive business models. So far, DaNa has provided around £10 million of grant funds to 11 private enterprises in agribusiness, financial services and textiles.