Thirty-five local and international organizations have joined forces to make this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) a success in the promotion of entrepreneurship in Myanmar, according to a press release on the 11 November.
For the fourth consecutive year, a range of activities will take place across 10 cities in Myanmar, beginning with an opening ceremony and party on November 15 at 5:00 p.m., People’s Park. Sponsors for the weeklong event that ends on November 22, includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
“GEW is a time where we celebrate and explore the different aspects of entrepreneurship. This year, not only did our partners organized 42 events, they were also crucial in helping us bring those events to other cities outside of Yangon and Mandalay. This is extremely important as the country continues to undergo economic reforms, resources need to be made available to the development of private enterprises across the country,” said Emmanuel Maillard from Building Markets, the country host organization for GEW.
Out of the 42 events, 17 will take place outside of Yangon in cities such as Mandalay, Taunggyi, Hpa An, Maubin, Mudon, Mawlamyine, Pathein, Bago and Thandwe, mostly in Myanmar language.
“Against the current economic and political backdrop, it is important that issues such as business operations and strategy, human resources, access to both domestic and international markets and ethics need to be discussed across the various events during GEW,” said Soe Hein, CEO of SME Business Institute and speaker for the Bagan Trade event in Mandalay. “Entrepreneurs need to be educated on these issues that can either make or break their businesses.”
Entrepreneurship is still a relatively new concept in Myanmar, hence, events at GEW tend to attract younger aspiring entrepreneurs. With Myanmar leap frogging into the digital age, events related to technology start-ups and projects are an important aspect of this week.
“A big part of GEW is about inspiring start-up ideas and connecting entrepreneurs with investors as well. This year, with GEW events available in 10 cities, we expect to hear more stories on how start-up entrepreneurs are benefitting from the various sessions,” said Allison Morris, Project Hub Yangon, one of the partner organizations. “The sessions designed by various organizations will help entrepreneurs, — both aspiring and established — get to the next level of their business. Given how fast Myanmar is changing, entrepreneurs who are involved in more traditional businesses will find a number of these sessions beneficial as well,” added Morris.
Aside from the various sessions such as panel discussions, workshops and conferences that will allow participants to explore various aspects of entrepreneurship in Myanmar, and meet with potential mentors and investors, the weeklong program includes a social products fair, business competitions, mentoring match and feedback sessions. All events are open to the public and are free.