Workshop looks at how expanding ‘inclusive business’ will help the poor and boost business

17 March 2018
Workshop looks at how expanding ‘inclusive business’ will help the poor and boost business
The aim is to help support small businesses and the poor -  A vendor prepares street food on her side walk stall at a market in Yangon. Photo: Romeo Gacad/AFP

This week business leaders from across Myanmar joined with policy experts and members of the donor community in Yangon to explore the benefits to Myanmar of adopting “inclusive business practices” that help the poor and boost businesses and the economy as a whole. 
This Inclusive Business Workshop was facilitated by the DaNa Facility, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs Association (MYEA).
Inclusive Business is an innovative approach to promoting growth in an economy which sees the private sector contributing to inclusive economic growth by creating and expanding opportunities for the poor. Inclusive businesses are always commercially viable companies whose core business is to provide, at scale, innovative and systemic solutions for poor and low-income people. The Inclusive Business approach focuses on the concept of the "triple win" where the interests of the companies, the poor and governments are all served and all three benefit. 
Speaking at the Inclusive Business Workshop held on March 15, Gail Marzetti Head of DFID Myanmar said: "Supporting and expanding inclusive business here in Myanmar would be a radical triple win for businesses, the poor and the Government. When inclusive businesses succeed not only does the company profit, but the poor gain through improved income or services, as does the Government through more inclusive growth and a reduction in poverty levels."
Speaking at the event, Maung Maung Ley, Vice President of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce, said: "It is exciting to be here today and to learn more about the opportunities that Inclusive Business can create for poor communities across Myanmar. My hope is that out work on Inclusive Business can do more than just transform the economy for the poorest. But that by spreading prosperity around the whole of Myanmar we can also promote peace and stability in many of the areas affected by conflict in our country."
Inclusive Business is a new concept in Myanmar and while there is a growing number of social enterprises and corporate social responsibility activities in the country, the notion of engaging the poor through core business activities is not yet established. There are already a number of Myanmar companies with the potential to develop Inclusive Business models who have expressed an interest in innovating to find new business models, recognising the strategic value that highlighting their positive social impact could have for their business. The Government of Myanmar is also interested in Inclusive Business models as a way to reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth by generating income and services for the bottom 40% of income earners.  
The DaNa Facility is a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded 4.5-year 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.