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The 10-year period between 2007 and 2017 saw Myanmar secure the second highest number of impact investment deals in Southeast Asia. Interestingly enough, the country also had the lowest impact investment capital in the region. This suggests that, despite limited capital, there remains a growing interest in social investment within the country.
New legislation in Myanmar now allows outside organisations to invest and collaborate more effectively with local corporate entities. Indeed, the government has begun providing greater equality for foreign companies through its Companies Act 2018.
Beyond that, 2019 sees small-medium-sized enterprises in the country gaining greater access to financing. These trends inspire everyone in the ecosystem and will surely be a talking point at this year’s Myanmar Social Investment Forum.
The AVPN Myanmar Social Investment Forum 2019, which happened in Yangon on Feb. 26th, saw the release of the second Myanmar Social Investment Landscape Report. Having received the Best Thought Leadership award in 2017, this report offers deep insights into Myanmar’s social investing trends, opportunities, challenges and recommendations. It also provides insights into the most prominent questions that social investors are asking about Myanmar.
Why is Myanmar so attractive to social investors?
The Myanmar Social Investment Landscape Report shows that:
- New laws make the region a more rewarding investment location.
- A greater pool of investable social enterprises (SEs) is present.
- These SEs are backed by a growing number of social investment incubators and accelerators.
- With the right strategies, entrepreneurs can find growth opportunities in every sector.
- Local social investors still have a greater advantage and are better positioned to gain from becoming first-movers.
What are the challenges for social investors?
Like every country, Myanmar is not without its fair share of setbacks. For instance, the country has a considerable degree of political uncertainty, creating shaky ground for many investors. There is the risk of trade sanctions to consider as well, and the economy is at present experiencing a slowdown. It should also be highlighted that conventional investors and social enterprises are not placed on an even playing field. This puts a level on strain on the growth of social investing in Myanmar. Lastly, the region, like many others, needs more rigorous awareness campaigns to spread best practices around social investing and its sustainable benefits.
What can we expect at AVPN Myanmar Social Investment Forum 2019?
We believe the AVPN Myanmar Social Investment Forum 2019 is an excellent starting point for social investors and ecosystem builders in the country. The forum will share frameworks, best practices, and recommendations across the following three areas:
- Boosting investments into ecosystem distribution networks and infrastructure;
- Developing a more unifying approach across social investors in the country who often work in isolation;
- And perhaps, most importantly, strategizing steps to scale sustainable businesses through entrepreneurship education and mentoring, in addition to sources of technical and financial support.
From entrants who have an interest in sustainability topics to experts who can share lessons learnt from catalysing innovation and driving growth across larger impact businesses, individuals would have been able to find the Forum relevant and a hotbed for cross-sector collaboration. Learn more about the forum and download the Myanmar Social Investment Landscape Report.