Myanmar Social Investments Have Increased – But Philanthropy, CSR and Impact Investing Are Still Not Effective Enough

25 February 2019


26th February 2019, Yangon, Myanmar – Myanmar has seen an increase in the numbers of capital providers and intermediaries, with many more capital providers and intermediaries coming to Myanmar today, who support NGOs and social enterprises.

But too many NGOS and social entrepreneurs still cannot build solid businesses, and make a large enough impact on society. There seems to be a gap between capital providers and intermediaries on one side, and social entrepreneurs on the other side. Social investors need to provide their funding more effectively, by increasing their knowledge and activities.

On February 26th, AVPN is hosting its 3rd Myanmar Social Investment Forum in Yangon, which is a summit supporting local and international capital providers, to invest with a greater impact.

In the forum, there will be sharing of knowledge and know-how from different economic sectors – the goal being to improve the effectiveness of techniques used in social investing.

The full day (26th February), with the Summit and side-meetings, will allow lots of social investors to learn more, and find new opportunities to invest – social investors can include companies, impact funds, governments, intermediaries, and many more kinds of investors and supporting workers.

Allison Hollowell, Chief Strategy Officer at AVPN, said:

”In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals we have set by 2030, we need several trillions of dollars a year. We will be unable to realize these goals if we do not look beyond traditional social-financial partnerships, and we must collaborate with unique partners who can complement each other’s expertise …”

Ms. Hollowell continued by explaining that investors in Myanmar are often interested in being first-movers. With the current economic slowdown, she commented, such investors have a better chance of being first-movers and ‘Investing with Impact’. Indeed, AVPN aims to influence investors’ portfolios more deeply through its February Forum, in order to help investors increase the impact of their work.

”The second edition of AVPN’s ‘Social Investing Landscape in Myanmar Report’ [booklet] will also be released at the Forum”, Ms. HollowelL announced in conclusion.

This Report was recognized as the ‘Best Thought Leadership’ at the Sustainable Investment Awards 2017; and helps social investors make decisions based on proper evidence. The report further examines opportunities and challenges investors face when investing in Myanmar.

Sharing knowledge allows for better impact investing strategies

An important opportunity identified in AVPN’s Report is the call for new and existing partners to work more closely and transparently together as an ecosystem.

The February 26th Forum will be inviting leading Myanmar and foreign experts, and consultants, representing mainstream private business, who will help identify opportunities to work together more smoothly.

Speakers will include the International Finance Corporation, Insitor Impact Asia Fund, Anthem Asia, and Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs; who work in large capital markets and can identify actions and co-operate on activities in the private finance landscape.

The Forum will also encourage real-life organizations to talk about lessons they have learned, and help to decide best practices.

The overall goal is to help capital providers define a clearer strategy to meet the needs of Myanmar.

On the day, there will also be ”business clinics” [where experts give advice] for funders and social organizations, to increase their impact, on a one-on-one basis.

These consultations aim to encourage ongoing conversations, and bring about more powerful collaboration between different business sectors, to increase impact in reality.

Discussing Capacity Building avoids doing double work, and makes efforts more effective

The Forum will further provide a platform for ecosystem innovators including :

  • Accelerators
  • Companies
  • Talent developers

… with a view to defining the current status quo, and to brainstorm what are the future priorities and strategies, to have more social investment entrepreneurship [business mindedness], and bring in more innovation.

Organizations like FHI360, Phandeeyar, and GIZ Private Sector Development Project, will come together and share necessary tools for entrepreneurs [business leaders] to get better access to education about financial, technical matters, and entrepreneurship [business mindedness].

According to AVPN, what is needed most, is better infrastructure for impact investing. This will make sharing resources, and learning with peers, much easier.

!!Join us at the AVPN Myanmar Social Investment Forum 2019 to find out where the opportunities are!!

You can locate the right partners to work with, and champion the social causes that matter most to you.

Speeding up Social Investment in Myanmar

This is an exciting time in Myanmar, with many social investors discussing how to work together to make a bigger impact – using the large AVPN Myanmar Social Investment network, there will be numerous side meetings around specific themes of interest, on the fringes of the Forum.

Experts and trainers will come in and help capital providers to get the necessary skills to make more impact – and improve their strategies.

There will also be a special Digital-Impact Masterclass, where tech leaders tell their stories; and a Knowledge-Sharing Workshop, with multiple different types of social investors comparing experiences.

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