Why Myanmar?

Myanmar is a country with 50 million people coming out of 60 years of self-isolation. Myanmar is young with 45% of the population under the age of 25. The ethnic diversity of the country is both a challenge, and potentially its greatest strategic asset. While there is currently strong optimism that a tide of change is coming over Myanmar, there is still much that needs to be done.

Grinding Poverty

Decades of mismanagement of the country’s economy have made Myanmar one of the poorest countries in Asia. Today only 1/4 have access to electricity.

Lack of Capital

Those who want to start businesses are held back by a lack of access to cash. Some loan sharks and pawn shops even charge usurious rates of upwards of 40% interest per month.

Broken Education

Wrote memorization and untrained teachers have led to a broken education system. Only 1 in 10 students who start school passes highschool graduation. Creative thinking is de-emphasized.

Meet Htay

Htay Thet Mon did not pass her high school final examination, just like two-thirds of her fellow students. This was a direct result of generations of Myanmar people moving through an education system which had been systematically dismantled by a military dictatorship.

Whether they passed their exams or not, she and her peers are entering a workforce that faces 70% underemployment and 30% unemployment.

Jobs that do exist do not offer her a living wage. Even for individuals with the courage and initiative to try and start something on their own, there is no capital available to fund their efforts.

Enterprise Development

We emphasize simulation and experience to prepare students for problem solving and innovation. Students are equipped with the knowledge of essential components of starting and operating a business.

Access to Capital

We help Entrepreneurs understand their sources of capital, including family networks and micro-finance institutions. If not available, we step in and directly provide the necessary startup capital.

Financial Literacy

We mentor businesses in the fragile first years of their new venture. We emphasize the importance of cash flow management. We ask questions that help Entrepreneurs make decisions with an eye toward the future.

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Learn more about what we do and why we do it!

Htay Today

Htay heard about Opportunities NOW (ONOW) and she took a bold step in determining her own future. After completing the training program and receiving startup capital, she started a fashion shop, selling clothes and cosmetics from her boutique as well as door to door.

Every month she faithfully arrived to attend the ONOW peer group meeting and she fully returned her startup capital to our Social Launch Fund to be reinvested in another young person! We are proud of Htay Thet Mon and the risk she took. She proves that the people of Myanmar can succeed when given the right tools and opportunities to use them.

500+ Students Trained

Since our launch in 2012 we have trained over 250 students in entrepreneurship and small business management.

250+ Investments

Many of the Entrepreneurs we train do not have access to finance for their businesses.  We offer startup capital to launch their business.

2 Locations

Our flagship training started in Yangon, but we have expanded programs into Bago

Who We’ve Worked With:

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