Our Team

Matt Wallace

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Matt Wallace

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Matt grew up in the farmlands of Illinois, USA. After first experiencing Myanmar in 2007, he and his wife moved to Myanmar in 2008 prior to Cyclone Nargis, to live and work full time on poverty alleviation and job creation. Matt has leveraged his MA in Economic Development and International Commerce into enterprise development, and was part of the conceptual design of ONOW. His favorite part of this job is Myanmars and foreigners working together to empower youth to become entrepreneurs.

Johnny Knox

Director of Relationships and Marketing

Johnny Knox

Director of Relationships and Marketing

Johnny grew up in Ohio and later graduated from Lincoln Christian University and Seminary with a BA in Intercultural Studies and an MDiv in Ministry.  Johnny and his wife Janelle moved to Yangon in early 2011 and now have three children. At Opportunities NOW Johnny is a member of the Executive Committee.  He oversees marketing and relationships within the organization while keeping a hand in about everything else. If you want Johnny to get passionate ask him to talk about technology, design, urban planning, or Jesus.

+959420000572
Yangon

Adam Hunt

Director of Opperations

Adam Hunt

Director of Opperations

+959250184337
Yangon

May Thinzar Aung

Training Manager

May Thinzar Aung

Training Manager

Thinzar Grew up in Gwa Township,  Rakhine State. She worked at the hotel in Ngapali before she moved to Yangon.  She has been with ONOW since 2013. She studied Dip in Business Studies at the Yangon University of Economic. Helping young people to start the own business is one of her favorite parts at ONOW. She loves new ideas and doing new things.   She also volunteers at the Orphanage when she has free time.

+959421071320
Yangon

Sean Saffold

Thandwe Launch-Center Manager

Sean Saffold

Thandwe Launch-Center Manager

Sean is from the Northwest of USA. While at the  University of Texas he took classes in business administration.  Sean loves creatively teaching people to use their own abilities to start businesses. These businesses have the potential to improve individual lives and families as well as the broader community. Sean enjoys his wife and child, reading the Bible and trekking.

9254177587
Thandwe

Dave Zimmer

Bago Launch-Center Manager

Dave Zimmer

Bago Launch-Center Manager

Naw Nwe Ni Lynn

Program Coordinator

Naw Nwe Ni Lynn

Program Coordinator

Naw Nwe Ni Lynn has been with ONOW since Feb 2015.  Before that she lived in and out of Singapore and also completed here B.A. in English at Dagon University. Her favorite part of working at ONOW is helping entrepreneurs, especially teaching them skills they need to succeed.  When she has free time Nwe Ni loves to read fiction or spend time volunteering. Nwe Ni is proficient in both Myanmar and English, and she has strong critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills.

Pyae Paing Soe

Finance Assistant

Pyae Paing Soe

Finance Assistant

Yan Lin Htin

Impact Support Specialist

Yan Lin Htin

Impact Support Specialist

CortanaYan Lin Htin has been with ONOW since mid 2016. He studied Bachelor of Theology at South East Asia Mission College; Bachelor in Art (Eng) at Magway University; and Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies at Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology. At ONOW he works to teach and also to do entrepreneur site visits.   In his off hours he is a worship leader at Yangon Siyin Baptist Church and Festival of Praise.   As a follower of Jesus he loves to minister Christian Communities and beyond. In the future he plans to further study for ThM degree. His

Aung Myat Kyaw

Entrepreneur Support Specialist

Aung Myat Kyaw

Entrepreneur Support Specialist

Aung Myat Kyaw came from Sittwe, Rakhine State.   He passed his primary and secondary level in Sittwe.  He completed a B.A. Degree from Dagon University majoring in English and will graduate in January 2017.  Now he is taking classes at WISE College (Shwe Gon Daing) to further his education in Business Management.  He has been worked with ONOW since November 2016 and spends much of his time outside the office visiting entrepreneurs.  His hobbies include watching animated movies, listening to music and traveling. He is a fast learner and can be flexible in any type of environment.

Htoo Htoo

Bago Assistant

Htoo Htoo

Bago Assistant

Bago

Thal Thal Hmway

Program Cordinator

Thal Thal Hmway

Program Cordinator

Billy Grahm

Media Assistant

Billy Grahm

Media Assistant

Who Is Opportunities NOW


Opportunities NOW is an Entrepreneurship development system in Myanmar that seeks to reduce poverty by providing business training and mentoring in various stages of business startup. Opportunities NOW not only provides the educational framework to help a business grow, but also provides the capital that students need to succeed with their business through the ONOW Social Launch Fund. Opportunities NOW ran its first entrepreneurship training program in May 2012 and has grown rapidly since then.

Why Work With Youth?


Youth unemployment is a global concern. The ILO estimates 40 percent of the world’s 160 million jobless are between the ages of 15 and 24, and that 85 percent of the 1 billion in that age bracket live in developing countries. Global unemployment levels among youth are two to three times higher on average than they are for adults, and young people are more likely to work low-paying, temporary jobs that don’t offer security or employment benefits.
 
Youth in Myanmar experience not only the worldwide trend of increasing youth unemployment but also an additional lack of local opportunities. A recent survey found that 37% of the country’s workforce is unemployed, and this number goes as high as 70% in certain minority groups.
 
Poverty is unevenly distributed between rural and urban areas: 85% of poverty is found in rural areas and the disparity between states and regions vary from as high as 73% in Chin State to as low as 11% in Shan State
 
While the country is attracting increasingly substantial FDI and the economy growing at a fast pace, these benefits are not immediately translating into job creation. With no technical schools, ineffective university education and non-existent informal education, youth are unprepared to enter the workforce and often spend up to ten years after high-school without participating in the economy. This lack of a suitable framework for youth on the seam between work preparedness and job availability presents an opportunity for immediate action.

Who We’ve Worked With

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