ONOW Labs

Building Tools for Myanmar’s Entrepreneurs


 

Off-the-shelf solutions rarely work for Myanmar entrepreneurs. Their circumstances are unique, and call for tools made specifically for their context.

At ONOW, we launched ONOW Labs. We take the lessons we’ve learned in 5+ years of supporting Myanmar’s youth entrepreneurs, and develop tools, curriculum, methodologies that help your organization support entrepreneurs more effectively.

Maung Sa Yin Kaing – Mr Finance Financial Education Platform

Opportunities NOW’s Maung Sa Yin Kaing (Mr. Finance) is a Facebook Messenger Bot that both teaches and learns. It can suggest simple messaging content based on user interaction, and can tell stories that are emotionally engaging. And most importantly, it can provide financial messaging to users when they are most in need of a small nudge to make the correct financial decision. Myanmar’s mobile phone revolution has been mostly an app-less revolution. Users don’t want to use bandwidth to download, and don’t want to use precious local memory on large and bulky apps. Any project banking on a purpose-built app is destined for delete. But chat is alive and well in Myanmar, on multiple services. Maung Sa Yin Kaing lives in chat. And its intuitive messaging style feels like talking to family.

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Gamified Novel

So much about today’s financial education is abstract and theoretical. Teaching the tools of accounting and budgeting isn’t effective when removed from the reality of everyday household finances. At ONOW Myanmar, our approach is a memorable character, and an adventure game where the user gets to help the woman along her business journey. With EOS Group, we developed an intriguing storyline along the Choose Your Own Adventure format, where smart business and financial management concepts are taught along the way, in the context of the day-to-day decisions Myanmar’s micro-enterprises face everyday. The character is relatable and someone to be aspired to, allowing people across Myanmar to connect to her and her family in a dramatic and effective way

Ideas Guide

A conversation tool for anyone who wants to help small enterprises make smart decisions. This booklet of activities and questions allow for a coach to provide interactive learning experiences without the need for preparation. Both group and individual learning activities are provided for the coach and can easily be followed step by step. Individual questions are designed for one-on-one conversations and allow a coach to ask guiding questions that will help the entrepreneur to think and plan for the future. Group activities provide learning experiences that are are highly interactive with a mixture of role plays, presentations, scripts, and case studies.

Kyat Manager

As the first Myanmar-language small business accounting app, Kyat Manager puts a powerful tool in the hands of Myanmar’s small business owners. An accurate understanding of business finances enables quick and informed decisions that can mean the difference between success and failure. Kyat Manager provides simple bookkeeping and understandable reporting for the business while giving mentors and support organizations the tools they need to provide valuable insight. Real-time analysis of transactions and reports generates actionable flags for the business owner or the supporter to make changes and improvements.

​Mentoring Methodology

A core belief of ONOW is the importance of supporting small and microenterprises with strong mentoring and coaching services. The first two years of a new startup are especially fragile, and are fraught with difficulty. If a business can be successfully guided through these first years, the likelihood of longer-term success and growth sharply increases. This understanding underpins our Mentoring Methodology. Three essential areas of our Approach include the Entrepreneur Social System, the Mentoring Technique, and the Mentoring Infrastructure. Opportunities NOW has developed this system over the course of its five year history. More than 200 entrepreneurs have received mentoring services through this system, and ONOW has achieved a business success rate of more than 75%.

Business Plan Builder

A core belief of ONOW is the importance of supporting small and microenterprises with strong mentoring and coaching services. The first two years of a new startup are especially fragile, and are fraught with difficulty. If a business can be successfully guided through these first years, the likelihood of longer-term success and growth sharply increases. This understanding underpins our Mentoring Methodology. Three essential areas of our Approach include the Entrepreneur Social System, the Mentoring Technique, and the Mentoring Infrastructure. Opportunities NOW has developed this system over the course of its five year history. More than 200 entrepreneurs have received mentoring services through this system, and ONOW has achieved a business success rate of more than 75%.