Myanmar has a very big number of young talents waiting to be identified, exposed and regarded, just like any other country long-neglected by global force would have. According to the last census, 25% of the population is between 19 and 35 years old, the age in which people are most likely to start a business, and almost 60% of the population is under 30. Currently, only very few people attend school (58% of adolescent boys and girls attend secondary school, 4.2% of the population has university education), mostly because the job market is still not able to provide enough jobs. This is why entrepreneurship development is essential for the development of more jobs which will lead to economic development and a higher standard of living. We see ourselves as a crucial provider of entrepreneurship education, especially because very few current entrepreneurship development initiatives have not been linked with international inputs and networks and no initiative has managed to combine local, on-the-ground knowledge with expanding the horizon of people through international connections.
Until recently, most Myanmar people only knew working 9 to 5 and didn’t understand entrepreneurship, collaboration, cooperation or innovation. With the regulatory changes of the Myanmar government and the following relaxation of international sanctions in 2012, as well as the rapidly increasing mobile phone and internet penetration, a big part of the population has been exposed to these ideas, concepts and dreams.
However, ideas are meaningless unless they have been put into action and dreams can become nightmares unless they are practiced with careful expertise. As Officecubed, we have been able to provide a community of changemakers and an accessible working space for these young talents to work on their ideas and dreams. Over the past year we had several organizations using our space for events, gatherings and projects like a movie casting and 5 companies decided to be based at our space – 2 tech entrepreneurs, a youth leadership development organization, a textile quality management company and an architect. As Social Impact Myanmar we have built a community of 48 social enterprises or social enterprise-like organizations which have been actively developing or participating at our events.. The industry break-up of these social enterprises is as follows: 12 Training & development, 1 Cosmetics, 1 Disaster relief, 8 Handicrafts, 1 Jewellery, 3 Tourism, 3 Tech, 3 Gastronomy, 1 Gastronomy/Arts, 1 Gastronomy/Agriculture, 4 Agriculture, 1 Furniture, 1 Cleaning, 1 Environment, 1 Books, 1 Banking, 2 Services, 1 Fundraising, 1 Impact Investment, 1 Soap recycling. We have also built a database of more than 500 contacts of people that attended our events.
We think that we have made a good start to develop an impactful community, however, still a lot of support and valuable expertise from and connection to the global level is lacking. By reestablishing ourselves as Impact Hub Yangon and with the support of the Impact Hub network, we believe Impact Hub Yangon will be able to become a major change agent in our city by becoming the link between the local and global communities and by providing a community that practices social ethics, provides business expertise, inspiration, support and collaboration.
It is crucial that responsible business practices and businesses addressing social issues are established now, during the early stages of the economic development process in Yangon and Myanmar. Later, when harmful business practices have already been established, they will be very difficult to change. An Impact Hub in Yangon will attract big attention and support to the people that are already working on establishing these practices and will inspire more people to follow their example.

Okka Myo

Okka Myo

Director