The Yangon Institute of Economics (YECO) last week launched the first of several new “entrepreneurship” centres, a statement said.
The HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurship Centre (HP LIFE) is part of a program aimed at helping Myanmar cultivate small businesses and support the country’s future business leaders, the US Embassy in Yangon said.
The centre’s opening represents the first phase of implementation of the program that was initiated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ministry of Education, Indiana University, Hewlett-Packard, the global nonprofit business network Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), and Vietnam-based VinaCapital Foundation’s Lotus Impact fund called ADEPT (Advancement and Development through Entrepreneurship Programs and Training).
The three-year program pairs $1.3 million in partner contributions with a $1-million US Government grant to support shared efforts to create economic opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises through information and communication technology (ICT)-led programs.
“We are very pleased to be engaged with a range of partners, and excited to be engaged with this country, as it emerges and becomes further integrated into the rest of the global community,” said Indiana University President Michael A McRobbie.
Hewlett-Packard will establish up to twelve centres in four regions. The centres, which will be established through local partners such as the Myanmar Business Executives Association, will be equipped with computers and internet connections and will provide business training and other resources to boost entrepreneurship in rural and less-served populations.
“Entrepreneurs need a strong foundation and a team behind them to turn their inspiration into reality. This is what ADEPT is designed to do. ADEPT (in English) means ‘skilled’-beyond skilled, ‘a master’,” said US Deputy Chief of Mission Virginia Murray.
VinaCapital Foundation’s Lotus Impact fund will enable small and medium enterprise (SME) to access credit and prepare to engage with larger buyers and investors. BSR will similarly support SMEs by launching an educational working group series to bring businesses up to international standards.