EDNA Myanmar successfully implemented the Entrepreneurial Businesses Education and Support for the graduates of AVSI-TVET program in Demoso Township, Kayah State in July 2018. This short term program was intended for the graduates of the AVSI-TVET program in Kayah mainly for youth from the villages in Demoso Township and parts of Kayah. During the two months project period, 06 classes were opened with 111 participants enrolled from 62 villages.
We note that the program delivered in Kayah, with only several weeks for someone to be introduced to entrepreneurial education, and then develop business ideas (and plan) as well as mastering the business pitch is somewhat intensive. EDNA Myanmar standard program span 7-10 months. However, we are optimistic that the exposure from the entrepreneurial business education would install confidence in the young participants to engage in business activities in the future. The project demonstrated a positive influence on the participants’ capacity to solve problems and apply learnings to practices. Even if they are not yet able to start their own business we are confident the newly acquired skills will most likely be applied in their family’s income earning activities. We are also confident that the project will have a positive influence on wage employment potential of the young graduates as the entrepreneurship education is applicable for those seeking jobs since the education nurtures skill sets that are sought after by employers.
We also note that participants’ ability to pitch ideas and negotiate has improved, allowing them to secure supports from ministry programs as well as local business people. This has had flow-on effects that have the potential to help their family business back home. The program observed an encouraging level of soft skills improvement in the area of technical, communicative and entrepreneurial skills of the participants.
As Kayah is increasingly opening up and engaging more actively in business and trade with other regions it is vital that the economic opportunities are within the grasp of the youth of Kayah. In order for the youth to benefit from this, they must be able to think entrepreneurial. It is our belief that the entrepreneurial businesses education and business development initiatives are much-needed interventions not only for the economic independence but also for the integration of the people in rural Kayah.