Since December 2013, EDNA Myanmar has delivered a unique and powerful program of entrepreneurship education. Our program is different – because of our mentors, our participating entrepreneurs, our education approach, our Enterprise Development Days, and our measurement of our impact.
We now have over 100 Mentors who have been recruited from their communities across Myanmar. They remain based in their communities as change agents and educators. They undergo a two-month Mentor Training followed by five months of ongoing development. They are committed and dedicated individuals who have taken on education as their calling. Most have mentored over 200 entrepreneurs during the three-year project period, and have become change agents respected by their communities.
Our participating Entrepreneurs undergo over six months of learning (one day a week). The program is designed so that the participants learn through action and, in action, they learn. The in-class education program provides functional skills such as strategy, marketing & finance, and also strengthens communicative skills such as team building, leadership, and negotiation.
Our Education Program is unique. Our course material was developed by Dr. Richard Seymour (University of Sydney). It incorporates case stories from Myanmar contributed by Daw Kyi Kyi Nyein (EDNA Myanmar) and inspirational stories from Asia. It is introduced in three cycles that deepen participants understanding and inspires them to build own businesses. Each six-week cycle focuses on finding answers to the following questions:
(1) What can I do & who can I become?
(2) What’s going on out there & what do my customers want?
(3) How do I build my business?
(4) How should I manage & lead my business? and
(5) How do I report & track my performance?
The cycles of learning focus on three modules; first, ‘Understanding different elements of business’; followed by, ‘Understanding the complexity of business’; and finally, ‘Applying learning to build the business’.
The program also includes practical engagements such as our Enterprise Development Days (EDD), which bring practical insights, information, ideas, and inspiration to participants. The EDD also help our Entrepreneurs with market access, increasing their customer base, as well as building (expanding) their business networks.
Our program improvement program rounds out the project, with randomized control trial surveys, field research and M&E to ensure the quality of education and understanding of impact. Our collaborative research engages local universities and ministries and seeks to understand the nature of enterprises, industries, and climate under which entrepreneurs operate. As this work is published in the broader media, other countries and organizations will also be able to benefit from the insights developed.