First Seminar on Responsible Finance in Burma

First Seminar on Responsible Finance in Burma

26 June 2017

On 7th and 8th May 2014, Entrepreneurs du Monde will be organising in Yangon a large event to promote responsible finance in Burma. This initiative will bring together all the stakeholders concerned: local and national authorities, microfinance institutions and co-operatives working in the country, sponsors and international stakeholders in responsible finance.

The ambition of Entrepreneurs du Monde and LIFT*, the event sponsor, is to strengthen the understanding and implementation in Burma of the principles and management tools for responsible finance, by the various stakeholders of the sector.

The time is ripe for laying the foundations

The recent opening up of Myanmar has brought microfinance institutions of all shapes and sizes to the country. Given that less than 20%** of the population currently has access to financial services, the needs are enormous. However, despite government efforts to implement a regulatory framework for the sector, there is a high risk that regulatory control may be difficult to achieve, which would be detrimental to the poorer population and to sustainable improvements in their living conditions. As a stakeholder and promoter of social microfinance, Entrepreneurs du Monde considers it a matter of urgency that local stakeholders actively engage with international standards, and that the sharing of best practice is encouraged.

Entrepreneurs du Monde in Burma

  • Since 2007: support to the Total E&P Myanmar microfinance programme.
  • Since 2011: establishment of So Oo Tehtwin, meaning ‘entrepreneur’ in Burmese, a microfinance institution offering financial services and high quality support to the poorest people in the Yangon area. The operations began in spring 2014, following authorisation from the government.
  • Since 2013: support to community self-help groups in the suburbs of Yangon, for the implementation of savings and credit plans, managed by the communities themselves.
  • Since 2013: support to local microfinance institutions, to improve their social performance management.

* Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund, a consortium of sponsors, is one of the largest financers of microfinance in Myanmar.

** Source: Microfinance in Myanmar: Sector Assessment, 29 January 2013, IFC/GCAP.