Inclusive businesses to play a role in responding to the economic challenges of COVID-19

As part of their ongoing response to COVID-19, the UK aid-funded DaNa Facility and the BoP Innovation Centre are extending their online inclusive business training course free of charge until 20 September. Initially offered to the public at the end of April, so far more than 800 representatives from the public and private sectors have participated in the course.
The ‘bootcamp’ course has been updated to include a fourth COVID-19-oriented module on ‘last mile distribution’. Most of the Myanmar population can be described as ‘last mile’; consumers that are under-served by the mainstream private sector because they are on low incomes or live in remote areas. Inclusive businesses engage with people from under-served communities to ensure they get the support they need to participate in, and benefit from, economic growth. By employing inclusive business strategies, enterprises can involve people from under-served areas to work within their own communities. Last mile distribution enables businesses, development organisations, and government agencies to set up local sales forces that can help create brand recognition in new markets and bring additional value through distribution to under-served and remote communities.
“The inclusive business online bootcamp provided invaluable insights on how business participants can apply IB tools and practices to strengthen the social impact of the businesses while contributing to meeting Myanmar’s sustainable development goals. I look forward to participating in the next module on last mile distribution where I will learn relevant and interesting topics especially for the retail sector,” said TaryarAhntKyi, Sustainability Manager at City Mart Holdings Co., Ltd. The bootcamp consists of 4 modules: (1) the promise of Inclusive Business in Myanmar; (2) developing an Inclusive Business model; (3) the power of partnerships for Inclusive Business; and (4) last mile distribution for Inclusive Business. Each module incorporates Myanmar examples as well as regional and global best practice cases. The modules, which are available in both Myanmar and English languages, aim at identifying innovative approaches to create jobs and increase incomes.
“DaNa’s Inclusive Business online bootcamp has created awareness among public and private participants from all around the country and stimulated our knowledge on the application of IB techniques to support Myanmar’s MSME community. In addition, it is becoming clearer that IBs can play an important part of the business response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in last mile distribution,” said U Aung Myo Khaing, Deputy Director-General of the Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection. —GNLM

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