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The Growth of Startups in Myanmar

17 Feb 2023 | Myanmar

Myanmar's startup ecosystem is coming into its own, as multiple clusters in Yangon flourish and economic conditions in Myanmar as a whole improve. Myanmar climbed six spots in the World Bank's "Doing Business 2020" report to 165th out of 190 nations after implementing a mandatory online service for registering a company and lowering incorporation fees, among other steps.

Loring Harkness, CEO of Mote Poh, a Yangon-based startup that allows businesses to offer employees bonuses and discounts payable through a mobile app, told OBG that revisions to the Myanmar Companies Law of 2017 created positive changes. Since August 2018, private corporations may have only one investor and one director, instead of two, and foreign-owned firms, for example, are no longer required to meet compensated capital ratios. However, the inability to provide foreign workers with visa security continues to be a barrier to attracting worldwide talent.

Growth of Startups in Myanmar

Startups in Myanmar

Due to Myanmar's startup ecosystem's status as the world's "last frontier," investors began to consider Myanmar. This, however, has not had a significant impact on the success of the local startup system. Entrepreneurs, talent, investment, and regulatory backing are required for every startup ecosystem to succeed.

Furthermore, ecosystem developers are also playing an important role in the development of Myanmar's startup ecosystem. The Phandeeyar Tech Accelerator was established in 2016. These developments will continue as the future of startups in Myanmar has been showing great potential for investments and innovations.

The Future of Startups in Myanmar

The country’s startup landscape, like most of the economy, is funded by foreign donors, development programs, and venture capital. In April 2019, the Netherlands-based NGO ICCO Cooperation and DaNa Facility, a UK Department for International Development-funded program, announced a 1 million US dollar grant in Phandeeyar's accelerator and a different business project.

Myanmar's startup ecosystem will only increase in size as the country's middle class develops, internet and payment technology improve, young company founders gain experience, and Myanmar professionals return from abroad with funds and know-how to aid in the country's local growth.


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