On March 16th, a business plan contest was held in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, gathering students from the Mekong Region. The participants included 10 teams selected from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. For the past 7 years, the contest had been held in Phnom Penh, but this year, for the first time, it was held in Myanmar. The Asian representatives of Google, Standard Chartered Company, PWC, etc. lined up as the judges, and the participants gave enthusiastic presentations.
The winner was the Laotian team presenting ‘Moringa Plus: Tea for Life.’ Moringa, a tea of Indian origin contains abundant minerals and vitamins, attracting attention as a healthy material. The Laotian team utilized The Business Model Canvas (this software is also used in ARUN’s business competition.) to show how they repeatedly tested their trial product to improve it. The judges asked concrete questions such as price difference with equal amount of Coca Cola, comparison of nutrient value with the same amount of milk and so on. Their questions suggested challenges the team would have to deal with but their plan was appreciated for its prospects of future actualization of business. The winner will participate in the Business Challenge held in Boston, USA in this coming May. The Vietnamese team was placed second and the Cambodian team, third. （https://sites.google.com/site/mekongchallenge/final-results）
(Moringa Tea presentation)
This event was fully backed up by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. At the dinner on the first day, the president of UMMCCI spoke that the country was ready to meet the demands of a new era and to develop its society. He emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship. A young business manager of an IT business made a speech and shared his experience of studying in the United States and starting up a new business on his own after returning. I was impressed with his honest and passionate presentation.
(Speech by the President Of UMMCCI)
While staying in Yangon, I had some wonderful opportunities to meet local social entrepreneurs, as well as those who run a business school that focuses on social business networking– some Japanese among them. This year, ARUN intends to enhance its network of social investment from Cambodia to Laos, Myanmar and India.
*We are calling for the participants and planners for the Business Challenge held by ARUN LAB.