Myanmar Private Sector Development Activity (PSDA)
JAA implemented the USAID Private Sector Development Activity (PSDA) with Nathan Associates with the aim of increasing broad-based economic opportunities in Myanmar through more inclusive economic governance rules and processes, and by increasing access to finance for businesses, individuals, and other emerging economic actors. JAA was principally responsible for supporting the program’s component to support entrepreneurs and SMEs, including by fostering a more inclusive and effective policy environment.
In August and September 2016, JAA drafted an Entrepreneurship White Paper in collaboration the Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs Association (MYEA). The White Paper summarized the findings of a survey of 260 entrepreneurs, which JAA designed and implemented with MYEA and PSDA. Through this process JAA conducting extensive capacity building for MYEA, emphasizing early stage finance, mentoring, advocacy and policy development. JAA conducted more than 100 interviews with entrepreneurs and associations representing entrepreneurs. The White Paper was presented as a keynote presentation at the MYEA-organized Entrepreneurship Summit on October 22, 2016. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi endorsed the White Paper in this event attended by more than 1,000 people and televised nationally. The State Counsellor accepted the White Paper and its key recommendations and immediately approved its implementation.
Following the Summit and acceptance of the White Paper, JAA assisted MYEA and the Government to prioritize 10 policy actions, and to identify the framework content and implementation of several of these policies – related to Entrepreneurship in Agricultural Value Chains, Early Stage Finance, Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Intellectual Property, Public Procurement Competition Policy and Broadband Internet.
JAA also worked with a task force responsible for the planning of an Innovation Center in the city of Yangon. JAA researched and provided information on more than 20 best-practice innovations centers around the world, and helped the task force to use these as a basis for identifying priority services and other design features for Yangon.