According to the World Bank Survey of 632 enterprises conducted in 2014, 30% of private firms who are formally established employ women in senior managerial positions and about 27% of formal firms have women as their owners. Women are becoming leading entrepreneurs in the sectors like boutique, tourism, food and beverages, handicrafts and retail and are active in services like communication, education, design and healthcare. According to a statistical study conducted by UNESCO, women represent more than half of secondary school graduates and two-thirds of university students.
Myanmar Women Entrepreneur Association (MWEA)
It was established in 1995 and is a strategic alliance of more than 1,600 businesspersons and women in academics. It aims “to unite and bring into focus and world attention the role and capabilities of Myanmar women entrepreneurs.” The group is a registered Ministry of Home Affairs body as a nongovernment, non-profit, non-political, and non-religious association. The MWEA’s objectives and activities are as follows:
- Facilitating communications and discussions and encouraging friendship and cooperative efforts among women entrepreneurs;
- Promoting and encouraging modern methods of business management among Myanmar women entrepreneurs;
- Promoting activities in order to raise the social economic life of Myanmar women;
- Encouraging environment-friendly and culturally sensitive businesses;
- Promoting and building up relationships with national and international women’s associations, professionals, business, and academics.
Members of the association include a variety of formally established, women-owned companies, mostly SMEs.