A global programme operated by the British Council and its partners- it supports organisations known as social enterprises which employ business approaches to meet social and environmental needs and make a positive impact in their communities. 

What are social enterprises? 

Social enterprises are businesses which trade in order to address social and environmental problems. They generate income like other businesses, but reinvest all or most of their profits into their social mission. They create jobs, reduce inequalities and are accountable for their actions, bringing together the entrepreneurial skills of the private sector and the values of public services. 

Our Global Social Enterprise programme 

We promote the development of social enterprise as a means of addressing entrenched social and environmental problems and delivering positive change to our communities and societies. Our work draws on UK and global experience and is delivered across 29 countries with local and international partners. Together, we 

  • provide social entrepreneurs with access to training, mentoring and funding opportunities
  • promote social enterprise education in schools and universities
  • convene policy dialogues, conduct research and organise study tours to share knowledge and best practice in creating an enabling environment for social enterprise
  • deliver international development actions that focus on social enterprise. 

It is a systemic approach designed to help foster a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future and build collaboration, opportunities and trust between the UK and other countries. 

Our programme in Myanmar 

The programme was launched in Burma (Myanmar) in 2011, is focused on research and raising awareness for an emerging social enterprise sector in the country. The British Council hosted a series of events and visits to publicise the sector, including regional study visits which have bought social entrepreneurs from across East Asia and the UK together to share and learn from each other. 

The Social Enterprise Symposium in October 2012 was the first public event dedicated to establishing greater understanding of the role that social enterprise can play in fostering inclusive economic and social development. The Social Enterprise Mapping study in 2013 was also the first piece of dedicated research that has been carried out on the potential of the sector in Burma. The British Council hosted policy dialogues on social entrepreneurship, bringing leading experts from the UK and across Asia to share experience and best practice with their counterparts and with policy and business leaders in Myanmar. 

Social Enterprise Consultancy programme 

The programme aims to build a local social business consultancy network and provide consultancy to revenue generating NGOs, businesses and social enterprises. It provides opportunities for organisational review by a team of local trainee advisers supported by an experienced international business associate. Over a period of three months the partnership addresses business areas affecting growth and long term viability in pursuit of increased social impact. From 2014 to 2017 the programme has trained 64 local consultants and provided consultancy services to 27 organisations in Yangon. Find out about the consultants here.

Education for Entrepreneurs (E4E) programme

Education for Entrepreneurs (E4E), in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, aims to help enhance financial and business knowledge in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Myanmar through financial literacy and business development training. It provides initial capacity building support to businesses in the broader SME sector to help them grow. Business with potential social impact benefit from a more in-depth consultancy programme to help them enhance their work. From 2014 to 2017 the programme has reached 1267 businesses and provided consultancy services to 39 organisations in twelve cities across Myanmar. 

Our Partners 

The success of the social enterprise programme rests on effective partnerships. Partners include Myanmar Business Executive (MBE) association, Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs Association (MYEA), Social Enterprise Development Association Myanmar (SeDAM) and PS Business School.  

For more information about the Social Enterprise programme in Burma (Myanmar) please contact Mi Mi Myo Win

For more information and interesting articles about the British Council’s work in social enterprise globally please visit our partner site, PIONEERS POST.  

External links