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Social firm boosts Myanmar farmers with loans and technology

A SOCIAL venture in Myanmar is boosting farm outputs with customised technologies and giving loans for seasonal migration to raise incomes in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Improving access: Farmers walk in their farm outside Yebu village in Myanmar. Proximity is looking to aid smallholders increase yield. — Reuters

Mentors needed for Vietnam’s startups

VIETNAM’S startup ecosystem has a lot of potential and can be a prime market for investment, but many say the quality of startup projects have not met the potential due to these firms’ lack of market-oriented policies and development experience.

Missing component: A startup company introduces its project at a contest in Ho Chi Minh last year. Experts say startup projects have not met their full potential due to lack in experience. — Viet Nam News

UK’s social businesses develop taste for financial democracy

THE Bristol Wood Recycling Project (BWRP) built a solid business out of selling people used wood for their houses, but the 15-year-old shop has had trouble finding a permanent home of its own.

Crowd-sourcing: A worker at the BWRP cuts up planks of wood to sell to customers. The firm is raising funds from the public for a premises. — Reuters

Thailand turns the tide on plastic

Startup producing water from air as a sustainable alternative to bottled water

An alternative drink: A Marriott associate drinks water from the air produced and bottled by Generation Water, Phuket, Thailand. — Reuters

Health tech rolls in from across the straits

Caregiving services platform aims to sign on 1,000 caregivers in three years

Co-working space opens doors in Penang

HOMEGROWN co-working space Common Ground is looking to further expand in the country with the opening of its venue in Penang.

Crowd­funded cam­era bag hits the big time

WHILE its prod­ucts’ vin­tage de­signs are an ode to an an­cient paint­ing tech­nique, lo­cal waxed can­vas and leather goods man­u­fac­turer Gouache was es­tab­lished thanks to two mod­ern busi­ness tools: crowd­fund­ing and so­cial me­dia.

Web exposure: Gouache founders Poco and Enriquez owe their success to social media. — Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

Supporting short-stay industry growth Look into high-growth areas

THANKS to the popularity of short-term rentals, the market has seen the increase in number of property management agencies over the past few years.

Working with others: Oon hopes to build a collaborative ecosystem to support hosts in the short-stay sector.

Providing a conducive ecosystem

Policy needs to look into areas that will support the developmentof a strong network for SMEs

Creating awareness: There needs to be greater awareness for SMEs to adopt technology. - AFP

South Korea’s in search of the next unicorn

ONE of the Moon Jae-in administration’s primary goals has been to create jobs and rejuvenate the economy. However, the nation’s conventional growth engines, such as semiconductors, smartphones, and auto businesses are sputtering, while the unemployment rate has hit record lows.