Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) and One to Watch (OTW) have signed a contract for a one year Capacity Development Program. The agreement will facilitate a grant provision to support OTW’s business development support services in Myanmar and Nepal, and also support the internal training program of its local staff.
Business Development Support Services in Myanmar
The fund in Myanmar will concentrate its activities in developing the agricultural value chain. This will be done via two categories of support. The first category will focus on providing basic support to the companies in the form of developing policies and setting up of internal reporting mechanisms. The second will provide entrepreneurs with customized support to streamline their business, develop growth strategies and governance policies, and perform market research. Business development support services will be provided to seven selected companies.
Business Development Support Services in Nepal
On the other hand, the fund in Nepal will focus on entrepreneurs and SMEs in the agriculture, logistics and tech sectors. While OTW Nepal will focus on sourcing companies from Kathmandu, which houses numerous innovative entrepreneurs and businesses that need access to capital to scale-up, companies based outside Kathmandu with immense growth potential will also be included.
After successfully running eight cohorts of business accelerator programs, OTW Nepal has identified some key gaps in the ecosystem that need to be addressed in order to provide optimal support to SMEs. Filling these gaps beyond the structured support provided by the business accelerator program will further aid companies in Nepal to grow and access growth capital. With this program, 15 companies will receive business development services, and 10 selected companies will further receive access to growth capital.
OTW Internal Team Training Program
One of the biggest challenges to establishing an investment fund in frontier markets is the presence a strong locally led investment management team; according to the GIIN survey, only 2 out of 10 impact funds work in frontier markets. To address this need, FMO has included a provision for an internal training program to build the capacity of OTW’s local staff in facilitating the flow of/disbursement of much needed FDI into local economies.
A training program designed specifically for the investment management teams will facilitate both external learning and internal knowledge sharing. The training program will focus on developing the financial, business management and communication skills of OTW staff. OTW will use our extensive network within the Asian and global impact investment community to maximize the return of each Euro spent on team development.