As many of you know, our mission is to provide a place for our patrons to hang out with some of the top traders in the industry and receive free trading education on stocks, futures, options and forex, all while interacting with traders and investors who are just like you.
While our events are focused primarily on trading and investing in the markets, we also feel it is extremely important to invest in others and look for ways to give back. Last December, we partnered with Opportunities Now, a really cool "for purpose" group out of Myanmar that teaches entrepreneurs business skills so that they can start their own businesses. As part of the campaign, several of our members, educators and other sponsors came together to help raise money to launch new businesses in Myanmar.
We thought it would be helpful to share with you some of the fruits of that investment as several businesses have been started and we look forward to many more returns on our investment we made alongside many of you in the education of others.
Recent Start-up Entrepreneur Bios (2014)
Moo Hsoe is a Kayin entrepreneur, and has a deep passion for music and media publication. He was born in the Insein township of Yangon, and still lives there with members of his family. Initially, Moo Hsoe thought he wanted a career in marine engineering, and briefly attended a local university to pursue this course of study. However, he shortly realized that his real interest lay in his love of music, and he left the university to focus on building a business around some of his media publishing ideas. At this time, a friend and former scale student recommended that he look into Opportunities NOW as way for him to further develop his music and business skills. In July, Moo Hsoe opened his music media business and has just released a compilation of lyrics for 125 songs along with an audio CD. In his first month of business, Moo Hsoe made $1,000 in profits and has sold more than 3,000 of his lyric compilations and audio CDs. Based on this success; he is now looking at implementing new ideas and broadening his product offering to include new language learning resources in Burmese, Korean, and English.
Saw Golden Chit
Saw Golden Chit is a young entrepreneur living in the small village of Outsu. As a boy, he spent long days working on his parent’s farm and tending to a large rice paddy. As he prepared to go to college, Saw Golden Chit thought he would pursue a career in computer science, but after two years he had to leave school to help attend to his family’s farm. It was here that he got an idea for expanding the farm to include a commercial fishery, and with encouragement from his sister, he joined Opportunities NOW to more fully develop his idea. Saw Golden Chit really benefited from the startup program and received invaluable experience during his internship where he worked at a fish farm in Twante, observing and discussing with its owner on how to run an effective fish farm. Since receiving his loan and starting his fish farm, no income has come in yet since the fish are not fully grown and ready for harvest. However, Saw Golden Chit is pleased with the progress he is making and has many customers lining up for the first big sale in October. With an eye towards the future, he is now also planning the build out of a shrimp farm and looks forward to the day when he can more fully support himself and his family from the proceeds of his growing business.
Sar Gor Htoo
Sar Gor Htoo is from Yangon and has just recently completed the Opportunities NOW startup program. He currently lives with his parents and five brothers and is launching his new pig farm. Prior to getting involved with Operation NOW, Sar Gor Htoo worked a number of small partime jobs to help cover family expenses. His aunt, Daw San Myo, was the one who recommended that he attend Opportunities NOW. She was a former scale student, and felt it would be the perfect environment for Sar Gor Htoo to develop his entrepreneurial skills. Initially he received a $500 loan to start his pig farm, and currently has four pigs under his care. He continues to take part time jobs to generate additional income as he waits for the pig breeding season and new offspring to develop. His goal is to sell pigs to customers in his village and eventually expand his business to include a fish farm as well.
Zun Zun Hlaing Aung
Zun Zun Hlaing Aung is a highly educated entrepreneur who has work experience in the education field. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Zun Zun Hlaing Aung began working as an early childhood teacher in her mother’s preschool. Unfortunately, growing expenses forced the closure of the preschool and she had to leave and look for another job. After seeing what was available, Zun Zun Hlaing Aung decided that she didn’t want to be a day laborer, and decided she wanted to start her own business. This is what led her to Opportunities Now, and the initial idea of raising livestock. However, she also wanted to provide a unique service that could not be easily copied. So, she decided instead to produce albums and DVDs of children’s educational songs that she would write and produce on her own. Opportunities NOW provided her with $500 out of the $800 she needed to initiate her business, and the rest was invested by her father. Since completing the program, she has been working on recording her songs and obtaining a permit to distribute and sell her DVDs. Eventually Zun Zun Hlaing Aung hopes her business will be successful enough to allow her to help reopen her mother’s preschool.
Wai Maung is an agriculture entrepreneur and is currently living with Zun Zun Hlaing Aung’s family in Mawbi on the outskirts of Yangon. As a young man, Wai Maung had once attended a course on the proper way to grow and sell mushrooms. Mushrooms are a chief staple in the Myanmar diet, and he saw an opportunity to build a business around this idea. Zun Zun’s mother encouraged him to join Opportunities NOW so that he could learn how to start and grow his new business. Wai Maung was just awarded a $500 loan and has rented a small parcel of land from Zun Zun Hlaing Aung’s family. He has started his first plantings and expects his first harvest in about 2 weeks. He is looking forward to his first sale at the beginning of next month, and hopes to grow into a thriving business that packages and sells dried mushrooms to customers in his area.
Cheers to Success!
The Trading Pub Team