Myanmar was once under military rule for 20 years. The country has gone through several crises and unstable political and economic situations ever since. Due to unsolved civil wars, ethnic conflicts, and unstable political situations, the country has failed to prioritize the education sector.
The country’s youth have experienced a parrot-learning oriented education system where high school students have to choose their degree according to their grades and not their interests or hobbies. Moreover, as a developing country with a long running history of poverty, many of Myanmar youth do not have access to opportunities, information, and quality education which has had a direct effect in the production of skilful human resources for the nation.
If someone asks about the most used online platform among the Myanmar youth, MYEO would likely be a common answer. MYEO is a for-profit youth development social enterprise focusing on furthering the skills and professional development opportunities of young people across Myanmar through offering content and skills development programs both online and offline.
MYEO started out as a college project by a student from Myanmar. Founder Ma Htet Thiri Shwe shared how she wanted to study abroad and see the world. After hearing about an opportunity from a friend, she went on to acquire a scholarship for a bachelor’s degree in the University of Hong Kong. With an aim to be that “friend” who opens up opportunities to young people in Myanmar, MYEO, the information hub for youth empowerment opportunities, was founded in 2014.
What MYEO does
Up until 2016, MYEO was just an online platform that shares several youth opportunities. The MYEO team started seeing that there is more they could do in empowering the youth with valuable skills across Myanmar. They started off doing professional skills training in Yangon.
At present, MYEO works remotely across regions and countries including those who are abroad and those from rural areas regardless of nationalities. Since the internet is borderless, MYEO wanted to ensure that the mobile devices act as a key to the world for the youth in terms of education and career opportunities.
MYEO has a well-organized online platform that shares youth empowerment information opportunities such as scholarships, trainings, conferences, competitions, volunteering opportunities, and internships. They also produce educational content such as live chats with inspirational young scholars and change makers, articles promoting online learning, and videos educating the youth about career options. In addition, they also create and run youth empowerment and educational campaigns.
MYEO’s famous Campus Chapter Director Program teaches soft skills to university students online with a trainer-to-trainer model. They have 48 campus directors across all 14 states and divisions of Myanmar. The directors are trained in an intensive 4-week online program for free. After finishing the program, the directors host their own training workshops in their respective universities with the provided curriculum and network support.
Recently, MYEO has launched the Workplace Digital Skills Online Training Program in Myanmar which aims to transform an individual with limited knowledge of Facebook into a digital remote worker in four weeks. This course has been attended by youth across Myanmar with 100 students per batch. Outstanding students from this course are given access to the Tech Startup Internship program and a one-day work visit at International NGOs.
Education - Study Abroad
Scholarship & Study abroad Information Community is MYEO’s newest initiative that aims to empower young people with information and tips needed to further their education in the global context.
Business Model and Operations
MYEO changed its status from an online youth platform to a for-profit social enterprise in 2017. Along with this, the team brainstormed several monetizing ways to produce educational products while at the same time impacting Myanmar youth. MYEO’s current monetizing products include Workplace Digital Skills Online Training program, Scholarship & Study Abroad Information Community, and Business-to-business solutions. It also plans to accept commercial advertisements on its online platforms.
MYEO started off with three people. Today, they have grown into a larger team with five subgroups. They are the Content team, the Digital literacy team, the Product Innovation team, the Partnerships team, and the Tech team.
In addition to the business units, MYEO also has a campus chapter network made up of 47 volunteers. This network is composed of university students from 34 school campuses.
Since MYEO’s trademark is remote working culture, the respective teams regulate their operations online.
Partnerships and Achievements
MYEO works with many student unions and organizations including Erasmus Mundus Alumni’s Association in Myanmar as well as corporations, startups, International NGOs, and SMEs.
MYEO is featured in Myanmar Times, Yoyarlay, Myanmar Tech Press, and UMM Weekly News. It also represented in several famous youth events and forums both locally and internationally including prestigious G20 Think 20 Summit and Inspiring Young Women Forum.
Along with the empowerment programs and trainings, MYEO’s official website www.mymyeo.com now has 13,400 monthly active users. Its Facebook page myeo.hub has now reached 64,000 Followers with a 100,000 weekly post reach.