Leveraging Innovative Finance Together – Accelerating sustainable energy and water entrepreneurship in Asia

26 & 27 February 2019 – Yangon Myanmar

Nexus for Development hosted two days of workshop events in Yangon, Myanmar on the 26 and 27th of February 2019. The knowledge exchange workshops supported by WISIONS brought together ecosystem actors from across Asia for a discussion on accelerating finance for entrepreneurship in Asia.  


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

for Social Entrepreneurs delivering sustainable energy, water, and sanitation solutions

Training on advanced financial topics and peer-to-peer knowledge exchange for sustainable energy, water, and sanitation social entrepreneurs.

Participants – representing enterprises providing clean energy, water, and sanitation solutions across Asia – will have an opportunity to network and share best practices. The session will include facilitated round table discussions on topics such as collecting money from customers/financing end users, after sale services, and entering new markets.

Speaker: Jessica Aung Investment Manager (Myanmar Representative) – DEG – German Investment and Development Company

Trainers will share insights into financier’s due diligence process. Attendees will learn more about what financiers look for in investable businesses. Participants will increase their understanding of financier investment criteria and how to speak the language of finance to effectively present their businesses to investors.

Speaker: Mo Hom Noon Business and Financial Analyst – One to Watch

A refresher course on cash flow management. Trainers will do a deep dive to help participants understanding how much money is flowing in and out of their business, money trends and how to prepare for an enterprise’s financial stability.

Speaker: Robbert Groenen Director Myanmar – One to Watch

At what growth stage should an enterprise utilize debt vs equity financing? What are the benefits and disadvantages of accepting first-loss capital, project or results-based financing?  In this training, entrepreneurs will learn more about which financial products are appropriate for their businesses and gain insights into what question should be asked of financiers when negotiating loan terms.

Group discussion to reflect on lessons learned and how these trainings can be applied the following day during the joint Nexus and ANDE Workshop.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

for Social Entrepreneurs, Financiers, and Intermediaries

Co-hosted by

Joint Workshop by ANDE & Nexus to support the scale and effectiveness of entrepreneurship in Myanmar and Asia with a focus on access to finance. Launches of ANDE Myanmar Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot and Nexus’s Finance Solutions MapSee all registered participants (list will be updated on a weekly basis)

Speaker: Jennifer Louie Executive Director – Nexus for Development

Which financial tools, types and products are available to entrepreneurs interested in scaling their businesses? Where can financiers from across Asia publicise their financial products to sustainable energy, water and sanitation entrepreneurs? Nexus for Development designed the Finance Solutions Map, an interactive tool that helps entrepreneurs working in this sector better identify and access innovative finance. By providing an overview of more than 100 financial schemes available to this group of entrepreneurs, the map aims to be a centralized resource for both entrepreneurs and financiers operating in Southeast Asia.

The map was a key output of Nexus’ Leveraging Innovative Finance Together programme launched in January 2019 to promote opportunities for direct dialogue between entrepreneurs and financiers on accelerating entrepreneurship in the region through access to finance. In addition to the live demonstration of the Finance Solutions Map, we will look at the challenges and perceptions of knowledge gaps for both entrepreneurs and financiers, and ask stakeholders to share their experiences during implementation. We will discover together how to replicate success stories and different ways to promote more transparent dialogue.

Moderator: Jennifer Louie  Executive Director – Nexus for Development

Risk Panelists: Dondi Hananto  Partner – Patamar Capital, Jugnu Pati Senior Investment Manager – Bamboo Capital Partners, Nathalie Risteau  Co-founder and Director – Mandalay Yoma Company Ltd., Peter Crowhurst  Chief Executive Officer – British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar, U Saw Dino Ku  Executive Director – A-Bank

From 2007-2017, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Private Impact Investors (PIIs) such as family offices, corporations, foundations, and development banks have deployed more than USD 12 billion of impact capital across Southeast Asia (GIIN, 2018, Landscape for Impact Investing in Southeast Asia). As the pool of impact-driven financiers continues to diversify and grow, how do approaches to risk vary across these actors and emerging markets in Asia.

What do financiers consider when determining their tolerance for risk? What are the tools and strategies available to help mitigate financier’s concerns, particularly for entrepreneurs implementing perceived high-risk projects or technologies. During this session we will ask a panel of both financiers and entrepreneurs to share their insights and respond to these questions. We will then break into small group discussions to foster direct dialogue between workshop attendees for further discussions on different perspectives and strategies to mitigate risk.

Session Designer: Courtney Savie Lawrence Head of Exploration – UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Innovation Centre

Working Session with all ecosystem actors session in the afternoon

Opening Speaker and Judge: Brianna Losoya Senior Impact Analyst – ANDE

Enterprise Spotlights: Francesco Carocci Project Manager – OTAGO, Anastassiya Likhacheva Deputy Chief Financial Officer – Solar-Home, Rachel Pringle CEO – Hydrologic

Judges: Geoff Revell Managing Director – WaterSHED Ventures, Margarita Manzo Senior Investment Manager – Nexus for Development, Peter Witton Director & Co-Founder – Anthem Asia

As financiers continue to look beyond financial returns towards driving meaningful social and environmental outcomes, how are entrepreneurs monitoring, quantifying and communicating their impact? What are the best methodologies and strategies available, and how can entrepreneurs utilize these frameworks to effectively communicate their outcomes while meeting financier expectations?

The session will present global trends, frameworks, and metrics for impact measurement, and then invite select entrepreneurs to take the stage with short impact-focused pitches on how they monitor, quantify and communicate their outcome. A panel of expert judges, representing a variety of diverse financiers, will then provide real-time feedback to entrepreneurs.

In an interactive group Q&A, we’ll then ask the audience to share their own perspectives on the topic and spark a conversation on various expectations and challenges in presenting their outcomes to key stakeholders. This session will promote more direct dialogue and increased understanding among stakeholders to demystify how people and organizations working in this ecosystem defines, measures, and communicates impact.

Speakers: Brianna Losoya-Evora ANDE, Fai Wechayachai ANDE ESEA, Sarita Worravitudomsuk / ANDE ESEA, Dr. Aung Win Rector, University of Yatanarpon Cyber City – UTYCC, Aye Pearl Hlaing Monitoring and Evaluation Officer – International Labour Organization (ILO), Dominic Mellor ADB Ventures Lead – Asian Development Bank (ADB)

What financial and nonfinancial support is available for entrepreneurs in Myanmar’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem? Which organizations are actively supporting entrepreneurship in Myanmar and what kind of support they provide?

ANDE will share key findings, gaps, and opportunities identified from the survey, which has been completed by over 200 Myanmar entrepreneurial ecosystem players. These organizations include investors, capacity development providers, business development support, professional service, and technical assistance providers, government agencies, to name a few.
During the session, we will showcase initiatives on the ground that highlight lessons learned and partnership opportunities to help bridge the existing gap in Myanmar and across Southeast Asia.

What’s next? What’s the role for each actor to play in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Myanmar and across Asia? What steps can we take collectively and individually to create real change? This working session aims to reflect back and look ahead together. The format will be structured in an interactive dialogue where we co-create a common roadmap to identify an action plan to build collaboration among actors in Myanmar and across Asia.


Jessica Aung

Investment Manager (Myanmar Representative) – DEG – German Investment and Development Company

Jessica Aung is an Investment Manager with DEG, the German Investment and Development Company and a member of KfW Banking Group owned by the German Government. At DEG Myanmar, Ms. Aung is responsible for investment origination, execution support, and portfolio management across all products and teams. Ms. Aung holds a pass in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level III, and she is a founding member of CFA Community Myanmar (known as ‘Myanmar Society of Investment Professionals’). In 2018 the Myanmar-born investment professional was selected as one of Asia Foundation Development Fellows, a prestigious yearly program for young leaders to address the region’s most pressing development challenges. In recognition of her achievements in the Myanmar business community, her undergraduate alma mater Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore presented her with the 2018 Nanyang Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Ms. Aung is dedicated to growing a sustainable future in her country. She contributes to her community through the volunteer-driven youth initiative (WYNEE), which she founded to advance work readiness among the younger generations.

Francesco Carocci

Project Manager – OTAGO

Francesco and OTAGO got to know each other in 2013 when Francesco did a five-month internship for the company. Francesco holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Rome. As OTAGO’s Project Manager Francesco is in charge of new franchising projects and technical assistance.

Peter Crowhurst

Chief Executive Officer – British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar

Peter is the Chief Executive Officer of the British Chamber of Commerce, Myanmar an organization that represents 250-member companies active in the Myanmar market. Peter was part of the founding team that established the Chamber of Commerce and has served on the board for the last five years since its inception. Peter brings to the Chamber a wealth of experience, having spent the past thirty years working in Asian Markets. Initially, Peter worked in the Hospitality industry at General Manager level, in Hong Kong and China, however, transferred his skills into Real Estate, becoming an Asset and Investment Manager with ING Real Estate Investment Management based in China. In this role, he supported real estate development and investment projects in China and Taiwan. During his time with ING and latterly CBRE Global Investors, Peter was responsible for real estate portfolios in China, Taiwan, Singapore & Malaysia with assets in excess of USD 650 Million.

Peter’s relocation to Myanmar was orchestrated through Yoma Strategic Holdings, whom he joined in 2013 when based in Singapore and moved to Myanmar full time shortly after as Head of Real Estate Asset Management at Yoma Strategic Holdings.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar provides pragmatic advice, trade, and commercial services to investors considering investment into the Country. For information please visit –

Robbert Groenen

Director Myanmar – One to Watch

Robbert started his career in the financial centers of London and Mexico City. Thereafter he moved to Nepal to work at One to Watch, an Impact Investment Fund which connects capital and expertise from around the world to impactful Nepali and Burmese entrepreneurs. To facilitate the investment process, One to Watch is running accelerator programs to build a pipeline of investment-ready entrepreneurs. Robbert has set up One to Watch in Myanmar and ran a first accelerator round in 2018. Currently, he is running the second round of the accelerator in Myanmar and is developing the impact investment fund of One to Watch in Myanmar.

Dondi Hananto

Partner – Patamar Capital

Dondi is a Partner at Patamar Capital based in Indonesia. His past experience was in commercial banking (retail and SME financing) with several banks, and began the journey into impact businesses when he joined Sampoerna Strategic, an Indonesian privately-held investment company owned by a prominent local family. He was part of the team who set up the microfinance business for Sampoerna (now a full-fledged microfinance & SME bank). Dondi made the transition into early-stage investing in 2011 when he co-founded Kinara Indonesia and started doing investments into companies with positive impact. He joined Patamar Capital in 2014 and currently oversees the investment portfolio and activities in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia and the Philippines. Besides being an active practitioner of impact investing, Dondi also serves on the board of UnLtd Indonesia, an incubator for early-stage social enterprises.

Mo Hom Noon

Business and Financial - One to Watch

Mo Hom started her career by running a retail business in a rural area in Myanmar. During these years, she noticed the importance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the development of the Myanmar economy and the lack of support that is available for these entrepreneurs. She then decided to build her accounting skills, becoming a financial investment professional. Mo Hom then worked for more than four years as a Chief Accountant and Assistant Administration Manager for a Japanese Construction company, and as a lecturer at Matrix Professional Institute teaching financial analysis subject. Mo Hom joined One to Watch in 2018, where we serve as a Business and Financial Analyst, working directly with SMEs to strengthen their financial models and business strategies.

Anastassiya Likhacheva

Chief Financial Officer – Solar-Home

Anastassiya is responsible for financial management, financial reporting, and implementation of internal controls.  Anastassiya holds a degree in Business Administration from American University in Bulgaria (summa cum laude). She comes from a strong operational accounting and finance background with extensive experience at Deloitte and PwC. Anastassiya brings to the team the skills necessary for building out a strong finance organization capable to support network growth.

Jennifer Louie

Executive Director

Jennifer has over 15 years of experience in financial services and is passionate about social finance, economic development and sustainable growth of MSMEs. She joined Nexus for Development to drive its inspiring mission. Jennifer has an extensive background in corporate finance, asset management, and business development and most recently managed an emerging markets debt portfolio for sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Science in finance and economics and is currently pursuing a graduate program in environmental policy and international development at Harvard University.

Brianna Losoya

Senior Impact Analyst – ANDE

Brianna joined ANDE as an Impact Analyst in 2016. She is part of the Research and Impact team and supports ANDE members in measuring the social, economic, and environmental impact of small and growing businesses. Prior to ANDE, Brianna worked in Senegal with the UN World Food Programme as a Reports Officer, and with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences as a Program Officer. She also conducted research on neighborhood indicators and affordable housing for the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Brianna has a B.A. in Economics and French from Claremont McKenna College.

Margarita Manzo

Senior Investment Manager

Margarita Manzo is a Senior Investment Manager at Nexus for Development, a debt impact funds manager based out of Cambodia. Nexus supports enterprises across the region working on climate mitigation and the fight against poverty. Margarita spends most of her time managing Nexus’s Pioneer Facility, a USD6.5M debt fund that invests in growth-stage enterprises working on energy, water and sanitation solutions for low-income, under-served populations in Asia. Margarita is from Manila and has a background in corporate and project finance, particularly in the energy sector. She holds an MBA in finance from HEC Paris. Prior to Nexus, Margarita worked on both the developer and funder sides of the table for renewable energy projects in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Having worked at an investment bank, a large developer, and a start-up, she has seen the various issues companies and projects face to get funded. She is driven by a passion for building things and helping great ideas and projects get off the ground. She would like to see great startups focus less on funding and focus more on what matters – execution.

Dominic Mellor

ADB Ventures Lead – Asian Development Bank

Dominic is the Asian Development Bank’s ADB Ventures Lead. He is responsible for designing the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) early-stage investment projects to deploy and scale technologies and business models for impact in the Asia-Pacific.

Jugnu Pati

Senior Investment Manager – Bamboo Capital Partners

Jugnu is a Senior Investment Manager with Bamboo Capital Partners, a Swiss-based private equity fund that works towards profitably deploying private capital for effective social change. She is part of the Singapore team of BCP responsible for originating and managing investments in Asia. Jugnu has around 11 years of experience across Impact Investing and Investment Banking. Prior to joining Bamboo, Jugnu worked as an Investment Officer at IFC, World Bank Group handling investments and portfolio management for the Financial Institutions Group, South Asia. Previously she worked with SBI Capital Markets Ltd and ICICI Securities Ltd in their Investment Banking teams in India where she led several M&A, Capital Markets, PE exits and Advisory deals across sectors. She holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Xavier Institute of Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

Aye Perl

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer – International Labour Organization

Aye is in charge of Monitoring & Evaluation for ILO’s Myanmar Entrepreneurship and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) Support. She also oversees ILO’s training program, making the founding step to help new and existing small businesses to create jobs in both rural and urban areas join the dramatic economic and social change in Myanmar.

Rachel Pringle

CEO – Hydrologic

Rachel Pringle is the CEO of Hydrologic Social Enterprise and Nexus for Development Board Member. Before joining Hydrologic, Rachel worked with its founder International Development Enterprises (iDE) in Cambodia, focusing on social enterprise development, including launching iDE’s in-house microfinance unit and Hydrologic’s carbon finance project. Before moving to Cambodia she worked in a variety of fields including as a trader for an international investment bank, before moving on to work on WASH-related consultancies in the UK and South Africa.

Geoff Revell

Managing Director – HappyTap Co.

Geoff is the Founder and Managing Director of HappyTap Co. HappyTap is a portable sink designed to help families form handwashing habits. At LIFT Yangon, Geoff hopes to share his experience in taking HappyTap to market and to better understand how to raise financing and engage with investor expectations. Geoff also co-founded WaterSHED NGO, a leading actor in the WASH sector, recognized globally for its pioneering systems approach to make water, sanitation, and hygiene markets work better for everyone. WaterSHED sets a global benchmark for cost-effectiveness and sustainability in rural sanitation. Geoff previously worked at the World Bank Group on water sector projects in Cambodia, India, and in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to that, Geoff spent four years on the start-up team at a software firm based in Canada, now a unit of CA, Inc.

Nathalie Risteau

Co-founder and Director – Mandalay Yoma Company Ltd.

Nathalie is the cofounder and Director for External Relations at Mandalay Yoma, a Myanmar-based company specialized in sustainable energy solutions. The company enables access to energy programs for rural Myanmar through solar mini-grids and also develops rooftop commercial & industrial plants to enable MNCs and SMEs to reduce their energy expenditure.

Nathalie has a proven track record of working with the government, local conglomerates, international businesses, and development partners in her previous roles. She is passionate about developing access to energy programs along with advising on public policy & programs to accelerate socio-economic development. Nathalie founded Mandalay Yoma after heading Airbus Helicopters’ business for Myanmar, Cambodia & Laos, having seen energy access as a priority in Myanmar.

Courtney Savie Lawrence

Head of Exploration – UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Innovation Centre

Courtney Savie Lawrence is currently working at UNDP as a Regional Innovation Center’s Head of Exploration. She collaborates with various organizations, including Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). She is a connector by nature who thrives by working with others to bring innovative sustainable development projects to life. In the past 15 years she has lived, worked and traveled across more than 70 countries in pursuit of positive social impact. Most recently she cofounded DSIL Global, a social innovation company. Courtney is Faculty at Thammasat University, School of Global Studies and Social Entrepreneurship. From 2006-2014 she served on the Executive Committee of the Swiss-based NGO, World Alliance of YMCAs. Previous to cofounding a US social enterprise for sustainability entrepreneurs in 2011, she worked with Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship initiative in the Washington, D.C. area. She has facilitated multiple trainings across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North and South America. She holds a Master’s in Sustainable Economic Development and Responsible Management from UPEACE, the UN Mandated Graduate School of Peace and Conflict Studies.

U Saw Dino Ku

Executive Director – A-Bank

Dino is a visionary and trailblazer of Myanmar Banking Industry. Currently, he is the Executive Director of A-Bank (Ayerwaddy Farmers Development bank). He has over 13 years of experience working for several global financial institutions such as MUFG, Meridian Capital and Finster Financial Group.

He has helped moved A bank to focus on Agri value chain financing. A bank is probably the only local bank in Myanmar which focuses on Agri, SME and Green Financing. Under his leadership, A bank has obtained Credit Guarantee from Rabo bank, has been selected by WWF EU and German savings bank as green financing program Bank. A bank has financed many successful Agri and SME financing. Most notable Milestones include (Amara coffee, Shwe Taung Thu coffee association, Avocado Packaging factory, Natural farm fresh Solar dryer, solar pumping system installments scheme in Dry zone, local MFI lending (providing fundings to second-tier Local MFIs).

For his beloved country development, he has traveled a thousand miles to talking to various Farmers, Agribusinesses, and SMEs. He listens, he cares, he structures and most importantly “he delivers”.

Fai Wechayachai

Regional Chapter Manager – ANDE ESEA

Fai is the ANDE East and Southeast Asia Regional Chapter Manager. Fai set up the ANDE regional chapter in Bangkok in 2017. Fai holds a Masters in Comparative International Development Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. She brings both private and public sector in education industry expertise. Working and Living in three continents, Fai had intercultural experience working in organizations like Caritas Sweden, UNICEF Canada, and helped to fundraise for a local NGO in northern Thailand working with minority, sexually-harassed children. She most recently has served as the Deputy Managing Director of a Thai educational institution that established the Canadian International School of Thailand, an institution she helped build from the ground up. Her role included everything from identifying and managing relationships with educational partners and stakeholders overseas to assisting with the creation of the school curriculum. Prior to her role with the Canadian International School, Fai was part of the management team of KidZania Bangkok where she led the creation of a 15-person sales team while identifying and cultivating leading industry brands and corporates in the market.

Dr. Aung Win

Rector – University of Yatanarpon Cyber City

Dr. Aung Win, graduated B.E from Yangon Technological University in 2002 and graduated M.E and Ph.D in 2005 and 2009 from Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology (MIET), Russia. All degree specialized in ICT and research conducted in Analog-Digital Computing System. Served in Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Education as a Head of Academic Department, Head of Research Department, Principal of Technological University and currently serving as an Acting Rector of University of Technology (Yatanarpon Cyber City) -UTYCC and can also call a founder of UTYCC. Also served as an Academic Leader for ICT area for developing, reviewing curriculum and syllabus for 33 Technological Universities from 2010 to 2014.

Peter Witton

Director & Co-Founder – Anthem Asia

Peter has extensive experience in corporate communications, investor relations, marketing, public relations, publishing and journalism, humanitarian and development communications. Before joining Anthem Asia, Mr. Witton led Asia-Pacific communications for a global housing not-for-profit, Habitat for Humanity International. Previously, he was regional vice president for US public relations firm Ruder Finn Asia; earlier, he owned a communications agency and publishing house in Hong Kong. Peter holds a master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Leicester and is a graduate of the University of Kent at Canterbury. Mr. Witton formerly chaired the board of Habitat for Humanity China.

Sarita Worravitudomsuk

Program Coordinator – Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) East and Southeast Asia Chapter

Sarita is a Program Coordinator at Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) East and Southeast Asia Chapter. She is leading the effort for ANDE Myanmar Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot. Prior to joining ANDE, Sarita was an HR consultant for a Japanese consulting firm and worked as a Marketing Manager for a financial comparison platform, Savings Asia Ltd (B.Grimm Joint Venture), and was a Social Media Specialist at Rakuten Inc in Tokyo, Japan.




2017 Workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 

Want to see what we did in December 2017 when we convened 65 entrepreneurs and financiers? Check out the report. 

This initiative has been made possible with the support of Wisions.