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IFC Launches New Initiative to Support Women’s Businesses in Myanmar’s Inle Region

Nyaung Shwe, Shan State, Myanmar, March 8, 2018 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with the UK and Australian governments, launched today the Inle Professional Women’s Network (IPNET), an initiative to support women’s businesses in the Inle region.
Today’s event coincided with International Women’s Day, which celebrates women’s achievements globally, and brought together more than 200 participants including government officials, industry leaders, private sector representatives, and women from Inle Lake villages and communities.  
IPNET, which held its first meeting in October 2017, aims to build a united community of successful business women in the Inle region, help educate and empower women as individuals and leaders, and build supportive professional relationships.
“When you invest in empowering women, the entire community benefits. The launch of IPNET demonstrates our commitment to the growth of tourism and business women in the Inle region,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar.
In 2018 IPNET will organize monthly workshops and skills development and networking events around Inle on topics such as financial literacy, women’s leadership, health, and waste management.
Aunty Ann, Chairwoman of IPNET, notes that “the strength of IPNET is the power of its women” and that it can also play a key role in supporting women in some of the poorer communities around Inle.
IPNET’s launch showcased the diversity of skills and talents of women in the region and included a panel discussion on the role of women in business. IPNET members also performed a song written to celebrate the strength and unity of the network.
Guest speakers included Dr. Tun Hlaing, Inn Ethnic Affairs Minister of Shan State; Yin Myo Su (Misuu), Managing Director of the Inle Princess Group; Cho Pyone Kyaw from IPNET, and Kay Thi Win Aung. Opening speeches were also given by Liz Patterson from UK’s Department for International Development (DFID); Khin Thida Maw, IFC Myanmar Country Officer; and U Saw Tun Oo, Assistant Director of Myanmar’s General Administration Department in Nyaung Shwe Township.
IFC’s sustainable tourism project is implemented in partnership with DFID and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The program aims to help develop and promote the economic growth and sustainable development of Myanmar’s top tourist destinations.
About IFC
IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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