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Myanmar's First Coworking Space: Project HUB Yangon

Coworkers at Project Hub Yangon, Myanmar's first coworking space.

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DM: On a similar note, do you see coworking as a potential platform for creating community, especially in countries that need it most- like Myanmar, which has struggled greatly with interethnic issues?

AM: Sure, I think any initiative that promotes diverse community is a great initiative; however, at the moment in Myanmar I don't see much of a market for coworking in other cities besides Yangon, because most of the country is still very under-developed and rural. Most of the inter-ethnic issues are also playing out in the rural areas, so there will need to be other community initiatives that promote diversity and acceptance.

DM: What kind of outstanding projects have taken place at PHY?

AM: Our current members include small non-profits that are promoting democracy in Myanmar, a social enterprise food truck that is promoting inclusiveness through food, a Burmese-language search engine, a local PR company that specializes in social media for Myanmar, and others. 

DM: Does your space also funcation as an incubator?

AM: Yes, we are also an incubator. We provide 6-month incubation programs for Myanmar entrepreneurs, where we provide them with office space, mentorship, workshops and connections to investors. Corporations or foundations typically fund our programs, so the program is free for the entrepreneur. We have a competitive application process and only take in about 10 entrepreneurs into our programs at a time.

DM: Do you see a strong future for coworking in Myanmar? For example, do you want to open more spaces, or do you know any coworkers who want to start their own?

AM: The market and demand for co-working in Myanmar is still relatively small. At Project Hub Yangon, we hope to expand our small space (1200 square feet) and be able to have a bigger space to accommodate different needs of coworkers.

Maybe one day we'll open other outlets around Yangon, or even one in Mandalay or Nay Pyi Taw. But, opening just this one space took a lot of time and was very challenging, so I'm not sure whether we want to take up another huge challenge anytime soon! Let's see how Project Hub Yangon grows first.

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