One of the hard question to answer for a startup in Myanmar is about investment and loan. As the country is just in the stage of opening to global market, investment way and system is new to many startup. Since to start a business, many people are still believing that money is the main key. Actually, the idea is important. Then what’s next? The next thing must be finding the way to do it. Some people started by family money. Some people partnered with their friends who have money. From 2013, many people came to realise that international investors are willing to invest in Myanmar startups who are promising for the success. Then investing method and system is introduced.
However some of my friends who are entrepreneur themselves are still worrying about taking investment. What they worry is losing control over the company. It’s true in some point. Some investors came with money and other value, and then ask for big value of the company. The percentage of share investors are taking depends on how much you’re willing to pay and how much you are willing to get from them. The more money you take, the less you own the company. Ownership and majority of the company is on the hand of one who has the biggest share in the company if speaking generally. I’m weak in finance and I also believe that many entrepreneurs in Myanmar are weak in finance. One of my friend, a successful entrepreneur, told me never to give more than 20 percent of the share of the company to investors. If you give beyond it, you don’t own the company. However the percentage taking in and taking out is not that simple in the startup field.
So the question is why you are not taking loan. It’s harder. It’s difficult to get loan from Myanmar government. The government, themselves, is being busy with their political and other issues. I have no wonder why they are not giving attention in small business. I don’t mean they don’t. They actually do. But what they do need to be more than what they are doing right now for startups in Myanmar. Company registration process is slow and hard. Tax regulation is the same for many kind of company. However, I’m not sure that government is not having yet a good opportunity to give loan to startups. Mirco-financing and other banking sector are developing. However, I don’t see yet that private banks are offering loans for startup.
Therefore the solution so far right not is taking investment into the company. When talking about investment, investment is not all about money. There may be also some other value to be added. So the another question is if you are willing to get only money or money with other values such as idea, advice, mentorship, etc. The more money you have, the more you can do. If you want to expand your business, you need to hire more good people and buy more raw materials. In contrast, if you have few money, you can do few things. So the affect and impact of having few or more money is relating each other. Think about it, but don’t be late.