MEDA Releases its fifth Learning Series: Improving Market Opportunities for Women (IMOW)

September 29th, 2021, Waterloo, ON- MEDA launched its Improving Market Opportunities for Women (IMOW) project learning series today. This learning series contains key lessons from IMOW about the challenges and achievements that ambitious women farmers and entrepreneurs experienced and gained while growing their livelihoods and businesses in Myanmar. Some key lessons that were gained from this learning series was how women sales models and women farming models contribute to women economic empowerment in Myanmar. In addition, the learning series also underscores the importance of sustainability in projects and the value that is generated for value chains and communities when projects are designed to last past their conclusion.

Through the IMOW project, MEDA supported 52,000 women in the Shan and Kayin states. MEDA also worked with local partners to improve the standard of living and the business environment for another 194, 896 indirect clients. These indirect clients benefitted from the improved household incomes of producers and the higher-quality goods and services that micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSME) offered.

The IMOW Learning Series follows the release of MEDA’s past four learning series and shares challenges and successes from the project. Whether it’s about market systems in Tanzania, food security in Ghana, how Nigerian women are overcoming socio-cultural barriers in business or how Jordanian women and youth are creating their own businesses, these documents can provide key insights into our work in the Global South.

“We are pleased to share the key lessons we learned about how we can advance women’s economic opportunities in Myanmar, especially during a time of heightened political turbulence.”

  • Saw Say Htoo, Country Director in Programs, LEAP, Myanmar

Project quick facts:
• Funder: Global Affairs Canada
• Project Length: 2015- 2021

IMOW Key Learning series areas include:

  • How IMOW’s Women Sales Agent (WSA) and Women Lead Farmer (WLF) models benefited hundreds of women by increasing their sales and providing them with training and discounted equipment that they used to improve their harvest yields.
  • How sustainability in projects positively impacts women farmers, the value chain, and their communities
  • How working through both local NGO partners and private sector partners lead to positive impacts for women small producers
  • Ways in which IMOW effectively adapted to support clients in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

IMOW achievements to date:

Burmese women farmers preparing their crops
  • 25,000 women in the Shan and Kayin states. MEDA also worked with local partners to improve the standard of living and the business environment for another 125,000 indirect clients.
  • 14, 145 Women Small Producers benefited from improved production and agricultural techniques
  • 199 Women Sales Agents were trained with 140 WSAs currently active in business
  • 760 Women Lead Farmers were trained and mentored on improved agricultural production techniques.

MEDA’s IMOW Learning Series shares best practices and learnings from our partnerships and programming in Myanmar, amplifying the voices and perceptions of our women and youth clients. For more information, visit the IMOW project page, watch the promos, or contact



  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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