Skoll Foundation

 

Proximity Designs

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Debbie Aung Din and Jim Taylor
Award Year: 2012
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Smallholder Productivity and Food Security

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Proximity Designs uses a design-centric approach identifying high-impact opportunities to boost agricultural productivity and increase income for millions of smallholder farm families. The pioneering on-the-ground enterprise in Myanmar (Burma) designs, builds, and markets affordable products and services that vulnerable rural families use to transform their lives: they design with empathy. Proximity will grow its work in irrigation products, farm advisory services and product financing as well as expand into rural energy products.

IMPACT AS OF JAN. 2014:

  • More than 100,000 income-boosting products and services have been sold, changing the lives of 486,500 people.
  • In 2012, they had the most successful quarter to date, with the highest irrigation product sales in its 8-year history, expanding policy advocacy work in response to new openings at the highest levels of government, and entry into Myanmar’s underserved energy market with solar lighting products.
  • 102,418 rural households now have increased income of $276 million.
  • 8,838 solar lights have been sold.
  • Rice yield size has increased by 10 to 15 percent.
  • 486,500 people have been directly impacted.
  • Proximity has produced and distributed 13 papers on national economic policy. One, a report with Harvard scholars in January 2012, was called, “Appraising the Post-Sanctions Prospects for Myanmar’s Economy: Choosing the Right Path.”
  • Proximity has given 114,565 loans for either crops or products.
  • 546 village infrastructure projects have been completed.
  • 34,673 families are receiving income from cash-for-work projects annually.
  • Proximity reaches 80 percent of the country’s rural population. That’s more than 10,000 villages.

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