The MFA created the Impact NOW event to connect Thailand's sustainable enterprises and the wider social impact ecosystem to the foreign business community. The event saw over 180 attendees, consisting of members of 14 foreign chambers of commerce & trade associations, members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives from the Thai government.
Spotlighting social entrepreneurship in Thailand
Impact NOW featured four sustainable enterprises—Find Folk, Happy Grocers, moreloop, and Vulcan Coalition—shortlisted from candidates who participated in grant programs and pitching contests organized by the NIA.
The four companies were invited to showcase their sustainable business models through the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Attendees then voted for one enterprise to receive the Impact NOW "Best in Show" Award 2022, recognizing the company that best exemplified the change they want to see in Thailand.
Find Folk's Strategic Marketing and Sustainability Manager Mr. Sappawat Kantamara said his team is very grateful for having been voted for the award and that Find Folk is dedicated to its ambition of realizing sustainability on every platform and in every action.
Crises fuel sustainability development efforts
As the world lurches from crisis to crisis, sustainable, resilient development is very much on the mind of global leaders and policymakers.
Impact NOW comes on the heels of the Global South-South Development Expo 2022 held from September 12th-14th, 2022 at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok. The event was also organized during Thailand's host year for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which the country has used to advocate its Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model, which is reportedly gaining traction among APEC member economies, especially those that see similar applications in their respective agricultural sectors.
Referring to the sustainable enterprises featured at Impact NOW, MFA Deputy Permanent Secretary Dr. Vilawan Mangkalatanakul said, "They put policy aspirations into practice. Policies like the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, and the Bio-Circular-Green, or BCG Economy Model that we are advancing as APEC host economy this year."
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) produced an SDG Investor Map for Thailand in July this year in partnership with the Securities Exchange Commission of Thailand and the Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP). The SDG Investor Map for Thailand identifies investment opportunity areas ideal for impact investment.
Several members of the diplomatic corps in attendance praised the goals of the event.
"It is very, very important to support any event that focuses on SDGs," said Dr. Georg Weingartner, Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of Austria in Thailand. "I was very impressed today when I saw the presentations of the companies, of the startups; I was also very impressed with the solutions they could offer."
About the organizers
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand is the main responsible agency for achieving SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) in the country. Through its Thailand NOW initiative, Impact NOW provides opportunities for the foreign business community in Thailand to partner with sustainable enterprises.
The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization), under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, is the government's core agency that promotes and facilitates innovation, providing a business development pathway for social enterprises in Thailand.
British Council Thailand builds connections, understanding, and trust between people in the UK and Thailand through arts and culture, education, and the English language.
Impact NOW is made possible thanks to private sector support from AMATA Corporation Public Company Limited, Bangkok Beer & Beverages Co., Ltd., PAPER & PAGE (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, and the Thai Startup Trade Association.