Mr. Rattapon Sukhunthee, Head of Corporate Communications, Banpu Public Company Limited, said "Over the past 12 years that we have conducted the Banpu Champions for Change (BC4C) project, we have given our support to approximately 130 social enterprises offering the opportunity for them to try their hands at business according to their ideas and interests. These SEs have so far benefited more than 2.5 million people. For the Impact Day, it is considered an important event at the end of the year for BC4C project as it brings SEs to meet with their customers, allowing them to receive direct feedback and have the chance to expand their market which will lead to more stable income. This year, we highlight the connection between sustainable tourism and social enterprise. The time before the year ends is considered a peak season for travel. Therefore, we would like to promote sustainable tourism, keep this trend growing, and gradually transform conventional tourism into sustainable tourism that enriches the lives and values of people in local communities."
The event included many highlighted activities, such as:
- Talk Session: a talk session on the subject of "The Future of Social Enterprises and Thailand's SE Ecosystem" was held to discuss future trends in driving Thai social enterprises toward growth. Rattapon Sukhunthee, Head of Corporate Communications from Banpu Public Company Limited; Mr. Sunit Shrestha, Managing Director of ChangeFusion Institute, as well as other experts in the SE circle including Dr. Worawit Jirattiticharoean, Director from Division of New Entrepreneur and Business Promotion, Department of Industrial Promotion (DIPROM), Ministry of Industry; and Mr. Somsak Boonkam, founder and CEO of Local Alike, were among key speakers at the session.
- SE Market: a fair offering travel packages and chic handcrafted products from more than 20 SEs across the country.
- Mini concert from "Atom-Chanakan"
In addition, during the event, there was an announcement of the three finalists in the 12th BC4C's incubation program. Each of them has won a grant of THB 250,000 to expand their businesses. The selection of the winners was based on selecting business models that are effective and employ a consistent income-generating approach, with concrete indicators to evaluate their positive impacts on society and the environment. The three winners this year (in no particular order) included:
- Khiri farm: a business that utilizes leftover 'rice straw' after harvest season to grow mushrooms. It has developed into to a learning platform for producing mushroom in substrate bag, generating income for both the business and the community, while also creating a fun activity for the elderly.
- Termnaam: a business that develops 'dishwashing powder' without any chemical residue. It is designed to be environmentally friendly and offers convenience in terms of portability, making it suitable for travelers.
- Sex-O-Phone: a platform that offers advice from experts to teenagers with focus on solving problems and answering to any doubts about sex, aiming to reduce 'unintended pregnancy' in school.
Mr. Sunit Shrestha, Managing Director of ChangeFusion Institute, a non-profit institute under the Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement Foundation under the Royal Patronage, said "We believe that soon there will be an increase in social enterprises due to the growing trend of sustainable business. Therefore, for emerging SEs to continue growing, the BC4C project emphasizes 3 principles of doing business for society: having a passion for their business, knowing the marketplace and being able to meet market demand, and having SE ecosystem to support each other. SEs must secure capital from investors and seek advice from industry experts who are willing share their experiences with young entrepreneurs. Crucially, government support is essential in terms of both financial and infrastructure backing. With all these supports, Thai social enterprises can grow to match the level seen in other countries."
For more information about Banpu Champions For Change (BC4C#12), please visit www.facebook.com/banpuchampions
Source: Ogilvy Bangkok