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Banpu announces the five winning young social entrepreneurs Organizing the second year of a social enterprise fair 'Impact Day: Launch Pad for young people'

26/11/2018

The five winning social enterprises of ‘Banpu Champions for Change 8’ with Mr. Sunit Shrestha, Managing Director of Change Fusion Institute (Third from the left) and Mrs. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited (Center)
 
Bangkok, 3 December 2018 - Banpu Public Company Limited, the leading integrated energy solutions company in Asia-Pacific working towards sustainability, joined with non-profit organization Change Fusion in announcing the five winners of ‘Banpu Champions for Change (BC4C) 8’ after the semi-final round taking place five months ago. The winners will receive financial support totaling of 1.25 million Baht to help fuel their creativity, strengthen the operations of their businesses and accelerate the impact of their social enterprises. The announcement ceremony was followed by the social enterprise fair dedicated to Thai social enterprises ‘Impact Day: Launch Pad for Young People’. This second edition of the annual fair allowed the public and students to learn about social enterprises and support their businesses, thus bringing benefits to both society and communities. The Impact Day also served as a stage for panel discussions and knowledge exchange from people who share the same vision to create a collaborative network that will further drive the strong growth of Thai social enterprises.
 
Mrs. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited said: “Today marks the end of another eventful year for ‘Banpu Champions for Change’. We’ve seen positive changes and developments including the launch of the SE.School (Social Enterprise School) earlier this year. This is the first Thailand’s online platform for people who want to learn how to set up a social enterprise that will create positive changes in society. The platform is open to the public as well as the project applicants to learn and understand more about social enterprises and is the first step in building the basic knowledge and foundation for such social enterprises. The platform also provided great benefit to our applicants. It allowed them to nurture their ideas and present the concept of their social enterprise in a structured and clear form. Participants later joined workshops that focused on the developing and building of business plans as well as sustainable social impact. All these activities were part of the enhanced preparations leading up to this year’s presentation of business plans and visions to the committees. We went through these processes to identify our five winners who have initiated outstanding social enterprises that can effectively contribute positive changes to the society in the future.”
 
The five winning teams received a total of 1.25 million Baht worth of financial support and a chance to participate in the ‘Sprint Workshop’, an activity designed to help each team discover their own potential and overcome challenges and obstacles during the project implementation to reach their set target systematically and in a timely manner. The workshop also featured previous winners of BC4C, including A-chieve, Ma:D, TP Packaging Solution and Hand Up Network who shared their experiences, their success stories as well as how they overcame challenges and found solutions that would allow them to become sustainable social enterprises.
 
The five winning teams of Banpu Champions for Change 8 are;
  • “Vanta” – the producer and distributor of naturally dyed clothing products.  The business aims to create more income for locals while increasing the community’s forested areas.
  • “Craft de Quarr” – the distributor of art and craft souvenirs from local artisans and designers. The business aims to solve the lack of local handicraft successors while developing the community’s economy.
  • “Gonfai” – the developer and distributor of products crafted by hill tribes with an aim of growing the handicrafts market and creating sustainable income for the tribes
  • “Refill Station” – the retail business that aims to manage daily waste problems by reducing consumer goods packaging.  Refill Station allows customers to consume sustainably by bringing their own containers to refill products at the shop. 
  • “WEALTHI” – the mobile application of a private financial business designed to solve the financial problems of underserved customers who are unable to access funding resources from financial institutes.
“This year, the project also built on the success of the social enterprise fair dedicated to Thai social enterprises ‘Impact Day: Launch Pad for Young People. This is the second annual fair and serves as a platform for social enterprises under the project as well as other social enterprises in Thailand to introduce their businesses as well sell their products and services. At the same time, the general public and interested students get to learn more about social enterprises from those with first-hand experience. This is a great opportunity to learn from real experts. It could lead to the first step, the enhancement or even the development of their own social enterprises.”
 
“Other activities at the fair also aim to connect people who share the same aspirations and allow them to exchange their knowledge and experience and build connections for future business opportunities. The goal is to raise the awareness of social enterprises in Thailand among the general public and encourage more collaborations that will lead to a stronger network of Thai social enterprises. This vision is in line with Banpu’s belief that “Learning is the Power of Change and Development,” Mrs. Udomlux concluded.
 
‘Impact Day: Launch Pad for Young People was held on 25 – 26 November 2018 and featured fun and informative activities in which the public was invited to take part. Highlights included SE.School Talk & Share where previous winners of BC4C shared their experiences in business and offered tips for overcoming obstacles; SE.School Live Consultation that allowed people to openly discuss their ideas with previous winners;  Workshop by Social Enterprises featuring handicrafts from the project; Fashion for Change, a fashion show on the theme “Ethical crafts : Crafts for All, All are Crafts” that encouraged positive change in the fashion scene and which blended the design skills and creativity of the young generations with today’s way of life and local skills from all over Thailand; and BC4C Pitching Opportunity, that transformed the event into a stage for business pitching opportunities where plans are presented to potential sponsors of social enterprises.
 
Mr. Sunit Shrestha, Managing Director of the Change Fusion Institute, a non-profit institute attached to the Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement Foundation under Royal Patronage, said: Of all the people who used our online platform SE.School, more than 44% were from outside of Bangkok and its vicinity. This impressive statistic demonstrated to Change Fusion and Banpu that the new generation is still interested in social enterprise and that this interest is not limited to Bangkok. For this reason, we are confident that our commitment to the development of SE. School, an online-platform for people who want to create positive changes for the society, and the continuation of the fair dedicated for social impact – Impact Day: Launch Pad for Young People – which works hand in hand with Banpu Champions for Change, will give people the courage to step up and start their own social enterprise and sustainably drive positive changes for our society.”
 
For further information about upcoming activities throughout the year and application details for ‘Banpu Champions for Change 9’, which will kick off in February 2019, please visit www.facebook.com/banpuchampions
 
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About Banpu Public Company Limited
Banpu Public Company Limited is a leading integrated energy solutions company with coal, power and renewable energy business in 10 countries: Thailand, Indonesia, China, Australia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Singapore, Japan, the United States of America and Vietnam.
 
“Learning is the Power of Change and Development”
Based on our firm belief that ‘learning’ powers constructive change and sustainable development of people and society, Banpu’s CSR activities emphasize the promotion and development of continued “learning” among young people and communities in various forms. Banpu supports sustainable development of communities and society through a number of learning opportunities, for both individuals and teams, ranging from learning through daily real-life experiences, and learning in-and-outside of the classrooms, to hands-on practice that enhances capabilities and skills.
 
For further information, (press) please contact: Banpu Public Company Limited
Ornsiri Vorayos Tel. 02.694.6923 ornsiri_v@banpu.co.th
Warittha Thanamitsomboon Tel. 02.694.6852 warittha_t@banpu.co.th