Banpu announces five winners for ‘Banpu Champions for Change 6’ Supporting Millennials to launch social enterprises that tackle key everyday social problems
Bangkok, 13 September 2016 – Banpu Public Company Limited, a leading Asian energy company, in partnership with Change Fusion today announced the five winners of ‘Banpu Champions for Change 6’ under the theme: Build Sustainable Social Enterprises From Daily Life Inspiration For Social Betterment. The winners will receive 200,000 Baht each, from a total of one million Baht worth of financial support, to help accelerate the profitable outcome and the social impact of their social enterprises. This year’s winners stand out for their creativity to address everyday-life issues that may be overlooked – namely stress, physical and mental health, and the environment, with multifaceted approaches to tackle them.
Mrs. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited said, “Banpu places high importance on sustainable development. We believe that both millennials and active social enterprises are the main locomotive of sustainable social and economic advancement in Thailand. Banpu Champions for Change was established six years ago as a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to tackle a social issue while creating sustainable business. We believe that participants will get hands-on experience which is essential to thrive in the business world and create a positive impact for society. This is reflected in our belief that ‘learning is the power of change and development.”
After selecting proposals from a pool of young energetic entrepreneurs aged 20-35 in January, Banpu Champions for Change organized initial workshop. In the next round, 10 teams were selected to receive 50,000 Baht to operate in the first phase, incubated with further workshops led by experts in areas such as marketing, finance and social development. Today five teams with outstanding ideas and performance were selected as the winners to receive 200,000 Baht in the final round. The winning teams are;
- TP Packaging Solution – distributor of environmentally-friendly packaging solutions aimed to reduce foam use and enhance consumer health.
- Relationflip – an online psychologist database aimed to encourage and facilitate public access to psychological treatment.
- We Listen – an online platform that provides active listeners for people with stress and mental illness.
- Yellow Hello – manufacturer of organic soy milk, utilizing the by-products of soy milk production for uses such as animal food and fertilizer, aimed at reducing supply chain waste to zero.
- The Guidelight – an audio book focusing on self-improvement, aimed at creating learning, career opportunities and access to educational resources for the blind.
Mr. Sunit Shrestha, Managing Director at Change Fusion Institute, a non-profit institute under the Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement Foundation under Royal Patronage, said “Social entrepreneurship is becoming more akin to mainstream entrepreneurship in Thailand. The younger generations in particular possess creative business outlooks and good ideas of what to do, while improving society. However, unfortunately due to lack of funding and essential knowledge for social enterprise sustainability, many of them may need to close down their business. This is where Banpu Champions for Change seeks to support them. The trending issues this year are ones that are easily overlooked in everyday life, yet this leaves a broad spectrum for social enterprise to create businesses from issues like stress, social inequality, health and environment threats.”
“Throughout the five years of the program, Banpu Champions for Change has seen a lot of potential in the 52 social enterprises that we have helped incubate. With 29 enterprises still scaling and continually creating positive impact for over 50 communities and 120,000 beneficiaries. Some have also entered into international business showcases that bring about broaden exposure and opportunities to grow their social enterprises. This is something far beyond Banpu’s and Change Fusion’s expectations.”
Since the successful program started, apart from supporting the social enterprises in the first and second phase of the program each year, Banpu also partnered with Change Fusion and Ma:D, hub for social enterprise networks, to regularly organize workshops to provide counseling and business matching as well as keep track of ‘Banpu Champions for Change’ alumni. Ongoing support is also presented by inviting gurus to share trends and tips for the social entrepreneurs in order to help them prepare and adapt well in the market.