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“Banpu Champions for Change 5” awards 800,000 Baht to 4 Social Enterprises to help build sustainable society

“Banpu Champions for Change 5” awards 800,000 Baht to 4 Social Enterprises to help build sustainable society

Banpu Public Company Limited in partnership with Change Fusion today announced the four winners of Banpu Champions for Change 5 project who will share 200,000 Baht each in a total of 800,000 Baht worth of financial support to help further their social enterprise business models in the second phase. Banpu is one of the first Thai listed companies to support younger generations to kick-start new ideas for social enterprises that help tackle social issues sustainably while operating profitably.

“We see an increasing  number of young entrepreneurs that aim to tackle a social issue or elevate the quality of life for those in need while generating profits just like any other profit-driven business model,” said Mrs. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited.

“This perfectly reflects Banpu’s business credo; an industry will be strong only when it is developed in tandem with social and environmental responsibility. Banpu is committed to supporting new generation business, believing that “learning” is the power of change and development.

“We first initiated the Banpu Champions for Change program in 2011, based on the inspiration to support young people who showed true potential and creativity to learn from experts and help them get hands-on experience essential to strive in the business world. We are proud to have inspired them and supported them on their way to improve the society,” said Mrs. Udomlux Olarn.

Mr. Sunit Shrestha, Managing Director at Change Fusion Institute, a non-profit institute under the Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement Foundation under the Royal Patronage, and one of this year’s jurors for Banpu Champions for Change, said, “Banpu is among the first corporates to get involved in inspiring social enterprises through Banpu Champions for Change.”

“This year we have seen a lot of new ideas from the candidates who applied for the program and came with great potential to create profitable business and positive impacts on the society. We first selected 10 finalists from the pool of 52 nominations to attend a workshop in April organized by Banpu and Change Fusion. We provided each team with mentors and then selected four winners to receive funding for the second phase of their program. These four teams have shown their capabilities and potential to achieve both commercial and social success,” said Mr. Sunit Shrestha.

This year’s outstanding winners have demonstrated their innovative concepts by addressing social issues while simultaneously generating sustainable income streams and show tangible and positive impacts on society.

The jurors, who are considered social enterprise network experts, selected the four winning teams for the final round based on five criteria:
1. Social Impact – the possibility to create social change substantially;
2. The Team – capability and dedication;
3. Improvement ¬- ability to operate efficiently in the given time of three months after receiving 50,000 Baht in the first round;
4. Business Sustainability – judging from cash flow performance and ability to enter the market; and
5. Maximization – ability to operate in the long run with substantial profit and social value.

This year’s winners are:

  • Happy Field Happy Farm – a social enterprise that focuses on upgrading the quality and standard of local products from farmers to help strengthen the agriculture community by acting as middleman to sell products from Namcham District in Prae province, helping improve rice farming methods, process product and build brand in order to fill in the opportunity gap for farmers and enhancing competitiveness and bargaining power within and outside of Thailand. The first product currently being sold is weevil-free germinated brown rice.
  • Hand Up Network – an agency that connects corporates and organizations to exchange knowledge and skills to tackle social problems. Hand Up Network helps corporates analyze the business and design the most suitable corporate social responsibility program according to their businesses, matching the program with appropriate organizations in order to create tangible knowledge transfer and help strengthen the organization’s capacity to operate efficiently and sustainably.
  • Toolmorrow – an online TV program that aims to teach morals to teenagers using fun and creative content. Toolmorrow brings teenagers’ false beliefs such as smoking is cool or alcohol can heal heartbreak to the online screen by creating a social experimental VDO packed with fun and thought-provoking content in order to capture the audience’s attention and keep them engaged.
  • Earth Dezign – distributor of children’s eating utensils that are safe and environmental-friendly with fun designs to encourage children to eat more vegetables more often. The materials are derived from nature such as corns and bamboos. Part of Earth Dezign’s profits will be donated to orphanages and foundations accompanied by knowledge of preparing kid-friendly meals that contains all five essential food groups.

“We are confident that this year’s Banpu Champions for Change project will continue to be a hub for the thriving social entrepreneur community in Thailand, and they continue to come to us in search of knowledge and inspiration for their social enterprises. We support these inspiring social entrepreneurs not only in knowledge but in all aspects including establishing a network of experts and advisors, and helping foster a growing group of like-minded people to exchange skills and experience in order to ignite the startups of social enterprises to help drive social and economic competitiveness for the country”, concluded Mrs. Udomlux Olarn.

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About Banpu Champions for Change Program 
The “Banpu Champions for Change” program began in 2011 as an evolution of the support for developing young social entrepreneurs since 2006. The program aims to allow young people with potential and creativity to drive social change by implementing their own social enterprise-based initiatives which incorporate business, society, environment, and financial management into profitable activities using ethical business management principles and practices.

About Banpu Public Company Limited
Banpu Public Company Limited is a leading energy company in Asia.  Its coal and related energy businesses span across eight countries: Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Australia, China, Mongolia, Singapore and Japan.

“Do by Heart” is the fundamental shared value at Banpu. Its social responsibilities are what everyone at Banpu does ‘by heart’, which is based on “sincerity”, “serious concern”, and genuine “good will”. This corporate value has instilled in Banpu’s people a level of great pride while motivating them to keep on developing and upgrading the company’s CSR activities in order to achieve the ultimate goal of ensuring sustainable benefits for the community and society where it operates.

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