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Banpu props up new-blood social entrepreneurs in Banpu Champion for Change 6

Banpu props up new-blood social entrepreneurs in Banpu Champion for Change 6

Banpu Public Company Limited, a leading energy company in Asia, has collaborated with Change Fusion, a non-profit institute under the Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement Foundation by the Royal Patronage, to launch Banpu Champions for Change 6. This new launch reinforces the companies stand for social change for the sixth consecutive year, by nurturing new generations of Social Entrepreneurs (SE) who create positive change in their society, community and the environment, while also achieving profitable growth and operating sustainably.
 
Social Entrepreneurs between the ages of 20-35years can form groups of up to 4 people to propose their social enterprise initiatives. Selected SE teams will be provided with the fundamental skills and mentoring which are required to turn their initiatives into concrete social enterprises. Banpu Champion for Change 6 is open for application from 1 January – 29 February 2016 via its Facebook page; facebook.com/banpuchampions
 
“Recognizing that social enterprises help drive Thailand’s socio-economic growth, Banpu launched the program in 2011 to support prospective social entrepreneurs in a holistic approach, meaning that not only do these social entrepreneurs receive financial support from Banpu, but they are also equipped with the necessary skills by mentors or experts in a variety of related fields. In addition, the participants obtain connections with fellow social entrepreneurs, both those new to the field and those with experience.  This will lead to a drive for change and the sustainable development which is reflected in Banpu’s philosophy; learning is the power of change and development,” said Mrs Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited.
 
The participating social enterprises will be screened by judges, including representatives from Change Fusion, Banpu and industry experts. The 20 successful enterprises will proceed to attend workshops in order to develop and refine their social enterprise models. Following this, 10 of the social enterprises which have developed an outstanding plan to solve social problems, improve society and the environment, will each receive 50,000 baht to run their business for a period of three months. Four teams with the most outstanding business performance and progress within the three months will be selected to further receive a 200,000 baht grant each, to continue their second phase implementation for another period of five months.
 
Throughout the program, the young social entrepreneurs will receive advice and attend workshops relating to business, marketing, branding, finance and social impact assessment with industry experts in order to develop the skills needed to sustainably grow their business and contribute to the society. At the same time, they will get to run their business while exchanging their experience with mentors and alumni, in order to gain new insights and ideas to further develop their business.
 
Ms Nilobol Pramarn, a member of Happy Field Happy Farm, developer of agricultural merchandise for Namsam community in Prae province and a participant of Banpu Champion for Change 5 said“As well as the financial support, since participating in this program I’ve gained  the ability to think systematically and the skills to run a social enterprise successfully. This has helped widen my knowledge and vision for operating my business in the long term. I have met a lot of savvy people with diverse interests in social issues, whose experience and advice were invaluable. This may also lead to opportunities for potential collaborations in the future.”
 
“We believe that Banpu Champion for Change 6 will help inspire the younger generation to make a change for the society with their business. Like always, Banpu adheres to its business credo: an industry will grow sustainably only when it is developed in tandem with social and environmental responsibility. To date, we have supported 51 social enterprises and we hope that this will help strengthen the network of social entrepreneur in Thailand,” concluded
Mrs Olarn.

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