Banpu supports five winning social enterprises from Banpu Champions for Change 7 Encouraging the public to be part of the change for society through the event ‘Impact Day: Changes Start from Ourselves’
Bangkok, 10 November 2017 – Banpu Public Company Limited, a leading Asian Energy Company with a focus on social sustainability, is collaborating with Change Fusion, a non-profit institute under the Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement Foundation by the Royal Patronage, to announce the five winners of ‘Banpu Champions for Change 7’. The five winning teams are granted a total amount of THB 1.25 million funding to facilitate the teams to turn their creative ideas into concrete operation plans that meet the needs of business and bring about positive and sustainable changes to society. This year, the project also extends its mission to raise awareness of social enterprises through the event “Impact Day: Changes Start from Ourselves”, which provides students and the public the opportunity to learn more about the core concept of social enterprises, to exchange best practices for solving social issues as well as to get hand-on experience shared by social entrepreneurs who previously joined the project. This event aims to stimulate public consciousness and to ignite social enterprise ideas among the young generations.
Mrs. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited, said, “During the first six years of Banpu Champions for Change project, we supported 61 social enterprises. Recently, we conducted the Banpu Champions for Change Social Impact Assessment with 51 social enterprises that joined the project during 2011 to 2016 and found that 63% of those are still operating and 50% of the respondents reporting positive profit. For this year, the 7th year of the project, 11 teams with creative ideas were selected in the semi-final round and were given the opportunity to initially test their businesses. Finally, five outstanding teams, who have made significant changes over the past 8 months, were chosen in the final round. In addition, this year we have organized a special event “Impact Day: Changes Start from Ourselves” aiming to expand the social enterprise network, both within and outside the project, to create wider circle of positive social impacts in our society by inviting the social enterprises from the project to exhibit their products and services that will provide further benefits to the society. Students with an interest on social enterprise were invited to join the event to directly learn from the experienced social entrepreneurs from our project during the Talk and Share session. This will help them to clearly visualize their future career decisions. Altogether, we hope the event will promote the learning and further develop the social enterprise ecosystem for the benefit of Thai society. This is reflected in our belief that ‘learning is the power of change and development.’”
This year, the project encompassed many outstanding enterprises whose business aim to create social impact in different aspects, for instance, health, environment, micro-finance and people with intellectual disability (ID). Apart from an intention to create changes for society, the teams also came with their creative ideas to transform problem-solving methods into business plans. After recruiting a new generation of social entrepreneurs to submit their business plans in January, the project conducted workshops on Business Operation and Social Impact Management as well as a Passion and Entrepreneurship Readiness Test for each team. In semi-final round, the project selected 11 social enterprises, providing them with the total of THB 800,000 funding to commence their initial business operation and workshops on various topics. Many experts were invited to share their knowledge and guidelines to help the social enterprises build their business foundation and generate sustainable revenue and social impacts. In the final round, the five winning teams who received financial support totaling THB 1.25 million are:
• PukDone – Agricultural products from organic waste management aiming to improve waste management and solve the environment problems
• FarmTO – Online marketplace selling pre-ordered agricultural products with the aim of solving the declining price of those, creating distribution channels and enhancing the farmers’ quality of life.
• BhuKram – Indigo-dyed cotton products by a Sakon Nakhon local community aiming to create jobs and to change the attitudes of the people in the community
• Art for Cancer – Website and E-commerce platform for products made by cancer patients with the objective to encourage the patients, to build proper awareness of the disease and to generate income for those with cancer.
• Heartist – Hand-made bag brand crafted by people with intellectual disorder (ID) aiming to provide them with emotional therapy as well as to create jobs and income for them and their families.
Mr. Sunit Shrestha, Managing Director at Change Fusion Institute, a non-profit institute under the Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement Foundation under Royal Patronage, said: “Looking at the trend among the young generation who have interest in social issues and a dream of becoming entrepreneurs, Change Fusion Institute and Banpu envision the Social Enterprise or SE as a business model that the young generation is searching for. It is a business that can help tackling social issues that they are interested in while generating sustainable income. We believe that ‘Banpu Champions for Change’ is a project that is, for the young generation, an open door to support, advice and connection to the network of social enterprise ecosystem in Thailand. It also helps them broaden their views on business and society.”
“Apart from providing support to the new generation, Banpu Champions for Change also helps create benefits for society. Since the beginning of the project in 2011, the social enterprises joining the project have created positive social impacts for more than 50 communities, 15 social organizations and have helped more than 120,000 beneficiaries to enjoy better health and an improved quality of life. In terms of the environment, participants in the project have helped reduce more than 3,000 kg of waste and have created 10 locations for ecotourism. Moreover, some social enterprises have been able to continue their business and win prizes gaining reputation and revenue at both the national and international levels. Having a chance to see the alumni turned their determinations into social benefits and created good reputation for communities and the country is another testament of the project’s success,” Mr. Sunit concluded.
For further information about the upcoming activities and application details for ‘Banpu Champions for Change 8’, please visit www.facebook.com/banpuchampions.
About Banpu Public Company Limited
BANPU is a pioneering Asian energy company, operating business in coal, power generation, and integrated energy sectors in nine countries; Thailand, Indonesia, China, Australia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Singapore, Japan and the United States of America.
“Learning is the Power of Change and Development”
Banpu’s CSR activities are based on the firm belief that “learning is the power of change and development” for people and society by emphasizing the promotion and development of continued “learning” among young people and communities in a number of ways. Banpu supports sustainable development of communities and society through a variety of learning opportunities for both individuals and teams, ranging from daily real-life experiences both in- and outside classrooms, to hands-on practice that enhances capabilities and skills.