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“Create Champions for Social Change” through Banpu Champions for Change 2 program Opening for social enterprise entries from Thai youth nationwide today

“Create Champions for Social Change” through Banpu Champions for Change 2 program Opening for social enterprise entries from Thai youth nationwide today

Bangkok 28 May 2012: Banpu Public Company Limited invites young social entrepreneurs to join the Banpu Champions for Change 2 program, which is being run under the “Create Champions for Social Change” concept. Interested young Thai people can send their social enterprise plans to apply for funding and skills development support from today until June 30, 2012.

Mrs. Udomlux Olarn, Banpu’s Head of Corporate Affairs and Banpu Champions for Change Program Director said that with the success of the Banpu Champions for Change 1 program last year, Banpu has again opened a platform for young social entrepreneurs to initiate and operate social enterprises that suit their interests. This year’s initiative is intended to encourage young Thai people to learn through running social enterprises using an approach that links business, society and the environment together. This year, the program focuses more on social impact assessment to make sure that all supported social entrepreneurs can systematically measure the social impact in a tangible manner while social change can be clearly demonstrated along with sustainable performance.

“We are opening opportunities for people of the new generation aged 20 – 30 years old nationwide to create and run social enterprises. They are also encouraged to tender their social enterprise initiatives that are aimed at combating social issues or developing society, community and the environment in accordance with their interest, for funding from the Banpu Champions for Change 2 program. Applications are open from today until June 30,” said Udomlux.

Selected social entrepreneurs will each receive up to 250,000 baht of seed fund to support their social enterprises. They will also be provided with workshops and trainings to enhance their skills in the areas of social enterprise management, teamwork, problem solving and are given an opportunity to make positive changes to society.

Udomlux added that in 2011, 63 social enterprise initiatives were submitted for support from the Banpu Champions for Change 1 program. These projects covered a wide range of social issues including environment, poverty, education, job creation, technology and communication, underprivileged people, arts & culture, agriculture, health, the elderly, as well as community and public health development. Among the 10 projects that were funded in the first phase, four continued to the second phase and completed implementation in April 2012. Their operating results were featured at the launch of the Banpu Champions for Change 2 program at the Siam Society.

“The social enterprise proposals that were submitted last year reflect diverse areas of problems in the Thai society that need to be addressed. We expect that the Banpu Champions for Change program will inspire Thai youth to learn more about how to resolve social problems in a systematic and effective manner and this will eventually lead to the sustainable development of our nation as a whole,” said Udomlux.

There are four social enterprises that have received a 9-month financial support for Phase 1 and 2 from the BANPU Champions for Change 1 program. The first two include the Community Architect project run by the Kon.Jai.Baan team, Chiang Mai, featuring community development via community participation-based architectural design services; and IT Service by the Disabled operated by the Freedom Solution team, Chonburi. The project has proven that physical restrictions do not hinder a person’s ability to hold a job while also open opportunities to transfer occupational knowledge and skills to other disabled people.

Among the four selected projects, Social Animation, initiated by the Sputnik Tales Studio, Bangkok, provides animated stories about diverse social issues for NGOs and the private sector using its animation expertise. Learning Process to Boost Inspiration for High School Students by the a-chieve team, Bangkok marks a major gathering of new generation people who want to inspire and help high school students to discover themselves and make an appropriate decision about future education and career in a thoughtful manner.

“In addition to funding, the Banpu Champions for Change supports the development of young social entrepreneurs with valuable advices by consultant team who has a wide range of expertise that suit particular projects. This will enable the young social entrepreneurs to run their social enterprises and develop the society while helping them solve problems that may happen during the course of their operations more efficiently,” concluded Udomlux.

Thai youths who wish to join this program can look for more information at www.facebook.com/banpuchampions and submit the social enterprise project proposal in the .pdf format to banpuchampions@gmail.com or by EMS mail (the date of the postmark shall be deemed as the date of submission) or by hand to the Banpu Champions for Change program, 444 Olympia Thai Tower, 22nd Floor, Ratchadaphisek Road, Samsennok, Huaykwang, Bangkok 10310, Tel: 02 938 2636 and Fax: 02 938 1877

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