Early 2021, ANDE launched ANDE Bangkok Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot which was designed to provide insights into the financial and non-financial support available for entrepreneurs in Bangkok at a specific moment in time. This snapshot mapped 267 ecosystem organizations with 45% of respondents ranking ‘Lack of early-stage investment funding’ as one of the greatest challenges. The top 5 business barriers they highlighted are:
- Lack of business acumen or experience;
- Limited financing options;
- Lack of scalable business model;
- Market too small or growing too slowly; and
- Restrictive regulatory environment
These barriers require the focus from both supply-side to provide innovative options of funds and demand-side to develop their knowledge and skill informed by business experience.
In this blog, we’re excited to highlight Impact Enterprise 20, an innovative initiative co-launched by ANDE Member Change Fusion and ANDE Partner UNDP Thailand that aims to grow social impact investment in Thailand. The program has supported 20 impact enterprises to achieve financial sustainability, while also addressing the business challenges that these enterprises face. 11 Finalists have received guidance on impact measurement and management, and tailored business and impact acceleration assistance through a series of customized and interactive workshops. Impact enterprises also have the opportunity to connect with impact investors and venture capitalists, as well as receive support from social impact practitioners and senior experts from UNDP Thailand.
Meet the first 6 impact enterprises that work to achieve the socio-economic-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Noburo is a digital platform that provides financial planning support and connection to loans for grassroots workers. With around 70% of the labor force currently facing financial problems mainly related to debt, Noburo, established in 2018, has introduced financial planning and loan restructuring tools through its digital platform to help grassroots workers relieve debt and raise financial literacy.
Noburo has engaged with 12 employers to launch a loan program with the potential access to 32,000 employees and 1,033 borrowers had successfully accessed loans through Noburo. Noburo’s impact has contributed to achieving SDGs, GOAL 1: No Poverty, GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being, GOAL 4: Quality Education, and GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality.
Locall is a community connecting platform of local vendors for delivery services. During the lockdown period in Thailand in response to COVID-19, most restaurants were affected due to the banning of dine-in services. Locall was established with support from the local store network to set up an online platform that links these stores with customers with embedded mechanisms that encourage purchase from multiple stores in one go.
Locall has helped small local businesses to stay resilient with 509 vendors listed on Locall platform and 12 local hubs were established to support small local food businesses in the community. Locall’s impact has contributed to achieving SDGs, GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
a-chieve is a social enterprise that empowers students with career advisory and self-development activities to support the pursuance of greater fulfillment in life.
11,209 students participated in the a-chieve program, 309 mentors contributed to the program, and 41 teachers were trained from 26 schools in 14 provinces. a-chieve’s impact has contributed to achieving SDGs, GOAL 4: Quality Education and GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
YoungHappy is a social enterprise that promotes active aging among the elderly through both online and offline activities that encourage the pursuit of an active lifestyle.
Among the 14 million senior citizens residing in Thailand, up to 80% are active seniors, YoungHappy was founded to prolong the active period of active seniors and decelerate degeneration by creating a community and engaging them with various activities.
YoungHappy has connected 20,000 members to an online community, boasts about 5,000 active monthly users, and altogether members have participated actively up to 60,000 times. In addition, 2,000 volunteer hours have been contributed within the community. YoungHappy’s impact has contributed to achieving SDGs, GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being, and GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Buddy Home Care is a social enterprise that empowers disadvantaged youths through training and employment as caregivers to provide home care service to the elderly in the community.
Buddy Home Care was established in 2012 by the Foundation for Older Persons’ Development (FOPDEV) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The social enterprise provides meaningful employment to disadvantaged youths and enhances the well-being of the poor elderly.
Additionally, 65 youths were trained and employed to support 600 disadvantaged elderly. Buddy Home Care’s impact has contributed to achieving SDGs, GOAL 1: No Poverty, GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being, GOAL 4: Quality Education, and GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality.
Step with Theera is a social organization that provides training and employment fulfillment to enable people with learning differences to be independent, have a dignified life, and contribute to their community. There are 500,000 people registered as disabled in Thailand who are capable and willing to work but remain unemployed.
Steps with Theera was established in 2016 to bridge the gap and had trained 50 trainees successfully, while 20 graduates had secured employment from Steps and its corporate and two graduates have owned Steps franchises. Steps with Theera’s impact have contributed to achieving SDGs, GOAL 4: Quality Education, GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality.
Stay tuned for our next blog post to learn more about 5 impact enterprises that work to achieve the environmental-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Thailand.