Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
Asia-Europe Social Enterprise Day Held in Vietnam
The British Council and Asia-Europe Foundation organized and sponsored the Asia-Europe Social Enterprise Day in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The program was part of a three-day workshop to promote social entrepreneurial skills among entrepreneurs from Asia and Europe, and to exchange ideas for the development of sustainable social enterprises.
Speaking at the occasion, Apirak Kosayodhin, a former governor of Bangkok said that the said that to bridge the gap between mere good intent and sustainable social benefit, people must embrace an entrepreneurial approach to charity. He said that a combination of a social mind, good management skills, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit can help address some of the most pressing social problems at a global level.
Yanne Sirivong Na Ayudhaya, marketing and communications representative from the Thai Social Enterprise Office, said that social enterprises in Thailand experience difficulties related to efficient communication with consumers, financial resource management and achieving value addition to their products in order to compete in a global marketplace.
Orapin Sinamonvech, a Thai social entrepreneur and owner of Kokoboard, a company that makes eco-friendly wood panels out of agricultural waste such as coconut dust, rice husks and nut shells, said that investing in human resources and having people with a strong business background can help achieve the goals of social enterprises.
In addition to developing internal capacity, social enterprises need to focus on key competitive areas of the business, including branding and marketing and new product development. External factors such as support from the government are also important, particularly when a social enterprise is looking at growth and expansion.
Examples in this regard include the case of South Korea, where the government has maintained a fairly progressive approach towards social enterprises and provides them tax breaks and subsidies to help them become sustainable. Similarly, in Thailand, the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office helps socially innovative businesses obtain loans from financial institutions, with the interest burden borne by the office for the first few years.
Source: Bangkok Post
Photo Credit: ilco