• Published Date: 21/12/2018
  • by: UNDP

The Next Steps for Social impact investment in Thailand

Knowledge about investment for social enterprise is something that all stakeholders must take into consideration, both organisations that offer Financial Support and those who offer Non-Financial Support, who are middlemen or supporting organisations, to enable all the stakeholders to develop and build ecosystem for sustainability in the right direction.

Initially, we are going to learn the definitions of 2 key words, Social Finance and Impact Investment.

Social Finance: The European Union (EU) defined social finance not only as the continuous action to finance social enterprises or initiatives with social and environmental benefits, but also as the sustainability of financing, and not only the financial instrument, but also the management of demand and supply in the market for social capital (social capital means the new version of capital that not only responds to economic objective or aims to make profit or searches for the most possible benefits, but is the benefit or collective capital that comes from helps and cooperations amongst individuals and various groups in society.

Impact investment: Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) describes impact investment as investments that are being made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a compelling financial return.

From the lecture “Sharing of findings from the Social Impact Investment Landscape Study” of which the knowledge and experiences were shared by Ms. Haidy Leung, Business Development Manager, and Mr. Sunit Shrestha, management director from ChangeFusion, an organisation that has been working with social entrepreneurs more than ten year and has seen many Social Enterprises: SE grow, so ChangeFusion can collect data and needs from producers that bring resources into use and consumers that have needs for products and services to find the intersections that bring about and break even points and sustainable social context.  

Social Finance is an instrument that helps search funds that aim at public good, paves the way for investor to invest in projects that benefit society, or helps communitie to access to new funds. Social Finance can be exercised with many financial instruments such as loan, community bond, social benefit bound, or equity investment. It can help non-profit organisation or charities to be more successful. Social Finance can help manage organisations and charities to access new funds that are ready to support social causes in many aspects. Both social innovation and Social Finance have the same goal, which is to help people, especially the underprivileged, to share success to the communities and society. Social Finances that invested in some social enterprises aim to create jobs and opportunity for those who cannot access labor market.   

Survey form ChangeFusion revealed that fund organisations have crucial roles in creating sustainable result, no matter if those organisations offer financial supports in form of Grand, Loan, or Equity Investment. The most important thing is not to consider only sponsorship, but also cooperation to create growth in Long Tail Investment. ChangeFusion also discovered that the most important things for investors are correct and accurate know-how about social enterprise and community developers who motivate the communities. It is counted a 87%. The next important thing is importance in agricultural factors. While the social enterprises pay attention to community developers up to 51%, to distribution of know-how for 39%, and lastly to factors that relate to well-being of all people in society in realms of public health, environment, tourism, energer, and waste management, etc.  

However, it was found that 22 from 41 social enterprises still lack know-how about social impact investment, so they cannot assess the work result comparing with wasted resources and time. This is an important challenge for all stakeholders including business sector, government sector, and education sector to map a model to manage know-how that cannot be accessed or show practical investment. As a solution, a central platform that collect all the social impact investment databases was built. It has knowledge about investment factors and methods to assess the work according to SDGs to manage and help social enterprises grow continuously without being left along the way or not having any development.

Besides, one of the important challenges is to express solid needs of business sector in every system of supply chain. Giving clear information of business model will grow understanding between social enterprises and investor companies to find consensus in the models, which will increase growth opportunity for all stakeholders without only being an advertisement or CSR that occurs temporarily, but will be matches of needs and growing together sustainably.

  • Published Date: 01/12/2018
  • by: UNDP

Tendency of Technology”: How Can We Implement Technology?

“Nowadays, people live more with technologies. If we can use these channels very well, we will reach more people.”

Technology has inevitably become part of our daily life in every aspect. Many industries and businesses put technology to use as a tool to overcome competitors and become immensely successful, for example, Netflix, a streaming service that started with video rental shop, which choose to solve problem of people who rent videos and get fined because they turn them in late with new model and develops itself to become the world leading streaming app. This lecture aimed to make social entrepreneurs understand basis of today’s technology, usage tendency, and technological usage that doesn’t require big budget and still can enhance enterprise’s efficiency.  Followings are things that entrepreneurs must recognize.

Ideas are easy, software is hard.: To design technology for implementation, it’s required to think of users’ problems first, via human interaction, to define boundary that the technology will be used. The needs that are responded become User Experience: UX, which can be perceived by info architecture or data structure that can connect various devices, visual design: the appearance of an app, and software development: the development of software by experts. The key topic here is that there are many builders who think of problems and let the software developers start working right away without deliberately thinking of whether that technology is crucial for the users or not. Sometimes, user might have easier choices, or the builders haven’t had enough data to create complete services.

Appearance and application (User Interfaces: UI): When the technology had been designed, the most important thing is its application with users who study how to use it. The chosen technology therefore must conform to user’s behavior, for example, it must have mobile application, desktop application, and main website. Some social enterprises might focus on donation, so they should know that iOS apps have up to 10 times of incomes because the users have more buying power than those of  Android. If they want to make apps for donation, they should choose Apple, but if the enterprises want to reach massive amount of people, they should choose Android, etc. 

Moreover, there are new technologies that enhance user experience, such as AR: Augmented Reality which mixes real photos with those created by technology to be used in many tasks, the act of searching and catching objects in real world and displaying in augmented reality, receiving data from sensor and displaying on screen of each device, while the user can interact with it.  Plus, there is VR: Virtual Reality technology that is used to solve problems, for example, kids are persuaded to watch VR HERO which resembles movie in which they are heroes. They must get to the power charger which, in real world, is where they are vaccinated. It’s a tool to solve problem of children being afraid of vaccination. There is also an integration of VR with donation apps, which show how the donated money travel to aid children in remote areas, which one of them are aided, and how many meals are made , and all the data can be made into report. Last but not least, there is Chatbot technology which is used as main communication tool, because users focus on sending private message than posting on social media, thus news websites or social entrepreneurs can use Chatbot in automatic communication or message customisation.

Design the Beginning: When we reach this third step, we must think of where the users can access our project and how many channel to promote the project. The main point is how to make users see our service and its benefits in 1 minute. The next point is how to make users tell other people after having used the service and come back to use it continuously. From all these things, Mr. Woraphon said “Thing to be considered is our target audience. What do you want them to know about your project? In which channel do you want to put an ad?  Call to action: what do you want them to do after knowing your project? I want you to do marketing material for people in the group will see the same thing on for whom you want to sell product. The clearer the goal is, the easier it goes.

Human and Machine Intelligence: Collaboration between human and AI will not be far away anymore when Machine Learning and Deep Learning become important assistants in the future. There are already some examples such as restaurant displays in Wongnai app which is a collaboration with Google map, etc.

  • Published Date:
  • by: UNDP

“Sustainable Production and Consumption”

“Actually, we are not the experienced but the pioneers. And what we are doing now concerns wasted food.”

It’s the journey of SOS foundation, which develops itself in every step to become an organisation that reduces food waste that ends up in landfill. The foundation tries to understand the concept of wasted food or Surplus Food that changes food into wastes. From shelves of food product to buffet in 5 stars hotel, the process of sorting wasted food begins since a training in Serve Safe program from EcoLab to maintain safety standard in each food’s lifetime. At the beginning, Khun Fai said that “food that we received composes of fresh-looking fruits or warm breads that looks like they have just been taken from oven.”

Amounts of Thailand’s in-landfill food waste reach more than 64% from total produced food, while low income people in the Philippines must take garbage from bins and re-cook it for the community. There are also controversial statistics of growing amount of fat kids all over the world in each year. This problem reflects inversing consumption behaviors between the poor and those who have foods to waste. SOS recognizes this unsustainable food conflict, so it is ready to be one of the solutions to fight hunger of the poor and manage wastes. At the same time, food production must concern consumption factors and sustainable production to support food security in the future according to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), which is a development framework for the world found after 2015 and is directed by the United Nation (UN). Currently, people donate more than 540 tons of wasted food for SOS from the inner area of Bangkok. It can be counted as 1,800 meals per day and can be sent to the poor in children institutional cares or poorhouses of which the members must fight their everyday hunger.


  • Published Date:
  • by: UNDP

“Sustainable Tourism” social innovation by creating value for local community

Thai tourism is generally seen as entertainment tourism more than community based tourism. From the past, local tourism has risen from local people that lived in that area, who could merely bring product out for sell, and the income distribution for local tourism was less than 10% per year. Local Alike has seen problem of income distribution: that the income could not reach the communities, and recognized bad representation of Thai tourism, so they has merged communities with tourism by focusing on returning benefit to the communities, using communities as key resource, and sticking to the main idea of sustainable tourism. The communities will be visited and tourists can only travel by the communities. It will be able to distribute income to the communities and a fund has been found to solve educational, economic, and environmental problems.

Local Alike has business model that focuses on distributing incomes to communities. The communities will benefit from tourism more than 70% from less than 10% in the past by working on community tourism service, A Community Fund is a collection of money from tourist activity. The communities gain 10% incomes from tourist activity for the fund. After sorting out expense from activities that cause net profit,  5% of the net profit will be taken from Local Alike to be collected in the funds of communities that organize tourist activity. It will be collected for solving problems or responding to needs in the areas, in educational, economic, and environmental domains. The more the tourist industry grows, the more these funds grow. Now, Local Alike has experimented with 100 communities in 40 provinces, of which 12 funds has been developed to reach more efficiency, to circulate resources and return local people of quality to communities to solve community’s problems.

  • Published Date:
  • by: UNDP

“Society that reaches out to everyone and doesn’t abandon anyone.”

“The best way to build awareness in society is to have a disabled friends. When we become friends, problems of the disabled become our friends’ problem”

Pythagoras math problem might seem easy for normal children to understand, but it’s not easy for blind children because they don’t even understand what a triangle looks like. This was a challenging problem and took up to 3 hours for Mr. Chatchai Aphibalphoonphon, CEO and founder of ‘Klong Din Sor (pencil box) Co.’ to solve the problem for blind children that day. Therefore, it is the beginning of his discovery about what he wants to do for society, and he believes that good designs can better the disabled’s lives. It becomes the cause of Klong Din Sor Co.

Creation of opportunity and equality for these blind people come from ‘inclusive society’ concept. It is to see what they can do and can make everyday life better by building awareness for people in society. We can design ustensiles and use this knowledge to create possible jobs for the blind, with openness and insight that their life opportunity is more than being lottery sellers or call center agents.

Klong Din Sor therefore tries to implement Design Thinking in their works as an important tool to create innovations and projects, especially Run2Gether project, which invited the disabled to run by catching a hand of the participants. It was found with belief that if we become friends of the disabled, their problems become ours. From a small idea of activity that everyone can join, it’s a source of inspiration for hundreds of disabled people and can be developed to create Impact Sustainability: sustainability of humans, the disabled, and people who work for society, because task of Klong Din Sor Co. is not only to create running activity, but also sustainable results in all social models.

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There are many innovation platforms all over the world. What makes Thailand Social Innovation Platform unique is that we have created a Thai platform fully dedicated to the SDGs, where social innovators in Thailand can access a unique eco system of entrepreneurs, corporations, start-ups, universities, foundations, non-profits, investors, etc. This platform thus seeks to strengthen the social innovation ecosystem in Thailand in order to better be able to achieve the SDGs. Even though a lot of great work within the field of social innovation in Thailand is already happening, the area lacks a central organizing entity that can successfully engage and unify the disparate social innovation initiatives taking place in the country.

This innovation platform guides you through innovative projects in Thailand, which address the SDGs. It furthermore presents how these projects are addressing the SDGs.

Aside from mapping cutting-edge innovation in Thailand, this platform aims to help businesses, entrepreneurs, governments, students, universities, investors and others to connect with new partners, projects and markets to foster more partnerships for the SDGs and a greener and fairer world by 2030.

The ultimate goal of the platform is to create a space for people and businesses in Thailand with an interest in social innovation to visit on a regular basis whether they are looking for inspiration, new partnerships, ideas for school projects, or something else.

We are constantly on the lookout for more outstanding social innovation projects in Thailand. Please help us out and submit your own or your favorite solutions here

Read more

  • What are The Sustainable Development Goals?
  • UNDP and TSIP’s Principles Of Innovation
  • What are The Sustainable Development Goals?


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