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Social Entrepreneurship in Asia – Insiders’ Perspectives


Connecting Founders is getting ready to host its October edition of Women in Business at the Asoke Campus of Stamford University Bangkok, this time focusing on the subject of Social Entrepreneurship in Asia and how it has started to change the social and business landscape.
Social enterprises, or companies that “do well while doing good” are on the rise in Asia. They are businesses that have a strong social mission, typically trying to address a problem and improve living standards in their communities, while functioning like a regular business. New legal frameworks are being put in place to deal with this type of company and some investors and support programs are specifically focused on social enterprises.

On October 11, 2016, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Connecting Founders will highlight the role this new type of entrepreneurship plays in Asia today and has invited three speakers to share their insights on this socially responsible way of running a company.

One of the speakers is Ms. Aliza (Alice) Napartivaumnuay, formerly a corporate supply chain and distribution manager for leading retailers, she is now the co-founder of Socialgiver. This award-winning social enterprise raises funds by offering vouchers for hotels, restaurants and activities at discounted rates, and sends all profits to support a project of the buyer’s choice. Socialgiver is an innovative solution that helps consumers, businesses, and social projects to work together to create positive social impact. Currently it operates only in Thailand but Alice is planning on expanding to further countries.

“I look forward to meeting people in this session of Women in Business that are strongly committed to build win-win business models that solve social and environmental issues regardless of their scale. I want to include aspiring business owners who wish to integrate sustainability strategies into their value chain as they understand that consumers are more interested in making a positive difference in the world,” says Ms. Napartivaumnuay about attending the event.

Virginia Tan, another speaker invited for this event, has a strong background in law and finance, having worked on strategic investment in the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors in emerging and frontier markets around the world. Ms. Tan is the founder and managing director of Lean In China, a women’s platform with over 80,000 members across more than 25 cities and 50 universities in China, which supports the goals of Chinese women. She also founded the Her Startup competition, the first global tech entrepreneurship competition for female founders, which helped address the funding needs of women entrepreneurs as well as seeking to use technology to build bridges between the East and West as well as to encourage social innovation in China.

Dr. Ulrike Guelich, the final speaker invited for the October event, holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship, an MBA and has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, having run two successful family businesses in Germany, her home country. Today she leads the research in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Project in Thailand, contributing to the global GEM research project. She is currently senior researcher and lecturer at Bangkok University and has authored and co-authored several reports on Entrepreneurship in the Asian region such as an ASEAN Women Entrepreneurship Report for UNESCAP and 2016 GEM Policy Recommendations.

“Social and environmental problems are prevalent in all economies and societies are increasingly calling for endeavors that focus on social and environmental objectives. I look forward to discussing what drives Thai social enterprises and how they plan to create long-term social impact”, explains Dr. Ulrike Guelich.

With this experienced group of speakers, Connecting Founders will be able to create another stimulating and thought-provoking event, that will help young businesswomen expand their horizons and make valuable new connections.