Investing for impact – is Thailand ready? – Asia Series

Written by: Alberto Cremonesi, Board of Directors, Impact Hub Association, Founder, Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

The Thai social enterprise sector has been growing constantly over the past few years, increasingly catalyzing the attention of neighbouring countries. With the recent approval of the Social Enterprise Promotion Act in 2019,  Thailand is decisively taking a leading role in pushing forward the development of social innovation across SouthEast Asia, as well as setting a direction in its role as president of the ASEAN for 2019.

However, a recent joint report by UNDP Thailand and ChangeFusion highlights how the social impact investment landscape is still in its infant stage, and how more mature instruments are needed to foster the growth of healthy social enterprises. While the main vehicles to support social innovation remain human capital, mentoring, grants and in some occasions early venture support – equity investment and loans are still very limited.

How to support this growth? There is certainly need for more training and awareness from both parties, as understanding the needs of social enterprises would help investors setting the right expectations as well as formulate the right support. At the same time there is certainly need for more innovative financing tools, as well as ways of measuring impact. 

About the author:

Alberto is a member of the Board of Directors of Impact Hub Global Network and the founder of Impact Hub Phnom Penh. His focus is on the field of social entrepreneurship and social innovation, non-for-profit management and corporate non-market strategies. He is particularly interested in understanding the processes through which entrepreneurs construct new models and markets, and the growth and scaling up processes of new ventures in order to maximize economic and social impact. Alberto has been living and working in Asia for over 15 years. 

Alberto holds an executive MBA from IE Business School. In life, he continues his quest to find the perfect espresso coffee outside of Italy.

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