วันเสาร์ที่ 04 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ.2566 peaceMOVING FORWORD TO PEACE
logo

Social Enterprise and Quality of Life in Southern Border Provinces

 17 ก.ย. 2564 17:45 น. | อ่าน 1352
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn Google+

When mentioning on the term, “business”, most people often think of something about “money” or “profit”. Consequently, most people have bad attitude towards business, for example, it is about money-loving persons, advantages taking, money makes people greedy, money is not happiness or money cannot buy happiness, and other things.

However, in digital world, the negative concept or attitude on “business doing” or “money” as mentioned above starts to be changed to be positive, i.e., from “aiming to make the highest profit” to be making profit and returning some amounts of profit to society because if society cannot survive, business is unable to survive as well.

From such fact, the concept called “Social Enterprise” is originated. Importantly, this concept on “Social Enterprise” can be applied as a part of the tool to solve the problem on comprehensive security, i.e., utilization of economic dimension to support security dimension.

What is Social Enterprise?

Social Enterprise is a unit operated by the use of market force strategy for social or environmental goals. The operations of Social Enterprise emphasize on social, environmental, and financial goals that are called Triple Bottom Line. The financial goal on generating income is added for increasing social or environmental benefits in lieu of benefits of companies or shareholders like general businesses.

When considering from the above definition, Social Enterprise is similar with NGOs, foundation, and charity organizations. However, it has the method to seek for profit and systemize marketing as same as general companies. Simply, Social Enterprise is mixing advantages of business and social sectors because if we want to gain profit without paying any attention to society and our world, business will not be able to be sustainable and stable in this weak society. On the other hand, operating foundation and NGOs only may cause no advancement and creativity of competition and development of new things like capitalism and there may be no income or funds to spend for making society and environment better. It may be like a car without fuel that can be parked but not be driven.

Local Alike – An Example of Social Enterprise and Improvement of Quality of Life of People in Southern Border Provinces

One of examples of “Social Enterprise” connecting outsiders with tourism potential of southern border provinces is “Social Enterprise” called “Local Alike”. It is Social Enterprise connecting community tourism with tourists who are interested in sustainable tourism. It acts as a long-term partner with the community to work together on development of tourism styles and utilization of tourism tools to develop community. It does not only give experiences to tourists, it also gives community an opportunity to be “owner of resources” to design and make decision on tour guiding by themselves.

One of example of activities of Social Enterprise of “Local Alike” connecting potential of southern border provinces is Hala-Bala Forest Trekking Trip in Yala that persuades tourists to visit a community that looks like a Chinese village hidden in a valley or Chulabhorn Pattana 9 Community, a community living with forest, and there will be some senior persons to tell stories on history of communism of Yala. This activity gets good feedback and generates moderate income to local people. Currently, the team is looking for other interesting communities and new partners to work together.

“Somsak Boonkham”, the Founder and CEO of Local Alike Company Limited, explained that Local Alike has worked with Thai communities on tourism almost 10 years since the beginning of official operation before 2012. The main objective is to generate incomes to local communities from tourism by utilizing “sustainable tourism” as the tool for developing communities. In this regard, sustainability refers to participation of local people and it is considered as community-based tourism development for enabling communities to be grown and developed sustainably. Currently, the company is working with over 200 communities in Thailand.

“Therefore, the operations of Local Alike are development of tourism plans with communities in order to pull existing potential of communities on natural resources, arts, cultures, and food to be presented. Moreover, platforms or technology are also utilized to enable communities to connect with tourists directly. Subsequently, effects caused by such operations will be monitored and the company will become the mouthpiece of communities making their hidden local wisdom to be perceived increasingly. The company also cooperates with some partners that are business partners, tour companies, and hotels, to promote sales.  He did not consider that if communities are able to manage their own communities, the company would focus on tourism only. On the other hand, Local Alike always plans to make new things and look for new brands increasingly in order to enable communities to gain sustainable incomes.”

This is the concept and examples of modern business or social enterprise that considers on “good quality of life of people in community or society”, “quality of environment of community”, and “profit that can survive business for making benefits for society”. In addition, it is also able to be used as an efficient tool on economic and social dimensions for solving the problem in southern border provinces.

Comment