Packed with quality and creativity were the presentations given in the SME Business Plan Competition, Year 3 that was co-organised by World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) and Citi Foundation as part of the Empowering Marginalised Youth of Bangkok for Productive Citizenship Programme, Year 3.
This year, the activity implementation has been supported by Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME D Bank), which provided SME training to 51 adolescents participating in the project who planned to become business owners. The youth gained business knowledge in different dimensions, as well as how to develop a business plan, which is the heart of business operations.
In the SME Business Plan Competition, Year 3, as many as 38 business plans were submitted by the youth joining the SME course, competing against one another in 10 categories of businesses from both the manufacturing and service-providing sectors. Fourteen of them were chosen and nominated by the experts to go to the final-round competition which was held by WVFT and Citi Foundation on 18 October 2019 at the auditorium of World Vision Foundation of Thailand, Training Centre. The event was presided over by Ms Rosalin Kowae, Assistant National Director-Organisational Effectiveness, WVFT. Moreover, Ms Wanvisa Komindr, Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs, Citibank Thailand cordially gave the young contenders a speech and joined the judging team that was composed of experts from WVFT, Citibank, and SME D Bank. The winner and the runner-ups were awarded startup funds supported by Citi Foundation in the total value of over 440,000 baht.
This year, the winner is Thanathorn, whose plan is to become the owner of a Thai food business entitled ‘Thian Yot’. The two first runner-ups are Atchara, whose beauty-service business plan is called ‘Nookie Makeup’; and Khwanruedee, who plans to run a dressmaking business named ‘KHANITSARA FASHION SHOP’, targeting children, families, and teenagers. The three second runner-ups are Kanchana, who has a business plan entitled ‘Cosmetic in School’ that provides makeup and hairdressing services targeting students; Sureerat, whose business plan is to run a dressmaking shop entitled ‘Clothing Clinic’, targeting the Muslim; and Prem, who plans to run a hair salon called ‘Saint Barber & Salon’, targeting both ladies and gentlemen.
‘This project has given me so many things, such as knowledge, experiences, friends, and especially the business know-how. I used to learn from a range of online media but they did not explain things as clearly as the SME course does. Because of this project, I’m able to put together pieces of my scattered knowledge, understand business operations as a whole and learn how different parts are related. Million thanks to WVFT, Citi Foundation, and SME D Bank’, Thanathorn, the winner of the SME Business Plan Competition, Year 3 revealed how she felt. She ended that running a business was not something farfetched. With determination and a desire for knowledge acquisition, the goal is not out of reach. ‘Everyone has a dream. It is up to us if we choose to pursue it. This may start from doing what we love’.