“From now on, we would like to serve as an e-commerce platform for communities.”
This is what Local Alike, a Thai travel consultancy company turned social enterprise, has to say for its efforts towards helping communities hit by covid-19.
Social enterprises are companies that seek to maximize the society and its environment towards advancing the social development of communities.
Local Alike has raised 2.6 million baht (USD 84,000) for locals residing in 20 communities selling various products.
The company began its transition into a social enterprise as it recorded zero revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It exceeded our expectations,” said Somsak Boonkam, founder and chief executive of Local Alike, a Bangkok-based company striving to advance socially responsible tourism in 200 villages.
Other Thai social enterprises, such as SATARANA and HivesSters, stand to preserve cultures and also to help local communities.
“(The coronavirus) has affected communities that once had income from tourism,” said Achiraya Thamparipattra, chief executive at HiveSters. He added:
“And for us, from now on, we can no longer operate just as a tour company. Setting up a food brand (that uses products from communities) will lower future risks.”
On the other hand, Wocation, a tour agency advocating mental health awareness, is planning to conduct accessible workshops, including cooking and ceramic classes. Co-Founder of Wocation, Pasiree Parichani, said:
“Crafts are used by some people to heal their minds, and that can be done at home, which also promotes social distancing.”
Social enterprises have found a way to adapt through the pandemic, while also helping various individuals and communities survive the crisis.