Small business

BEDO Indigo Project

Jan 26,2023

Biodiversity-based Economy Development Office (BEDO) (March 2012-December 2012)

In 2012, Kenan Foundation Asia launched Indigo, a nine month project funded by the Thai Biodiversity-Based Economy Development Office (BEDO) and focused on helping Thai weavers in rural Sakon Nakorn, a province famous for its indigo-dyed fabrics, improve their production processes and develop a business strategy.

The project differed from similar projects in the area in that it culminated in a successful exhibition by the weavers at the prestigious Bangkok International Gifts and Bangkok International Houseware Fair (BIG- BIH). Between March and December 2012, Kenan worked with weavers from four villages, as well as a cluster group composed of 16 villages and four SMEs, to improve the production process and create a business strategy. Kenan brought in an expert to teach weavers proper dyeing techniques to ensure high- quality products, and select groups of weavers were able to conduct study visits to similar organizations in Thailand and Lao PDR. In addition, a designer helped villagers create a new product line that would distinguish their work from their competitors. In preparation for BIG-BIH, villagers were given business lessons to ensure that each had the proper skills needed to operate successfully. Despite some hesitancy by villagers to attend such a large trade show, the exhibition was a resounding success. Product sales totaled more than 300,000 Baht in two days, and more than 30 buyers expressed interest in large-scale orders. The project, built on a close relationship with BEDO, is a model for future initiatives in this area.

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