A key element of Thailand’s Digital 4.0 strategy is to improve the digital skills of the country’s approximately 3 million MSMEs and increase the competitiveness of Thai entrepreneurs. However, some groups (rural communities, LGBTQI persons, people with disabilities, minority ethnic groups, and women) continue to face obstacles to accessing opportunities for quality work. Entrepreneurship and running a small business, however, enable marginalized individuals to fully participate in the economy and achieve economic equality.
Thailand has had a vibrant small business environment for generations, and the sector remains an integral part of the overall economy by accounting for approximately 42% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 80% of employment. In recent years, several factors, principally globalization, disjointed networks, and slow adoption of new technology, have decreased the competitiveness of Thai small businesses.
Since 2019, “Meta Boost” has empowered more than 3,000 entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build successful small businesses in the modern economy. With the global pandemic of COVID-19, many small businesses have been impacted, especially those in the tourism industry and traditionally marginalized communities. Therefore, Meta, Kenan, and community partners formed a network to foster 1,000 small business owners across Thailand to build critical business skills.
Using Meta’s digital training curriculum, Kenan will lead a series of workshops, all of which will be conducted virtually in light of the pandemic. The workshops will teach SMEs how to launch Meta and Instagram business pages, utilize creative content tools, and grow an audience using insights. The project also customized the Re-emergence Guide and provided an online workshop to help SMEs foster entrepreneurs’ resilience during this pandemic time. Furthermore, Kenan will deliver small business consultancies to participants and a comprehensive understanding of e-commerce, maximizing competitiveness in the 21st century.
In 2021, the project trained more than 1,000 small business owners. As a result, participants were equipped with digital marketing skills and increase knowledge in online marketing, how to manage Meta business pages to reach more customers, using page insights to analyze their customers, using creative tools and services to design engaging content, and using messenger as a powerful tool to communicate with their customer base. The project has also provided small business consultancy sessions to encourage SMEs on experience sharing and give consultation by SMEs Boost Certified Trainer, which will strengthen Thai small businesses’ competitiveness and develop their resilience during COVID-19.
Project Sponsor: Meta
Lead Implementer: Kenan Foundation Asia
SME Development Bank
ETDA E-commerce Promotion Office
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
Office of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP)
Business School, Khon Kaen University
Science and Technology Park (STEP), Chiang Mai University
The Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities
Raks Thai Foundation
Alliance Anti Trafic
Chumchon Thai Foundation
Mae Fah Rung University
Association of Thai Travel Agents
The Association of Domestic Travel
Ray Social Enterprise Foundation