Meet the Social Enterprises Making an Impact in Thailand

Benjamin Rujopakarn




Thailand isn’t necessarily known for sustainable investment—but it should be. The Stock Exchange of Thailand is considered a leader in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) disclosure, while the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices included 24 Thai companies, the most in the ASEAN bloc.

As the country continues to unlock pandemic restrictions and reopens to international travel, philanthropists and impact investors alike are keen to explore the potential for long-lasting impact through social enterprises.

To facilitate partnerships between the foreign business community and social enterprises, Thailand NOW has organized “Impact NOW,” a sustainable enterprise showcase and multi-chamber networking event, featuring high-potential Thai startups that have integrated social impact into their business models.

Here, we take a look at the Thai social enterprises featured at Impact NOW and how Thailand has systematically supported social innovation.

Find Folk

Find Folk team
As a sustainable travel consultancy, Find Folk also works with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and major airlines. Source: Find Folk Facebook Page

Finalist in the 2021 UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition and the winner of DBD GENIUS: Best Service Business​ Model 2020, Find Folk is a destination management company and travel consultancy that partners with local communities to develop and promote responsible and sustainable tourism products & services, creating a network of sustainability in Thailand.

Its online platform, Go Green Booking, provides environmentally friendly products, accommodations, spas, restaurants, and travel routes with information on their carbon reduction calculations, empowering socially responsible travelers and providing corporate clients with carbon offsets. Together with five other projects, the Go Green Booking platform received NIA funding back in 2020. 

In 2022, Find Folk expects to cater to the Asian market and by 2025, expand to the United States and Europe, partnering with more local service providers and offer itinerary customization.

Happy Grocers

Happy Grocers team
Happy Grocers brings sustainability to familiar aspects of Thailand’s food systems like farmers’ markets and grocery trucks. Source: Happy Grocers Facebook Page

Winner of the 2021 Impact Collective Accelerator Program, runner-up in the 2021 SEED Low Carbon Awards, and winner of the NIA’s Startup Thailand League 2020, Happy Grocers is a sustainable food startup with the goal to connect consumers to agricultural products while ensuring sustainable agriculture, eco-friendly packaging, minimal waste, and fair trade. 

Happy Grocers advocates for food security, human rights, and environmental protection through its supply-chain while enabling consumers to make an impact via everyday activity such as grocery shopping. In recognition of Happy Grocers ability to provide sustainably grown, eco-friendly products by connecting consumers directly with farmers, Co-founder and Co-CEO Suthasiny “Moh” Sudprasert was listed on the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Asia. 

Health- and eco-conscious grocery shoppers can also find Happy Grocers at its official website, the Ari Weekend Market co-organized with People of Ari, and grocery truck services around the Bangkok metropolitan area.


moreloop team
moreloop campaigns for greater awareness and implementation of the circular economy concept. Source: moreloop Facebook Page

Winner of the 2021 SEED Low Carbon Awards and winner of the Creative Talk Award’s Most Creative Business of 2021, moreloop is built upon the concept of the circular economy. By curating and compiling surplus fabric from garment factories, the company provides an online marketplace for small businesses to access quality fabrics at reasonable prices.

Thailand produces approximately one billion yards or 350,000 tonnes of surplus fabric a year that ends up in landfills, exacerbating the environmental impact of the already resource-intensive textile industry. However, 350,000 tonnes of fabric translates to approximately 700 million T-shirts, providing ample supply to serve both major and minor apparel brands.

As a surplus fabric provider, moreloop meets the market demand for textiles without consuming additional resources, while preventing carbon emissions at the landfill.

Vulcan Coalition

Vulcan Coalition team
Vulcan Coalition partners with several Thailand-based companies to fulfill their disability employment quotas. Source: Vulcan Coalition Facebook Page

Winner of the Creative Talk Awards’ Most Creative Business of 2022 and the winner of National Innovation Awards 2021, Vulcan Coalition is touted as the first AI startup in the world driven by persons with disabilities (PWDs), addressing the increasing demand for high-quality data used in AI training and a dire lack of meaningful disability employment.

Vulcan Coalition creates high-quality datasets boasting as little as 1/10th the time to market (TTM) of other data labeling services by drawing on the natural talents of PWDs. These datasets can be used to train AI software, which in turn, supports accessibility technologies such as screen readers. 

According to a market analysis report by Grand View Research, the global AI training dataset market size was valued at nearly US$1.41 billion in 2021 and is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.2% from 2022 to 2030. 

Vulcan Coalition has set a goal of working with 60,000 working-age PWDs or 11% of all working-age PWDs in Thailand as AI trainers and talents for the digital era, becoming the largest data labeling firm in the Asia-Pacific.

A system for social innovation

Innovation can come from anywhere and anyone, but social innovations—the ideas that better our societies and economies—don’t always make it to market. 

To translate social innovations into social enterprises, Thailand’s National Innovation Agency (NIA) has built a system of grant and technical support programs to systematically identify, groom, and grow social innovations.

Programs like the Social Innovation Business Plan Contest (🇹🇭), the National Innovation Awards, and Startup Thailand have allowed several social enterprises including many of the ones listed here, to find their footing.


Benjamin Rujopakarn

Ben has worn several hats in broadcast television and radio news programs, culminating in his role as Head of Content at Bangkok-based digital marketing agency PAPER & PAGE (Thailand) Co., Ltd. and Editor-in-Chief of Thailand NOW. Though he has extensive experience in media communications, Ben holds degrees in marine science and molecular biology from UNSW and UT Dallas, respectively.

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