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Project name: Strengthening innovative social entrepreneurship practices for disruptive business settings in Thailand and Myanmar / STEPup

Thailand and Myanmar are facing key social problems such as economic disparities, demographic challenges and educational gaps that hold back the countries´ development and advancement of its people. This has led to an increased interest in using social entrepreneurship to address some of the most pressing issues by delivering both social impact & economic benefit. Despite this wave of innovation, there is a lack in really disruptive ideas that create sustainable, yet profitable businesses. Higher education institutions are in need of modernizing their physical infrastructure & upgrading of teaching capacities in order to be able to react to current educational developments & to develop future change makers.


STEPup aims to modernize existing social entrepreneurship practices and promote innovation in Thai and Burmese HEIs by integrating advanced learning tools for the creation of disruptive business ideas into existing academic structures, while strengthening the university-business collaboration through participatory schemes on a local and regional level. The project aims


1. To promote disruptive social entrepreneurship practices in selected Thai and Burmese regions by recognizing their needs and transferring best practice approaches from European to the partners in Thailand and Myanmar.

2. To facilitate innovative ICT learning methods in social entrepreneurship education by developing and implementing capacity buildings trainings, workshops and other tools to increase the labour market relevance of social entrepreneurs.

3. To foster innovation in the field of social entrepreneurship by involving established social entrepreneurs in student-business learning activities within an institutionalized physical environment (Social Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hubs).

4. To enhance the cooperation higher education-enterprise and students learning experience by developing Innovative Social Entrepreneurship Case studies in cooperation with established social entrepreneurs, to apply the innovative methods learned and prepare the students for innovative thinking & acting in “real life” contexts.

5. To promote greater access to high quality educational materials on the topic of teaching & learning methods and technology enhancement, providing Open Educational Resources to regional and international communities.


Thailand and Myanmar are investing to modernize and internationalize their economies for the betterment of their respective societies.
In order to be successful, a focus needs to be placed on the development of the educational system as it builds the capacities of human resources who will contribute to the advancements of the countries as a whole. STEPup wishes to be part of this progress by implementing a well thought-through methodology that is meant to have a long-term impact on the higher education institutions and target groups involved in each of the Partner Countries. Each result in the project is being developed by an interdisciplinary team of matter experts from Europe and South-East Asia, which requires constant communication and an open mindset towards other (organizational) cultures.

Thailand

The objectives are realistic and feasible in the national context as they are in line with the national strategies developed by the Thai government and address several priorities therein. Through the objectives, STEPup wishes to contribute to the enhancement of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Thailand, which is why they have been based on research and a thorough needs analysis. Additionally, the existence of Associate Partners, who act as support organizations and connecting points to a larger audience help reaching a broad impact. Feasibility in an institutional context is given, as the objectives directly interlink with the specific demands of each involved higher education institution and their support for a realistic and sustainable implementation for the benefit of all target groups has been promised.

Myanmar

Realistic integration into the national context is given through a cross-check between national development plans and resources being made available by government agencies & associations towards the enhancement of social entrepreneurship initiatives. Direct support to the project ensuring feasibility has been given by the Office of Member of Parliament through a letter of support stating that the objectives are in line with the institution´s objectives hence giving STEPup an extra platform to which it can present its intentions. In terms of the institutional context, the objectives are realistic and feasible due to the compatibility to institutional roadmaps emphasizing modernisation efforts and the willingness to provide existing structures and human as well as capital resources for implementation purposes.

Main target groups of the STEPup project are as following:

1

HEI leaders and managers of the areas business management/development, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship

2

Academic staff focusing on business management/development, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship

3

Students and student associations studying business programmes

4

Companies working in the field of social entrepreneurship

5

Business development agencies and political partners