Importance of the Public Policy and Legal Infrastructure to the Development of Social Enterprise in Thailand

Authors

ผศ.ดร.ประพิน นุชเปี่ยม

Published

Southeast Asia Transition and Transformation

Abstract

Social enterprise has already gained popularity worldwide, and has become particularly renowned as a new, innovative and better approach to tackling social problems and meeting social needs (Gregory, Holbrook, Woodman and Angel-Ur-dinala 2015; British Council 2016; Deloitte 2018). Though the terms “social enterprise” and “social entrepreneurship” are rather new, neither the concept nor the emergence of social enterprise is something completely alien to us. It is widely accepted as part of the third sector, though this sector itself is still a hazy domain. In the United States (US), the terms “social enterprise” and “social entrepreneur-ship” are used interchangeably. Social enterprise can be simply understood to be a type of organization or business venture. In academic terms, social enterprise is a subset of social entrepreneurship or a kind of entrepreneurship initiative (Nich-olls 2013, 10-11).This paper comprises five sections. The first section clarifies the relationship between social enterprise and the third sector. The second section examines the concepts of community enterprise and social enterprise so as to facilitate understanding of the policy designs and regulatory frameworks for the development of the community enterprise and the social enterprise in Thailand in the next two sections. The third section considers the social enterprise policy designs, whereas the fourth section examines the policy goals, regulations, and practical implications of the community enterprise initiative. The final part focuses on the draft Social Enterprise Promotion Bill ‘ and determines what social enterprise policy and law makers should learn from the community enterprise development policy. The paper concludes by expressing concerns about a tendency towards a top-down policy and legal framework for social enterprise development. Although support for the growth of social enterprise in the form of appropriate public policy and legal framework is important, a proper understanding of the nature of this type of venture is necessary. Failure to fully understand this venture could result in the ineffective (or even failed) implementation of the policy and legal support mechanisms for the growth and sustainability of the social enterprise sector.

Importance of the Public Policy and Legal Infrastructure to the Development of Social Enterprise in Thailand Southeast Asia Transition and Transformation, 161-188.