The programme, led by Youth Business International (YBI) and funded by Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, will support underserved micro, small and medium businesses to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Expara (Thailand) has been appointed as a delivery partner of YBI in Thailand. It is now working with YBI to help Thai entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses to build a better, safer, and stronger post-pandemic world.
The global economy is suffering from an unprecedented shock as a result of COVID-19. With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses are vulnerable to economic downturn. The current pandemic is having a particularly serious impact on business owners and entrepreneurs from underserved communities, including young people (aged 18-35 years), women, and refugees and other migrants. Many are struggling to get through the crisis and need support now.
Douglas Abrams, Managing Director of Expara Thailand, said:
“The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous pain and suffering and economic damage in Thailand and around the world. Now that the first wave of the pandemic is receding in Thailand, it is up to us to not just rebuild what has been damaged or destroyed but to use this opportunity to build a better new normal. We can never go back to the way things were in 2019, nor do we need to do that. Instead, we should build a better 2021 than we would have had if the pandemic never happened. The economic disruption caused by the pandemic has been terrible, but economic disruptions like this one also create unprecedented opportunities for new value creation, especially for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses. Our program will include education, innovation challenges, business clinics, and mentorship designed to uncover, highlight, and help to develop some of these new opportunities for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in Thailand.
We are especially excited that as part of this program, Google employees plan to volunteer their time to share their knowledge and expertise, helping business owners to upskill and adapt in response to the current crisis.”
The global programme is led by YBI, an experienced network of enterprise support organisations. It will support over 200,000 small and medium business owners across 32 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific to respond to and recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Anita Tiessen, CEO of Youth Business International, said:
“The world is changing dramatically from day to day and I feel deeply for business owners everywhere, especially those running smaller businesses and are from underserved communities, who are often least able to bear the economic shocks of this crisis.
“In the face of these challenges, I have been incredibly inspired by the quick response of our network to support business owners around the world. YBI, with Google.org’s new funding commitment, will help us sustain and extend this support throughout 2020, ensuring more than 200,000 businesses can get the advice they need right now to navigate this crisis.”
Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org, EMEA & APAC, said:
“The coronavirus outbreak is taking a devastating toll on lives and communities, and small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they struggle to stay afloat. With this grant to Youth Business International, alongside a series of Google initiatives and products, we hope to help some of the most vulnerable small businesses find a way through the crisis.”