Join us to support women of all generations.
If village women had the same opportunities as men, the number of poor people would be reduced dramatically.
A UN Food and Agriculture Organization report says ‘If women in rural areas had the same access to resources as men (land, technology, education, financial services), the number of people suffering from hunger and poverty in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.’
Therefore we work at reducing the gender gap in Southeast Asian agriculture !
In Northeast Thailand, 85% of the farmers are smallholders who are unable to meet their basic financial needs from agricultural production only. Women and young people face the least opportunities. A high proportion of the women are classified as unpaid family workers. A study found that 51 % of the Thai population are employed in agriculture and 31% of these are unpaid women. (NSO; Labor Force Survey 1998.)
Poor farmers lack the necessary skills to earn a better income from their land. They either have to sell their products through middlemen who have the skills to sell online or they have to sell in their own small village shops. This cements existing inequalities. People are forced to leave their villages and find low paid jobs in factories and the tourism industry elsewhere in Thailand or abroad. Many young women and men end up in bars, massage parlours and the sex industry.
The value of Thai e-commerce has increased very fast and so has the number of internet users. However the major online marketplace platforms are owned by big commercial corporations based outside Thailand, and local producers are unable to join these online platform due to too high fees and lack of online marketing and ICT skills.
Join us, donate. You can also join us as a volunteer, helping women improve their lives through technology and entrepreneurship education, and helping them access their full potential, benefiting themselves, their communities and beyond.
To address this we would like to help Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) market their products to a wider audience by building an online sustainability marketplace platform. We also want to provide them training to improve their knowledge and skills, increasing their presence in the online marketplace.
Openmind, as an NGO, has a long history of working on sustainable projects such as learning lamps, community development projects, and raising environmental awareness. We work closely with local communities and at many different governmental levels. Therefore, we are confident that with our knowledge and experience we can help the local communities in meeting their needs. This will help us to achieve our long term goal of using innovative ICT solutions to support the impoverished and end poverty.
For our initial year of business, our end beneficiaries were the local farmers and producers of handmade products in rural Thailand. 40% of farming households are living below the poverty line ($900USD a year). The sector’s low income and higher debt drag on the country’s economic growth.
We have established connections with producers in other Southeast Asian countries such as Laos, Myanmar, and Nepal. After our first year of business, we will open registration for these vendors, creating more beneficiaries.
To ensure the project is sustainable we would require the vendors to pay 3.5% commission + 2% transaction fees per sale. This is 80% lower than other online marketplaces such as Lazada.co.th, Aliexpress.com , tarad.com , Agoda.com, and Airbnb, etc,
Revenue from vendors and our own online shop will be donated to support projects benefiting young adults, with a particular focus on women.
The money goes towards :
- Hiring local staff to support
- Scholarships for OMP trainees
- Funding learning camps
- Startup funding for young social entrepreneurs
Project Road Map.
Year 1: Development
- Finish the first version of the online marketplace platform (Web app and Mobile App)
- Integrate online payment system (finished)
- Integrate sale commission function (finished)
- Complete registration for EV certificate ($1,750,000 Warranty for platform insurance)
- Training of 30 women groups and local social entrepreneurs (approximately 150 local women).
- Recruiting volunteers, Thai and Laos internship student
Year 2 and 3: Scaling
- Finish the mobile app
- Open registration for new vendors
- Employ at least two more people on staff
- Organize and host a social entrepreneur startup camp
- Recruit and train 10 more local trainees
- Integrate training and knowledge-based sites
- Select local OEM producers to produce OMP charity products
- Integrate online bookings function
Year 4 and 5: Crowdfunding
- Integrate online crowdfunding option for young social Entrepreneurs and local producers to fund their products