Microsoft YouthSpark drives innovation in Thai SMEs through enhanced ICT skills in young entrepreneurs

 |   Pornravee Suramool

The initiative aims to equip young Thai entrepreneurs with technology skills and knowledge that will improve business efficiency and drive growth


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Students from the Mechai Pattana School receives 26 laptops from Microsoft (Thailand) Limited under the YouthSpark program that will enhance their learning experiences and equip them with technology skills relevant in today’s digital age.

BANGKOK, 1 September 2015 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited today announced its partnership with the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) and Thailand Research Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management (CCDKM) for the third year of the ‘YouthSpark – Enhancing ICT for Youth SMEs in Thailand’ initiative. It aims to equip Thai entrepreneurs aged 18 to 24 with e-commerce and e-business skills that will develop small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand.

This year, the initiative will entail a grant of more than 2 million baht dedicated towards implementing ICT skills training sessions that will reach more than 700 young Thai entrepreneurs. Since the initiative was established in 2013, Microsoft’s YouthSpark – Enhancing ICT for Youth SMEs in Thailand has reached over 48,000 youth and saw more than 120 business weblogs created for startup businesses.

With an estimated 36 million unemployed youth in Asia and against the backdrop of the ASEAN Economic Community, the need to create more opportunities for youth to enter the workforce becomes increasingly crucial. Research by the World Bank highlighted that 70 percent of jobs globally are created by SMEs, reinforcing the critical need to foster entrepreneurship among youth.[1]

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(Far right) Mechai Viravaidya, Chairman of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), with students from the Mechai Pattana School.

Through the training sessions, young entrepreneurs will be trained and educated on e-commerce and e-business skills, the benefits of technology in businesses, and be able to utilize these skills to improve their business efficiency and growth. The training sessions will also include coding lessons designed to stimulate creativity, logical problem solving and critical thinking skills among today’s Thai youth.

Organized in the forms of classroom training, online learning and distance learning held through a virtual presence in a traditional education setting, the training sessions will be held in 12 provinces including Bangkok, Buriram, Chiengmai, Chonburi, Khonkean, Krabi, Nakornratchasrima, Nakornsawan, Nakornsrithammarat, Petchburi, Pichit and Prachubkirikan.

Somsak Mukdavannakorn, Public Sector Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited

Somsak Mukdavannakorn, Public Sector Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, said, “As Thailand accelerates towards a Digital Economy, young Thai entrepreneurs need to enhance their competitiveness through the use of ICT in their businesses, apply e-commerce and e-business skills to reach a global audience, and be able to seize opportunities in a hyper-connected, mobile world. Through our partnership with PDA and CCDKM, the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative will empower young Thai entrepreneurs by providing the tools, resources and facilities necessary to realize new opportunities of employability and entrepreneurship.”

In addition to the training sessions, the PDA’s Mechai Pattana School in Buriram Province will also receive 26 laptops to enhance students’ learning experiences and equip them with technology skills relevant in today’s digital age. Mechai Viravaidya, PDA Chairman, said: “At the Mechai Pattana School, we endeavor to promote environmental protection, education, poverty eradication, philanthropy, integrity, and democracy & gender equality. Our vision is to create an environment where students from poor, rural communities can fulfill their potential through creativity skills, new ideas and current technology. Under Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, the tools, resources and facilities made available to these students will help them secure a viable future, improve their quality of life and in the long run, eradicate poverty.”

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Dr. Kamolrat Intaratat, Chair of the Asia Pacific Telecentre Network (APTN) and Director of the Thailand Research Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management (CCDKM)

Dr. Kamolrat Intaratat, Chair of the Asia Pacific Telecentre Network (APTN) and Director of CCDKM, said “CCDKM is committed to bridge the digital divide and utilize the advantage of ICT to create positive social and economic impact amongst marginalized communities in Thailand. We are delighted to enter our third year of partnership with Microsoft on this endeavor to bring e-commerce and e-business skills through a variety of innovative learning methods to young entrepreneurs across Thailand. In the three years that the initiative has been running, we have seen how local youth have benefited from the ICT training and resources in order to be more productive and relevant to compete in ASEAN.”

Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative committed to helping young people worldwide create and seize opportunity. At the close of its second year Microsoft YouthSpark has created new opportunities for more than 227 million young people in over 100 countries around the world. In Thailand, Microsoft has worked with government, businesses and nonprofits serving youth to equip more than 57,000 Thai youths aged 16-30 with ICT skills.

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Students from the Mechai Pattana School

More information
More information and training resources are available at


About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Working with communities and the Thai government, Microsoft and its partners are committed to working closely with organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.

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For further information, (press) please contact:
Pornravee Suramool or Cheryl Yab
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Thailand
Tel: 0-2627-3501 ext. 110, 206 or 081-735-9213, 098-272-4077
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

[1] McKinsey & Company