U2T: Faculty of Agriculture, KKU Organizes Coaching for Community Product Development for Entrepreneurs and Staff

The Faculty of Agriculture at Khon Kaen University through Asst. Prof. Dr. Arunee Phromkhambutr, the lecturer responsible for the U2T project at Ban Taen District, Rural Sub-district, and Khok Sa-nga District, Phon Sub-district, Khon Kaen Province, organized a training workshop on “Developing a Business Plan for Community Products” for the staff in the project and the entrepreneurs in the area through an online system (Google Meet) with Asst. Prof. Dr. Sukanda Nakapaksin as the main guest speaker in the workshop.


There was also Mr. Pairote Chularat, CEO of Microbrain Co., Ltd. and Ms. Jittiporn Jitphakdi, Director of an advertising agency as guest speakers to help in this workshop. The organizer provided activities in the form of giving advice from the speakers to local entrepreneurs and the project team members on business plan preparation by collecting and analyzing community data and group meetings to find outstanding products and people who wanted to develop existing products or initiate new products. Entrepreneurs and the U2T project team members presented product business plans in the form of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) for the advice from the speakers. The aforementioned activities aimed at participants having knowledge of marketing communication development, finding channels for selling, and promoting and developing to create an identity for products in the community. There were a total of 35 participants in the workshop on August 13, 2021.


Asst. Prof. Dr. Sukanda Nakapaksin (Speaker) said that, “From my point of view, the COVID-19 pandemic does not result in stagnation at all. There is always a core of glory in many businesses, but how can we develop our business to that core of glory? Some businesses can grow because of the COVID-19 situation, such as the air purification tree business. Since working from home is now a trend, staying at home for more than 21 days can turn our 21-day habits into routines. It turns out that there is still a demand for buying trees to decorate the house, etc.”


In addition, Asst. Prof. Dr. Sukanda also said that marketing or doing business is just about one thing: “We have supplies and where is the demand? We need to know where we can deliver our products to and where they can be sold.”


Mr. Pairote Chularat expressed his view that, “When the product is developed to meet the standards of the market demand, bringing digital technology that the community can use easily and without complexity will help the community, as a producer, to be closer to the consumers of the target market. Currently, there are many platforms that are suitable for use at the local business level which the community entrepreneurs in both sub-districts have the potential to easily develop themselves into the digital economy.”


Ms. Jittiporn Jitphakdi added that “Good storytelling plays a very important role in raising the value of community products in the minds of consumers. The products derived from local wisdom are in-demand in the market, but they lack good storytelling and that makes them unable to compete and grow in the market. In addition, they cannot connect to the target consumers. Therefore, for marketing, the development team needs to research and bring valuable wisdom information, beautiful ways, processes by which the communities create the products with truth, then communicate to the market.” Therefore, in this preliminary event, the team was asked to collect information and photos as preparation for using them in  future marketing.


In the workshop, the entrepreneurs and the project team members presented the BMC of their community products to enable speakers and participants to understand the products and adjust weaknesses or strengthen their value; and adjust marketing strategies and marketing communication methods that will make the products more well-known, marketing channels, product development to have a more unique identity in line with changing lifestyles and working under the current situation, such as working from home, etc.


Mr. Sakda Saisorn, one of the U2T project team members who participated in the training, said that, “Participating in the training helps gaining knowledge in business planning and product development to gain an overview of the community product business to adjust weaknesses or strengthen the product’s value, including adjusting business strategies easily and quickly, and also seeing the perspective of finding wider and clearer market sources for the target groups.”


It was an honor to have Asst. Prof. Dr. Sukanda Nakapaksin as a guest speaker in the training workshop. This workshop will surely help to enhance skills in developing a business plan for products in the community for the U2T project team members to be able to develop business plans and product models for the entrepreneurs to develop and extend their products and boost the economy in their communities in the future.


News: Ms. Orapriya Kriengsri and Ms. Waraporn Sawatnatee, U2T project team members, Bantaen District, Rural Sub-district, Khon Kaen Province

Pictures: U2T project team, Ban Taen District and Khok Sa-nga District

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