Alternative Entrepreneurship in Thailand

Case studies, Entrepreneurship, Business Devt., Livelihoods, Markets, Marketing, Trade

Alternative Entrepreneurship in Thailand: Weavers and the Northeastern Handicraft and Women's Development Network

Jongeward, Carolyn

Globally, women and men are learning to bridge social, cultural and economic divides to find ways for their communities to survive and be sustainable. In Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere, local economies are being strengthened through development of community enterprises. As a consequence, livelihoods and local cultural practices are being transformed. This article is based on research in Thailand, in which I investigated different approaches and common concerns of community organizations that work with rural artisans to ensure economic and cultural survival. The article profiles the role of the Northeastern Handicraft and Women’s Development Network (NWD) in encouraging and facilitating community businesses among women who are weavers in rural Northeast Thailand.Global economic forces have increased the number of people living in poverty and undermined traditional ways of life and livelihoods in rural villages of Northeast Thailand. A crisis of social, cultural and environmental degradation has prompted a search for solutions at the local level. Solutions, emerging in rural areas, are shaping alternative models of development by drawing on the resilience of the people and the relevance of their traditional skills and knowledge. The Northeastern Handicraft and Women’s Development Network plays a significant role in facilitating this process in Thailand. In the context of rural Thailand, alternative entrepreneurship is a socio-economic strategy of organizing, educating and empowering people to work collectively at the village level to strengthen their capac...


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