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Entrepreneurship, Business and Economic Development


It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of SMEs and entrepreneurs to economic growth. As such, developing economies have a vested interest in the promotion of strong SME and entrepreneurial sectors. In the long run, successful business enterprises will serve as a source of national income and a strong foundation for the region’s economy. Providing low-income individuals with the skills necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs is one of the best proven means of raising incomes and bringing people out of poverty.

 Kenan Institute Asia (K.I.Asia) has successfully built the capacities of SMEs and entrepreneurs, as well as government agencies, microfinance institutions and organizations supporting SMEs, for over a decade. Our team of business advisors has developed targeted, customized programs that are being utilized to assist SMEs to ensure success. K.I.Asia works with industry clusters to improve the competitiveness of SMEs, and has designed specialized entrepreneurship programming to build and support existing and potential entrepreneurs from any background and educational level through project management, consulting, and training programs. K.I.Asia has also developed specialized training and research tools to assist microfinance institutions, government agencies and business organizations supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs, and to ensure effective economic development.


Our Professional Team


 K.I.Asia has a dedicated team of 10 business advisory professionals, all with his/her MBA, MA or Ph.D. Our advisor team consists of business and economic professionals from fields such as banking, engineering, information technology, human resources, logistics, and marketing and sales. They utilize specialized business development tools to help enterprises compete strategically in domestic and international markets, as well as provide guidance to governments and business associations on how to effectively support SMEs and entrepreneurs. K.I.Asia’s specialized entrepreneurship team consists of three professional consultants who have been designated “REAL Master Facilitators” after extensive training in the U.S. K.I.Asia’s specialized financial advisory services team consists of four professionals with MBAs and experience in the financial services industry. Expertise for each specialized team is leveraged from K.I.Asia’s team of business advisory professionals.




Project examples

Cluster Competitiveness & Value Chains

  • Cluster Mapping Project

    The Competitiveness Development Office (CDO) of Thailand National Economic and Social Development Board provided K.I.Asia with US $650,000 in funding to carry out a study of business clusters in Thailand under a “Cluster Mapping Project” with the objectives of identifying... Read More
  • Beef Cluster

    This year-long project, funded by the Department of Foreign Trade, is working to enhance the competitiveness of beef feedlot farmers in Sakon Nakorn and Nakorn Pathom through cluster development. The cluster approach focuses on enterprises and agencies concentrated in a given geographic location with complementary products and services. The K.I.Asia team is helping members of the cluster jointly take advantage of business opportunities and solve common problems... Read More
  • Building Export Capacity for ASEAN Foods

    With US $420,000 in funding support from USAID, K.I.Asia built the export capabilities for over 300 SMEs from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries involved in the manufacture and exporter of packaged, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products, seasonings and ingredients...Read More
  • Franchising Project

    The Business Development Department of Thailand's Ministry of Commerce engaged K.I.Asia in a US $125,000 franchise development project with the important goal of exporting Thai franchises overseas.Read More
  • Regional Enterprise Development Project for Cambodia

    Regional Enterprise Development Project for Cambodia From 2002-2004, with over US $100,000 in funding from USAID, K.I.Asia developed the capacity of SME Cambodia (SMEC), a SME-oriented NGO, through four key activities: internships in Thailand, train-the-trainers sessions, technical assistance and association building ...Read More
  • InfoDev Business Incubator Initiative for Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia

    In 2006 and 2007, the World Bank (through the InfoDev Program) provided K.I.Asia with US $200,000 in on-going grant funding to build on its previous business incubation experience in Thailand in order to raise interest in, and design business incubators for, Lao PDR and Cambodia. A model business incubator was set up at Surat Thani Vocational College in the south of Thailand...Read More
  • Economic Contributions of Thailand’s Creative Industries

    K.I.Asia and the Fiscal Policy Research Institute (FPRI) worked together to measure the economic value of Thailand’s creative industries and to promote awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights. The project, conceived in 2008, was already underway when the government announced its policy to promote the “creative economy.” Read More
  • Lao Encouraging and Applying Democracy for Civil Society

    With support from the United Nation’s Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the Kenan Institute Asia (K.I.Asia), the Rural Research Development Training Center (RRDTC) are implementing a project to build the capacities of civil society organizations in Lao PDR.Read More
  • Assessment of Patent and Trademark Offices in ASEAN

    K.I.Asia, in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University’s Intellectual Property Institute and the law firm of Tilleke and Gibbins International Ltd., has updated and expanded its “Comparative Assessment Study of Patent Offices in Southeast Asia” under a joint project agreement with the USPTO. Read More
  • BEDO Indigo

    In 2012, Kenan launched Indigo, a six-month project funded by the Thai Biodiversity-Based Economy Development Office (BEDO) focused on helping weavers in rural Sakon Nakorn province in Thailand improve their production processes and develop a business strategy.Read More
  • Citi Triple Bottom Line Small Hotels Project

    In 2010, Citi and K.I.Asia launched the Triple Bottom Line Small Hotels Project. The project will build the capacities of small hotel managers and owners in Bangkok and central Thailand to operate more sustainably by utilizing the triple bottom line business philosophy. Read More

Trade and Investment

  • TICA Lao Officers Training

    With funding from the Thailand International Cooperation and Development Agency (TICA), K.I.Asia developed a project planning curriculum and a two-week training course.Read More
  • Franchise Go Inter

    The project objectives are to encourage Thai franchisors to be able to create business network and to promote Thai franchise businesses to be known among foreign investors.Read More

Financial Advisory Services

  • Vietnam Bank for Social Policy: Microfinance training

    With US $50,000 in support from USAID, K.I.Asia developed specialized training materials on microfinance and provided IT training on system and database management to the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), established in 2002 to provide credit to the poor in Vietnam...Read More
  • Financial Skills Capability Building for SMEs in Thailand

    Citi Thailand and K.I.Asia had been working together to promote sound SME financial management and financial literacy for two years when they first began discussing the best means of providing sustainable opportunities for the economically disadvantaged. In a departure from traditional pro-poor financial CSR programming, a decision was made to focus on strengthening SMEs' financial capabilities by providing training in sound financial practices.Read More
  • The Citi At-Risk Women Financial Literacy Program

    The Citi At-risk Women Financial Literacy program focused on poor women in Bangkok who have historically been underserved by programming needs related to financial education...Read More
  • The Citi At-Risk Women Financial Literacy Program phase II

    The Citi Foundation generously provided US $45,000 to Kenan Institute Asia to continue implementation of the Citi At-Risk Women Financial Literacy Program, aimed at teaching financial life skills to low income women and women in nightlife occupations. Read More
  • Citi Microfinance Community Savings Program

    The Citi Microfinance Community Savings Program is a pilot project designed to introduce a community savings scheme, through a microfinance model, to vocational groups in Ratchaburi Province, Thailand.Read More
  • Citi At-Risk Women Financial Literacy Program – Phase III

    The Citi At-Risk Women Financial Literacy program provides at-risk women with financial skills, specifically in saving and investment, money management and household budgeting, and proper credit management. The training provided is highly practical, being based on real world experience and using roll playing and games to ensure lessons are learned and remembered. Read More
  • Integrated Personnel Financial Planning

    The Siam Cement (Kaeng Khoi) Company views human resource development as one of its critical sustainability factors, and thus aims to enhance employees’ quality of life and financial security. In 2011, Siam Cement Group invited K.I.Asia to provide financial literacy training to employees.Read More
  • Citi At-Risk Women Financial Literacy Program – Phase IV

    The fourth year program between Citi Foundation and K.I.Asia continues to support the Women Correctional Institution for Drugs Addicts for the second time providing them with financial knowledge and skills to better manage their personal and household incomes after their release in the future. This year the total numbers of participants are 600 at-risk women; 250 incarcerated women, 100 slum women, and 250 vocational women with approximately 50 to 70 women per batch. The objective of this program is to provide understanding and financial management skills. The subjects of the training includes determining personal goals, tips on savings, tips on reducing the unnecessary expenses and increasing income from full-time jobs and temporary jobs. The workshop will focus on providing financial knowledge with easy to understand activities that allow them to continue to use in their personal daily lives.Read More
  • Teach the Teacher Financial Literacy

    Supported by Citi Foundation with US $ 52,000 in funding, K.I.Asia began implementing Teach the Teacher Financial Literacy Project, called “Teacher’s Money Sense,” in December 2011 to teach financial literacy skills to predominantly low-income teachers.Read More
  • Teach the Teacher Financial Literacy – Phase II

    The Citi Foundation provided US $52,000 to Kenan Institute Asia (K.I.Asia) to continue implementation of the Teach the Teacher Financial Literacy project, called “Teacher’s Money Sense” for phase II, aimed to teach financial literacy skills to predominantly low-income teachers.Read More

SME &Entrepreneurship Development

  • Assisting SMEs Recover from Financial Crisis

    In 1999, K.I.Asia (with funding from USAID, as part of the US $25 million Accelerating Economic Recovery in Asia Program), launched a six-year SME consulting project to assist SMEs in Thailand affected by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis... Read More
  • New Entrepreneurship Creation (NEC)

    In January 2006, K.I.Asia launched the New Entrepreneurship Creation (NEC) program, which has been extended on a yearly basis with funding to date of US $180,000 provided by the Thailand Department of Industrial Promotion. The training project is designed to strengthen business management skills for aspiring entrepreneurs and teach essential business management skills in accounting, marketing, business plan writing and other fundamental areas...Read More
  • Thailand-EU SME FTA Enhancement Program

    The Kenan Institute Asia (K.I.Asia) has begun a 16-month research and communication project to assess the possible impacts in Thailand of the proposed ASEAN-European Union (EU) free trade agreement and to provide a factual basis for the public, business and government to discuss ways to mitigate any adverse impacts. The study, entitled “Thailand-EU SME FTA Enhancement Program”,...Read More
  • Business Continuity Planning

    The extensive flooding that occurred in Thailand in 2011 had not only a tragic human toll on Thailand; it also cost the country an estimated 45.7 billion USD in economic damages and losses, much of which was shouldered by small and medium enterprises. For SMEs, an unplanned disruption like the floods can severely affect an organization’s ability to compete and survive. As a result, businesses need to plan their responses to disruptions to minimize their negative effects. Read More

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