• One study on the balance between the commercial activities and the social mission of social enterprises specialized in hospitality vocational training. (in process)
  • Promotion for members’ hotels, restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops through visibility initiatives at regional and global level
  • 1300+ tourism stakeholders inspired by the vocational training social enterprise concept through events
What we do

Combining a social mission with commercial activities is complex, particularly in the context of Southeast Asian countries where literature on the topic is limited. Little has been done to compare different social enterprises specialized in vocational education to identify their varied impacts and success levers in order to help them learn from one another and progress.

ASSET-H&C builds on the common ground of its members to help them constantly improve. In partnership with Apprentis d’Auteuil—a French education NGO, it has launched a study on social businesses to assist members in refining their model to reach the optimum balance between their social mission and commercial activities.

ASSET-H&C also contributes to building awareness and knowledge of innovative vocational training centers that combine business activities with a social mission. For example, the network organized a conference on Responsible Business in Tourism and Hospitality in Yangon in October 2019.  It also co-organized, with Destination Mekong, Experience Mekong Collection Stories Webinar “How to survive COVID-19 and prepare for recovery – Practical actions and learning”. The network is also recognized for its work in promoting the innovative model of its members via international and regional awards such as the winner of PATA Grand Award for Education 2019 and a finalist of Mekong Innovations in Sustainable Tourism 2021.

By giving these social  enterprises more  visibility, the network seeks to increase their recognition by key stakeholders in the region, including authorities and the private sector, and ultimately to influence policies and good practices on inclusive and sustainable tourism.

Why we act

Social Enterprises offer innovative solutions to finance quality training that supports vulnerable youth

Compared to general education, vocational training programs are costly. They bring with them high capital costs, either in terms of facilities or equipment, and also tend to be more expensive on consumables. Given the underfunding of education, non-for-profit vocational training centers are urged to find innovative models to finance themselves. One of such models is to integrate income-generating activities in their operations, which is the option that most ASSET-H&C members have made.

Social Enterprises bridge the gap between a social need and an economic opportunity

Social enterprises specialized in tourism and hospitality vocational training are progressively developing in various Mekong countries, as they offer a promising avenue of support for those in need by enhancing the benefits of tourism for local populations. Not only do they contribute to filling the labor gap in the industry, but most importantly, they help narrow inequality by creating opportunities for disadvantaged youth to build  a  better  life  for themselves and their family.

While these models are growing in the region, social entrepreneurship is still a relatively new concept in South-East Asia, and exchanges between these organizations remain informal while they have a lot to share. Businesses are increasingly expected to contribute their share in achieving the sustainable development goals, it is high time to support, promote these social enterprises and engage stakeholders as well as the general public in contributing to these sustainable tourism initiatives.

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