MPI launches adaptation programme for social impact businesses

April 29, 2022 | 04:00
The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Affairs Canada, launched the adaptation programme for social impact businesses (SIBs) in the agriculture and tourism sectors on April 28.
MPI launches adaptation programme for social impact businesses
At the launch event

At the launching ceremony, Le Manh Hung, director-general of the MPI’s Agency for Enterprises Development said that the programme would help SIBs to overcome obstacles through specific activities.

“We will send experts and organisations to help SIBs overcome difficulties with management, doing business, and development within the first six months. The programme provides VND100 million ($4,350) to assist with applying a new business model,” said Hung.

Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP resident representative in Vietnam highly appreciated the vaccination programme across the nation, allowing a return to normal life. She also expressed her worry that the adverse effects of the pandemic on businesses, especially vulnerable groups, will create long-term damage.

“Our baseline assessment showed similar results where nearly 47 per cent of interviewed SIBs had their revenue reduced. Businesses with the highest percentages of revenue reduction were those employing people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and cooperatives,” said Wiesen.

The adaptation programme can help SIBs identify the critical challenges and provide support to recover from them. Secondly, it can design new business models and develop new products or services, and thirdly, build test prototypes.

“We hope that this tiny programme will provide the necessary technical and financial support to SIBs to identify solutions for economic recovery and growth, as well as strengthen resilience and accelerate the alleviation of social impact diseases," said the UNDP resident representative in Vietnam.

This year, the programme aims to support 30 businesses in the agriculture and tourism industries, focusing on SIBs led by women and vulnerable groups.

Brian Allemekinders, representative of the Canadian Embassy in Vietnam said, "Together with other stakeholders, we would like to mobilise the necessary resources to recover and to build back from the pandemic in a way that is stronger than we saw previously."

SIBs have a commitment to making a positive impact on society and the environment, balancing social and environmental goals with a commercial model that allows them to address social and environmental challenges sustainably.

Vietnam has a fast-growing and vibrant ecosystem of supporting SIBs. Employment, welfare, and environmental protection are the top three focus areas. They are leading in promoting diversity and inclusion while balancing profit with social impact to create a sustainable business model.

The number of positive cases in Vietnam is decreasing, but the negative impacts of the pandemic on businesses, especially those led by vulnerable groups, remain lingering and seriously damaging.

Research by the UNDP last August showed that the revenues of household businesses and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises have plummeted significantly enough to scale down operations and lay off workers. Tourism, restaurants, hotels, and passenger transport businesses are the hardest hit. This impact is even more severe for households headed by women.

The schedule for the adaption programme for SIBs

• End of April: Launching and calling SIBs to send applications

• Up to May 9: Receiving applications

• May to June: Considering applications and choosing 30 businesses to receive assistance

• June to November: Carrying out the programme

• December: Announcing results and achievements

By Nguyen Huong

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