Social impact business finalists receive tech and financial support

August 03, 2023 | 15:51
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Thirty social impact business (SIB) finalists will receive a tailored six-month, one-on-one coaching service along with VND100 million ($4,260) as seed funding.
Numerous social impact business finalists receive vital technical and financial support
30 social impact business finalists receive vital technical and financial support

This support aims to empower the SIBs to transform their business models and innovate their products, enabling them to navigate the aftermath of COVID-19, and actively engage within the thriving SIB ecosystem.

This announcement was made at an event jointly organised in Hanoi on Thursday by the Agency of Enterprise Development under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Global Affairs Canada, and the UN Development Programme, under the project: “Leveraging Vietnam’s Social Impact Business Ecosystem in Response to COVID-19” (ISEE-COVID).

In June, the ISEE-COVID project launched the “2023 COVID-19 Recovery Programme” to offer technical and financial support for SIBs with commercially viable models and the potential for significant impact in agriculture, tourism, education, and healthcare.

The programme has garnered interest from 239 SIBs. Following a thorough screening and pitching process, 30 outstanding SIBs from various regions in Vietnam were chosen to participate, with more than two-thirds of them being women-focused enterprises.

Addressing the event, MPI deputy minister Tran Duy Dong said that the 2022 package had received many positive responses and attracted a wide range of SIBs.

In 2021, 31 SIB businesses received this package, and all of them achieved encouraging results. These SIBs have developed business plans that incorporate sustainable development elements such as environmental protection, combating climate change, and social security.

"Especially, after receiving the support package, 100 per cent of the SIBs were able to successfully develop new products or services, maintain, or increase their revenue, with some experiencing a remarkable peak increase of 19 times in revenue compared to that of 2021. Two SIBs managed to raise a total of VND18 billion ($760,000), and at least three SIBs officially exported their products overseas,” Dong said.

Besides this, the 30 SIB finalists range from producing high-quality agricultural products through to climate-resilient farming methods to utilise new technology to create decent jobs for persons with disabilities and fostering inclusive education.

Addressing people's health is another priority, with SIBs dedicated to healthcare for vulnerable groups and applying technology for cleaner air and a healthier environment.

Three inspiring incubators - BizCare, Wise, and Angle4Us - will be working alongside the SIBs, assisting them in refining their business models and developing new products or services, thus accelerating their recovery from the pandemic.

Numerous social impact business finalists receive vital technical and financial support
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong

“SIBs’ dedicated efforts play a vital role in addressing social and environmental gaps, making a positive difference in Vietnam. The SIB sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience, generating employment opportunities for vulnerable and marginalised communities, fostering the development of eco-friendly products, adding value to authentic goods, and enhancing resilience against climate change, among numerous other endeavours that have gained global recognition," Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam Shawn Steil said. "Each of these efforts serves as an inspiration. We trust that SIBs would become successful agents of change, not just for themselves but for their communities and country.”

UNDP resident representative in Vietnam Ramla Khalidi congratulated the SIB finalists and expressed her hope that they would take full advantage of the acceleration programme to develop and refine their products and services.

“We believe that this timely programme will provide the essential technical and financial support to help you identify economic recovery and future growth solutions,” she said. “UNDP looks forward to strengthening our partnership with the MPI and Canada in pursuit of a vibrant social impact business ecosystem in Vietnam, one that prioritises women and vulnerable groups in its design, leadership, and delivery of benefits.”

It is expected that the new products and business models are sustainable, scalable, and adaptable to address the challenges of the post-COVID-19 period. The selected SIBs are poised to become key stakeholders in fostering the SIB ecosystem in Vietnam.

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