30 Social Impact Business Finalists Receive Vital Technical and Financial Support

August 3, 2023
UNDP in Viet Nam

Ha Noi, 3 August 2023 – Thirty social impact business (SIB) finalists will receive a tailored six-month, one- on-one coaching service along with 100 million VND as seed funding. 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 organized in Ha Noi today by the Agency of Enterprise Development (AED) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), under the project: “Leveraging Viet Nam’s Social Impact Business Ecosystem in Response to COVID-19” (ISEE-COVID).

In June, the ISEE-COVID project launched the “2023 COVID-19 Recovery Program” 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 program has garnered interest from 239 SIBs. Following a thorough screening and pitching process, 30 outstanding SIBs from various regions in Viet Nam were chosen to participate in the Program, with more than two-thirds of them being women-focused enterprises.

This year’s “COVID-19 Recovery Program” builds upon the success of the 2022 Program, which provided support to 31 SIBs in agriculture and tourism from 16 provinces across the country.

Addressing the event, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong said: “The 2022 package has received many positive responses and attracted a wide range of SIBs. In 2022, 31 SIBs received this package, and all of them achieved inspiring results. These SIBs have developed business plans that incorporate essential elements of sustainable development, such as environmental protection, combating climate change, and promoting social security. After receiving the support package, 100% 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 eighteen billion Vietnamese Dong (over USD 760,000), and at least three SIBs officially exported their products overseas.”

The 30 SIB finalists range from producing high-quality agricultural products through climate-resilient farming methods to utilizing 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 ANGELS 4 US - 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.

“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 marginalized communities, fostering the development of eco-friendly products, adding value to authentic goods, and enhancing resilience against climate change, among numerous other endeavors that have gained global recognition. 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” - said Ambassador of Canada to Viet Nam Shawn Steil

UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Ramla Khalidi congratulated the SIB finalists and expressed her hope that they would take full advantage of the acceleration program to develop and refine their products and services. “We believe that this timely program 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 Viet Nam, one that prioritizes women and vulnerable groups in its design, leadership, and delivery of benefits.” (Read full speech)

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 Viet Nam.

About the ISEE-COVID project 
The project “Leveraging Viet Nam’s Social Impact Business Ecosystem in Response to COVID-19” (ISEE COVID project), sponsored by Global Affairs Canada, is co-implemented by UNDP and the Agency of Enterprise Development (AED), Ministry of Planning and Investment. The project aims to enhance the resilience of social impact businesses (SIBs) in Viet Nam and contribute to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, with a particular focus on women and girls. 

The ISEE-COVID project has two primary objectives: (i) improving the effectiveness of SIBs, especially those led by women and vulnerable groups, to address the social and gendered impacts of COVID-19 and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs; and (ii) strengthening the regulatory environment for SIBs to be more gender-responsive, inclusive and transparent, thereby supporting the resilience of SIBs to COVID-19 impact, with a particular focus on SIBs that are led by women and other vulnerable groups. 

Media contact
Nguyen Thu Thao, ISEE-COVID Project Communication Consultant, Email: nguyen.thu.thao@undp.org
Nguyen Hoai Thanh, ISEE-COVID project Focal point personnel, Enterprise Development Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Email: nguyenhoaithanh9831@gmail.com 
For more information, please contact:
Email: iseecovid.vn@undp.org / iseecovid.aed@gmail.com
Website: https://iseecovid.vn/