SIB Connect Gathers Businesses, Intermediaries, and Investors for Greater Social Impact
December 16, 2022
Ha Noi, 16 December 2022 - Hundreds of social impact businesses (SIB), intermediaries, and investors gathered in Ha Noi today at the SIB Connect to exchange information and share experiences towards accelerating the development of the SIB ecosystem in Viet Nam.
The event is part of the ISEE-COVID project and co-hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment
In Viet Nam, 22,000 enterprises - approximately 4% of businesses - are classified as Social Impact Business (SIBs). The country has a vibrant and diverse ecosystem for SIBs. Enterprises, especially those that are led by or work with vulnerable groups (women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, diverse gender groups, etc.) are facing multiple challenges in developing the sustainable business models to balance between making profits and creating social impacts. The main challenges that they are facing include lack of capital, lack of information and product market, and lack of knowledge and skills on corporate governance. In addition, they must cope with external challenges, including the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of support from intermediaries, weak connection of stakeholders in the ecosystem, lack of social awareness, and above all, lack of a supportive policy framework.
With an Ecosystem approach, the ISEE-COVID project is tackling the inter-connected and systemic challenges that SIBs are facing. In 2022, the ISEE-COVID project focused on improving the capacity of SIBs, providing seed fundings, building the capacity of and the coordination between SIB intermediaries, and strengthening government policy making capacities for enabling SIBs.
Through the COVID Adaptation Programme, the project has provided seed funding and 6-month one-on- one coaching for 31 SIBs to develop and test new business models, products and services. These SIBs are reporting increased revenue, new products, and new jobs created for vulnerable people. Many of the SIBs are led by and employ women, persons with disabilities. and LGBTIQ people.
In addition, more than 200 SIBs have benefited from training and capacity building activities, investment promotion, and market access. A cohort of SIB intermediaries received capacity building. The SIB Innovation Champion programme has trained nearly 60 individual champions, who in turn provided free coaching for 120 SIBs. The project has also supported 03 SIB-led intermediary organizations to develop and roll out their own peer-to- peer training and coaching activities for more than 100 SIB members.
UNDP Resident Representative Ramla Khalidi commended the advances made by social impact businesses and the development of the ecosystem that supports SIBs over the past year. “SIB CONNECT is an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of social impact businesses and ecosystem actors after a year filled with challenges. Yet the resilience and relevance of the SIBs was best demonstrated precisely in this context of uncertainty, where SIBs were quick to turn their business activities around,” said Ms. Khalidi. “Doing good is good for business – the ultimate goal of the ISEE-COVID project is to enable enterprises to contribute to a green and inclusive economic rebound while growing their business”.
Addressing the event, Ambassador of Canada to Viet Nam Shawn Steil said: “Canada’s development cooperation program in part aims to help catalyze private capital to support sustainable and inclusive economic development. The ISEE-COVID project highlights Canada’s commitment to promote gender equality. The project is also responsive to the Government of Vietnam's poverty reduction priorities by supporting inclusive economic development with a particular focus on small-and-medium-sized enterprises. Given that SIBs are profit entities that have clear social impact objectives, we believe that they are key to ensuring that the private sector realizes its full potential as a partner in achieving the SDGs. We expect that SIBs will serve the communities, by addressing the social and gendered impacts of COVID-19, through job creation and by improving livelihoods, particularly for vulnerable people.”
On the Government’s policies to support the SIB community in the coming period, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong said: “On the way to achieve the sustainable development goals, social impact business (SIB) is the vital actor, contributing to the economic development, at the same time creating positive impacts on the society and the environment by creating jobs and providing products and services to vulnerable groups. However, compared to commercial businesses, SIB enterprises face more difficulties due to their particularities. Although there is no specific policy for social impact businesses, the Government always recognizes, encourages and appreciates SIB.
With a commitment to always be at the forefront of reform and innovation, at the same time focusing on social security so that no one is left behind, the
SIB is a wave that changes many aspects of society and business philosophy. More and more businesses wish to bring greater and better benefits to society. The ISEE-COVID project will continue to support the SIB ecosystem in Viet Nam in 2023 and 2024. The SIB community is encouraged to participate in various activities and funding packages of the project. More updates will be available on the website, through the Social Impact Business HUB and hotline 18001563.
Let's join hands to build a strong Vietnam Social Impact Business Ecosystem!
About the ISEE-COVID project
The project “Leveraging Viet Nam’s Social Impact Business Ecosystem in Response to COVID-19” (ISEE COVID project), with sponsorship from Global Affairs Canada, is co-implemented by UNDP and 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 reducing the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, especially 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.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh, ISEE-COVID Project Communication Consultant, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nguyen Hoai Thanh, ISEE-COVID project Focal point personnel, Enterprise Development Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Email: email@example.com
More Information about program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
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