Press conference: Results of “COVID-19 Adaptation Programme for SIB”, ISEE-COVID project

July 26, 2022

Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam, delivered opening remarks at the Press conference: Results of “COVID-19 Adaptation Programme for SIB”, ISEE-COVID project

UNDP Viet Nam

Mr. Brian Allemenkinders, Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Canada to Viet Nam

Mr. Le Manh Hung, General Director, Agency for Enterprise Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment

Representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Department of Planning and Investment from Cao Bang and Thua Thien Hue,

Representatives from the Social Impact Business’s ecosystem, judges

Media representatives,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Xin Chào,

3 months ago, on April 28th, we launch the “COVID-19 Adaptation Programme for Social Impact Businesses” under the ISEE COVID project. Today, I am delighted to be here with you to announce the results of the selection process and to congratulate the successful Social Impact Businesses in agricultural and tourism areas, who will join this meaningful programme in the remaining half of 2022.

I am pleased to see that the programme received interest from over 150 social impact businesses in Vietnam, reassuring the project team that the programme is indeed meeting the needs of companies. On the other hand, it was challenging for us to make decisions, as we received so many promising applications.

The selected SIBs had to undergo rigorous screening by the project team and pitch their business model to a panel of judges. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to the judges: Ms. Nguyen Phi Van, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuc, Mr. Dam Quang Thang, and Mr. Huynh Cong Thang. Thank you for being our independent judges and for working with our colleagues from AED and UNDP in the selection of this exciting group of SIBs. 

In the end, the SIBs selected were those with the most commercially viable business models and with the greatest impact potential. I am excited to see a diversity of ideas, ranging from the high-quality Vietnamese products to new innovative ideas such as using larva to turn leftover foods into organic fertilizer, and a new rice cultivation method that saves costs, circulates nutrients and reduces greenhouse gas. With the re-opening of Vietnamese tourism, I also hope that creative models such as dining in the dark, innovative community tourism, or the application of reducing waste in the tourism sector will grow quickly. With over 20 women-led enterprises among the selected, I look forward to seeing the substantial impact on women beneficiaries. 

On behalf of UNDP, I would to congratulate all of the SIBs who have been selected for this round of support and hope that you will take advantage of the acceleration programme to develop and refine your products and services. We look forward to celebrating these achievements together with you at the end of this year.

It is our hope that this timely programme will provide the necessary technical and financial support for the SIBs to identify economic recovery and future growth solutions. Together with other activities of the ISEE-COVID project, this program will help strengthen the resilience and accelerate the development of SIBs in Viet Nam.  This, in turn, is foundational to leaving no one behind and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

In conclusion, I want to thank MPI colleagues for their excellent leadership and collaboration in implementing the project and colleagues from the Embassy of Canada for the fruitful partnership and financial support for this critical initiative. UNDP looks forward to strengthening our partnership for building a vibrant social impact business ecosystem in Viet Nam that prioritizes women and vulnerable groups in its design, leadership, and delivery of benefits.  

I wish you great health, happiness, and success. Xin cam on.