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Monday, July 4 2022
Tiếng Việt
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Date 28/04/2022-16:55:00 PM
The COVID-19 Adaptation Programme for SIBs
(MPI) – On April 28, The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) jointly launched the “COVID-19 Adaptation Programme” for Social Impacted Businesses (SIBs) to increase their capacity and refine business models to address the challenges they are facing.

SIBs are understood as “organizations that have both trading activities and a commitment to positively impacting society/environment as the two central tenets of their strategic operations. This balancing of their social/environmental aims with a commercial model allows them to sustainably solve social and environmental challenges.”

Viet Nam has a vibrant and rapidly growing ecosystem for SIBs. Jobs, wellbeing, and environmental protection make up the top three areas of impact for SIBs. SIBs are leaders in promoting diversity and inclusion. Balancing profit with impact is a sustainable business model.

AED General Director Le Manh Hung. Photo: MPI

General Director of MPI’s Agency for Enterprise Development Le Manh Hung said that this support package will contribute to helping SIBs remove the above bottlenecks and difficulties through concrete actions, such as sending experts and intermediary organizations to accompany SIBs in six months to solve specific problems in management, business, and product development. Especially, the COVID-19 Adaptation Programme also provides seed fund of VND 100 million for each enterprise to build and test new business models. This is a very valuable resource for SIBs in their reality of difficult access to financial resources.

With the MPI Minister’s initiative in recent years, the ministry has accompanied disadvantaged groups to organize programs, activities that contribute to social security and humanity.

The COVID-19 adaptation programme for SIBs is to equip knowledge and soft skills for businesses; strengthen the resilience of SIBs in Vietnam and contribute to reducing the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, especially women and girls.

UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Caitlin Wiesen commended Viet Nam for its rapid and equitable roll-out of the vaccination programme, bringing the country back to normal life. However, she is concerned about the adverse effects of COVID-19 on the businesses.

Baseline assessment showed that nearly 47% of interviewed SIBs had their revenue reduced due to COVID-19. Businesses with the highest percentage of revenue reduction belonged to the groups employing people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and cooperatives.

UNDP study in August 2021 showed that household businesses and micro, small and medium enterprises found their revenue declined sharply, forcing them to cut back operation and lay off workers. Enterprises in tourism, restaurants, hotels, and passenger transportation were those that hardest hit. This impact is exacerbated among female-headed households.

The programme is anticipated to provide the necessary technical and financial support for the SIBs to realise their innovative ideas to solve their own challenges, thus benefiting vulnerable groups. Ms. Wiesen thanked MPI for its collaboration in implementing the project and looked forward to strengthening partnership to bring benefits for all people, leave no one behind and achieve the sustainable development goals.

Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Canada to Viet Nam Brian Allemekinders believed that with the support of the COVID-19 Adaptation Programme, they will gain more will-power to make changes to lives of vulnerable groups as well as the Vietnamese society.

Photo: MPI

As the flagship support for SIBs in the “Leveraging Viet Nam’s Social Impact Business Ecosystem in Response to COVID-19” - ISEE-COVID project, the COVID-19 Adaptation Programme is expected to help SIBs to identify critical challenges due to COVID-19; design new business models or develop new products/ services to adapt to COVID-19; and build and test prototypes of products/services with the seed funds.

In 2022, the Programme will support 30 SIBs in the agriculture and tourism industries, focusing on the SIBs led by women and vulnerable groups. Each selected SIB will receive a 6-month coaching service and funding of VND 100 million to identify, build and test the prototypes or new business models.

All social enterprises, impact startups, cooperatives, and small and medium enterprises that work with or work for the vulnerable groups, in the agricultural and tourism sectors, are welcome to apply for the programme.

There is no restriction on population group, occupation, or geographical location as long as the businesses support vulnerable groups and the proposed business models, and new products/ services are innovative, sustainable, scalable, and relevant to adapt to the challenges by COVID-19./.

Bao Linh
Ministry of Planning and Investment

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