Impressive figures about social enterprises in Vietnam

13:46 | 26/03/2019
In order to map the Vietnamese social enterprise landscape and to identify key opportunities and issues that need to be addressed to create a healthy and sustainable ecosystem for social enterprises to thrive, the British Council (BC) accompanied by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (United Nations ESCAP) and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) produced a report showing impressive figures about this sector.
impressive figures about social enterprises in vietnam
Social enterprises in Vietnam are increasing in numbers and creating jobs for people in difficult circumstances

As mentioned in the report, social enterprises (SE) are businesses with a social mission, set up to address these challenges. In the past decade, interest in social enterprises and social entrepreneurship has grown significantly in Vietnam, not only among budding entrepreneurs, but also among non-governmental organisations, policymakers, funders, and academics.

The Vietnamese economy has radically transformed over the past few decades. However, the country continues to grapple with social challenges such as poverty, unequal access to public health and education, and the need for environmental sustainability.

In 2014, SE was officially recognised as a distinct type of organisation in Vietnam’s Enterprise Law. This was an important milestone enabling the ecosystem to further develop with the support of a range of stakeholders.

Subsequently, new social enterprises have emerged and other organisations which were already pursuing a social enterprise model have embraced the concept and terminology. More intermediaries and networks have been founded, several universities have started social enterprise incubation programmes, and further new SEs have been established.

This research is based on quantitative information obtained from a total of 142 survey respondents across Vietnam. This data is further supported by in-depth interviews and roundtable sessions with social entrepreneurs, government agencies, funders, support organisations, and other key stakeholders.

According to a survey done by the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada in Vietnam in 2007, 36 per cent of Vietnamese micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises are founded and led by people below 35 years of age.

impressive figures about social enterprises in vietnam
impressive figures about social enterprises in vietnam
The legal status of SEs in Vietnam
impressive figures about social enterprises in vietnam
The SE sector in Vietnam

Reviewing legislation and policies relevant to SEs

SEs are often understood as a ‘hybrid’ model between non-governmental, non-profit organisations, and private sector businesses. Social enterprises can take different legal forms in Vietnam, including NGO, limited company, joint stock company, co-operative, fund or association.

The Vietnamese government has begun prioritising and promoting business for sustainable development, including the Socioeconomic Development Plan of Vietnam and the UN SDGs. In 2012, Vietnam announced its Sustainable Development Strategy while in 2017, the government issued the National Action Plan to implement the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

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★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional

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