Asia-Europe Social Enterprise Day in Vietnam was held yesterday in Hanoi, showcasing 30 social enterprises from Vietnam, Asia, and Europe to empower social entrepreneurs across East Asia and Europe through capacity building and networking activities.
It is co-hosted by the British Council, Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion, and the Spark Centre for Social Entrepreneurship Development, and funded by the British and Japanese governments.
The event was part of a 3-day workshop by the British Council, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry called Skills for Social Entrepreneurs on June 18-20 aimed at providing skills and support systems for a new community of social entrepreneurs.
The first workshop took place in Yangon, Myanmar on May 21-23, which featured social entrepreneurs from Denmark, Indonesia, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“Social entrepreneurs are benefiting the society through a for-profit business model. Inter-regional and multi-sectoral networks help in strengthening the capacities of such social entrepreneurs,” said Paul Koh, ASEF Director for Public Affairs.
Social Return on Investment Network CEO Jeremy Nicholls was invited to deliver training on tools for evaluating social enterprises over their organizational life cycle, in particular the method for measuring social impact.
“Social enterprises are different to other forms of enterprise because their starting point is the desire to create social value; however, one of the main barriers to investment is a shared language for what we mean by this,” said Nicholls.
The event featured diverse efforts and initiatives to tackle social and environmental issues, including eco-tourism models, production and distribution of solar-powered equipment, and vocational training for people with disabilities. As development aid for the country is decreasing, experts urge more support for social enterprises in Vietnam.
“Social enterprises are mostly small and medium sized, so they need cooperation with big companies including state groups or multinational groups. Social enterprises should be included the value chains and assisted to develop and contribute more for Vietnam in the future,” said Nguyen Quang Vinh, Secretary General of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Photo from Asia-Europe Foundation.
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