Today, 22 March 2019: The first ever study report on social development in Vietnam supported by the British Council has officially been launched. The conference was attended by Professor Nguyen Dinh Cung - Director of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM), Ms Donna McGowan - Country Director of the British Council in Vietnam, Mr Tristan Ace - Social Enterprise, Global Partnerships and Development Lead, British Council. Joining them were leading experts and pioneering social entrepreneurship organisations such as the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP), Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the National Economic University (CSIE), Enterprise for Development Project of Oxfam in Vietnam.
The social enterprise sector has made important contributions to socio-economic development in many countries and in Vietnam, nearly five years after implementation of the Enterprise Law, social enterprises have a legal foundation for their establishment and operation. However, there was a need for thorough research on how the social enterprise sector was taking shape in Vietnam. As such, the Report on the Social Enterprise Landscape Study in Vietnam will help evaluate the status and potential of social enterprises after 10 years’ promotion and development in Vietnam. Along with insightful information and statistics on social enterprises and ecosystem, this report also provides assessments on social enterprise-supporting policies.
The British Council has been active since 2009 in advocacy of social enterprise development in South East Asia countries. In Vietnam, it has focused on four priority areas: research, policy dialogue, capacity building and public awareness raising. The study is part of the British Council’s survey series conducted in 15 countries worldwide in the last two years. In Vietnam, the British Council cooperated with the Social Enterprise UK and CIEM during July 2018 to March 2019.
Speaking at the conference, Ms Donna McGowan, Country Director of the British Council in Vietnam, said: 'We are delighted to launch the Report on the Social Enterprise Landscape Study in Vietnam today. Over the past decade, the British Council in Vietnam has actively supported and collaborated with all relevant authorities to connect, engage and share the skills and knowledge of UK Social Enterprises with Vietnamese organisations, together helping to create an eco-system to support and contribute to the development of social enterprises in Vietnam. We believe that, because of its scope and scale, the Report on the Social Enterprise Landscape Study in Vietnam will be used as an important and useful reference material for policy makers, academia, business community and other stakeholders not only in this country but also in the wider East Asia, the UK and beyond.'
One of notable features of this research is the definition of a 'social enterprise' with a broader approach through concepts of social entrepreneurship, social innovation and impact start-ups. The report also highlights the concept of social entrepreneurship and innovation initially introduced into training programmes at universities through training courses on social entrepreneurship for university lecturers and start-up students through social innovation contests for Vietnamese youth.
Social entrepreneurship is an effective model to address social problems and bring prosperity to communities, contributing to Vietnam's efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The report will be a guidebook for social enterprises and those interested in social enterprises and their development within communities - domestically and internationally. With legal recognition, the social enterprise sector is expected to flourish further in Vietnam and contribute to the nation’s socio-economic development.
The Report on the Social Enterprise Landscape Study in Vietnam can be viewed here.