In 2015 – 2016, the British Council collaborates with 36 leading partners on social enterprise (SE) in the United Kingdom to pilot “The Business and Investment Readiness” programme (BiR) in seven countries namely Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Ghana and Vietnam.

The Business and Investment Readiness programme (BiR) aims to strengthen social enterprises around the world by providing them with the support they need to enhance and scale the impact of their work.

Ready for business

BiR provides business readiness support to social enterprises at start-up or early stages in their development or organisations making a transition from a donor dependent model, to allow them to strengthen their organisational capacity and put in place plans for future growth and increase impact.

Ready for investment 

BiR provides investment readiness support to social enterprises which are in need of finance in order to grow and enhance impact. Finance could be in the form of grants or social investment or a mix of the two. BiR will also support social enterprises to identify potential social investors 

BiR supports social enterprises that might require a mix of business and investment readiness support.

Participation in BiR by no means guarantees that a social enterprise will access investment, the programme does not provide finance to social enterprises.

Ready to measure impact

BiR provides support for organisations to more effectively account for, measure and communicate the impact they are making. It does this by drawing on the diversity of approaches that exist both across the UK and globally ensuring sensitivity and relevance to local contexts.


In Vietnam, the BiR is implemented in two cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. 

BIR partners

Two Vietnamese partners will collaborate with two UK partners in the BiR programme:

In the Northern part: 

  • Vietnam Social Enterprise Scholars Network (VSES) represented by Associate Professor – Doctor Truong Thi Nam Thang 
  • Red Ochre, the United Kingdom, represented by Mr Uday Thakkar, Founder cum Executing Director

In the Southern part:

  • YUP Institute, represented by Mr Ta Minh Tuan, Founder cum Chairman 
  •, represented by Mr Bui Viet Ha, Founder and CEO
  • Hackney Co-operative Developments, the United Kingdom, represented by Mr Brian Millington, Social Enterprise Development Manager

BIR process

Phase 1: August 2015 – October 2015 

  • To meet and build relationships with the partner
  • To survey the training needs/necessary supports for social enterprises or organisations transforming into social enterprises (through scoping visit and online survey)
  • To develop and agree a project plan

Phase 2: November 2015 – June 2016

  • To organise training to trainers/experts in SE sector in Vietnam by the UK partners
  • To organise training and consultancy to Vietnamese SEs by Vietnamese trainers/experts
  • To evaluate impact and effectiveness after six months of the training

BIR participants

Phase 1: participants for scoping visit and online survey

  • Vietnamese social enterprises
  • Small and medium sized companies with social mission or plan to transfer to social enterprises
  • Civil society organisations with plan to transfer to social enterprise model, including NGOs, cooperatives, unions, centres…

Phase 2: taking part in relevant training courses

  • Trainers/experts/lecturers from the SE intermediaries who provide support and consultancy to social enterprises, CSOs and SMEs
  • Social enterprises, SMEs and CSOs with plan to transfer to social enterprises  

External links