Skills for Social Entrepreneurs

About this programme

Skills for Social Entrepreneurs is a British Council global project enabling positive social change through innovative and effective business models which tackle social issues and contribute to sustainable development.

The programme provides international learning and networking opportunities and aims to create partnerships across public and private sectors and civil society organisations.

Alongside Vietnam, the programme is being run in China, Croatia, Georgia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and the Ukraine.

The British Council in Vietnam has been running the “Skills for Social Entrepreneurs” programme since July 2009. In Vietnam this has been carried out, with social enterprise intermediaries, in partnership with the Central Institute for Economic Management, Ministry of Investment and Planning, Committee for Social Affairs and the National Assembly of Vietnam. 

What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives where surpluses are reinvested either in the business or in the community. This is in contrast to the aims of most businesses which are driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. 

Our aims

Through this programme, we engage social entrepreneurs in Vietnam, Britain and across the world, in looking for new ways of doing business with a social purpose in mind.

  • We are working with social entrepreneurs, communities, schools and universities, think tanks, government agencies and NGOs.
  • We are providing opportunities to network and develop partnership ideas through international events and study tours to and from the UK.
  • We are developing training programmes to support social entrepreneurs and social enterprise intermediaries in increasing the impact of their work.
  • We are exploring funding schemes with partners to create more investment opportunities in social entrepreneurship.
  • We are supporting the adoption of social enterprise in Vietnam as a viable method for encouraging positive social change. This includes social inclusion and encouraging civil society to develop communities through capacity building. 

What benefits are there when you join the social entrepreneurs programme?

  • opportunities to collaborate: bringing together different partners in social enterprise to maximise the impact of respective programmes through joint effort and shared resources  
  • opportunities to partner and share knowledge: for policy makers, such as senior practitioners, educationalists and employers, to support skills development, promote innovation and create more opportunities for people of the UK and other countries
  • opportunities for young people: new opportunities, higher aspirations and a greater global perspective, supported by new knowledge, skills and aptitudes. 

Skills for Social Entrepreneurs in Vietnam

In Vietnam the British Council has had much success in implementing the “Skills for Social Entrepreneurs” programme:

  • raising awareness of the benefits social enterprise can offer to individuals, communities, business and government
  • developing and implementing a national media campaign to raise awareness and understanding among policy makers, key stakeholders and wider public of the potential and important role of social enterprises in solving social issues and sustaining national economic development
  • developing and implementing learning and mentoring programmes based on UK and international experiences in social enterprise development 
  • developing a network of UK and in-country partners mobilising expertise to develop training programmes, mentoring and awards schemes
  • linking and partnering social enterprises, communities and government institutions including the UK and its counterparts in East Asia, China and South East Europe, to develop and share new approaches in addressing social, economic and environmental problems
  • developing and strengthening partnership with government agencies including Centre Institute of Economic Management, Ministry of Planning and Investment, National Assembly, Office of the Government, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and international donors to contribute to the establishment of a positive environment for social enterprise development in Vietnam
  • supporting and strengthening capacity of intermediary organisations to enhance provision of services and support to social entrepreneurs and social enterprises in Vietnam 
  • developing and implementing a programme to embed social enterprise content into university teaching programmes drawing on UK experience and potential links 
  • expanding relationships with wider NGOs, private and education sectors to identify new partnerships within this sector
  • exploring and establishing partnerships and full cost recovery opportunities for the project to sustain achievements.

Being entrepreneurial is more than just doing a deal. It's also about creating an ideal. It’s about empowering your community and solving social problems. Being part of Skills for Social Entrepreneurs means your social enterprise can be part of a growing international network.

Who we work with

We work with a wide range of organisations both in the public and private sector including UK and Vietnamese social enterprises, donors, commercial partners (with entrepreneurship as a key part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes), host country governments, NGOs, universities and existing in-country social enterprises. 

More information

As a valued partner, our expertise, experience and worldwide networks assist in achieving development goals. Contact our Skills for Social Entrepreneurs team to find out more about how we can partner together to make a positive difference.