Economic Sector

Last updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019


Initiative to Support Vietnamese Youth in Start-ups

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Vietnam ranks third in the number of start-ups in Southeast Asia region, but its start-up ecosystem with active impact on society lags behind that of other regional countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. How can we bring into full play the potential, creativeness and commitment of the young generation of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in finding solutions to the biggest challenges faced by the country?

This is the issue that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Citi Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) are working together to solve through initiative of “Youth Co: Lab Vietnam 2018”. The initiative of Youth Co: Lab aims to find a new social start-up generation in Vietnam, following the success of the 2017 SDG Challenge (SDG 2017) where four start-up winners have received a non-profit stock investment capital of over US$85,000 and a one-year rearing programme.

Youth Co: Lab programme was launched with two workshops in Hanoi (UP Co-Working Space) and in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon Innovation Hub). The workshop gathered big names in innovative and creative start-up ecosystem with positive social impact aimed to promote the ecosystem development and enable start-up businesses to grasp opportunities for positive impacts on the community, contributing to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The programme also includes a series of training and advising activities for Vietnamese youth. More than 130 young people from all over the country will be trained on design thinking, skills of the 21st century, creative innovation with positive impact on society and start-up spirit in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In particular, the spirit of Youth Co: Lab is 'Do not leave anyone behind'. More than 30 per cent of participants come from remote areas, disable people communities, LGBTI, ethnic minorities and HIV infected young people.

According to Ms Caitlin Wiesen, Country Director of UNDP Vietnam, Vietnam needs a vibrant, dynamic start-up ecosystem and skills improvement helping exploit the abundant creative energy source of young people in solving the biggest challenge on the path of sustainable development. She also said that UNDP would receive innovative start-up ideas for sustainable development and that selected teams would be involved in the programme for start-up acceleration and have opportunities to present their business ideas before domestic and international investors.

Mr Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology mentioned that businesses impact the society by producing profit as well as positive effects spreading through the community. With their adaptive capacity and rapid multiplication over the world, these innovative businesses are the best models that can settle social challenges, creating positive effects and accelerating the implementation of sustainable development goals.

It is known that the Citi Foundation in Vietnam has undertaken investing US$100 million to equip skills for 500,000 young people enabling them to start their businesses and work in 2020.

Quynh Anh

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