Startup Festival 2021 Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation

10:41:45 AM | 1/12/2021

To promote entrepreneurship among young people and students, the Startup Festival 2021 - the biggest event of the Overall Entrepreneurship Program - was recently held in Hanoi.

The program, organized by Business Forum Magazine under the auspices of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), was attended by leaders of central and local agencies, enterprises, universities, startup promotion and support organizations and especially about 300 young people and students.

VCCI President Vu Tien Loc said, Vietnam was one of a few countries to create a miracle in 2020, especially in realizing the “dual goal” of curbing the Covid-19 pandemic and achieving the growth target. Vietnam is one of a few economies that became a consolation to all humanity about the strength of a sociopolitical system that could withstand a pandemic. Vietnam's economy rose by nearly 3% while the world economy contracted 4%.

"The startup movement was very exciting in spite of the pandemic, we still had over 100,000 new companies in the year," he affirmed.

StartupBlink's Global Startup Ranking 2020 showed that, in Southeast Asia, both Indonesia and Thailand dropped 13 and 17 places to No. 54 and No. 50, respectively while Vietnam climbed 13 places to No. 59, the highest position ever achieved by Vietnam. By locality, Hanoi is in the top 200 global startup centers as it jumped 33 steps to 196 (total 1,261 points). Ho Chi Minh City ranked 225 (total 0.995 points). Last year, it was not even listed in this ranking.

In addition, within the framework of top activities of the business community in the year Vietnam held ASEAN Chairmanship 2020, VCCI proposed and successfully created the ASEAN Startup Network, hosted the Annual ASEAN Startup Forum, and launched awards to honor outstanding digital companies in ASEAN. With these efforts, VCCI led ASEAN to create a foundation for entrepreneurship, innovation, and digital transformation.

In 2020, VCCI started a digital transformation project to support domestic SMEs and promoted the market for Vietnamese digital enterprises, he said.

Startup programs of VCCI and the Business Forum Magazine created broad connectivity of startup networks and startup ecosystems in 30 provinces and cities, with 150 universities and colleges participating in the VCCI’s startup network.

“The format of the 2020 National Startup Competition Final changed completely, to online rather than offline. The reason for this change is because we want to give them the opportunity to access the format of the Entrepreneurship World Cup and this is also a practice step to prepare startups to join the international playground," Dr. Loc added.

With the National Startup Program 2020, the Organizing Committee has gathered 5,500 startup projects from students. Many have come to life and contributed to economic development and the business community.

The year 2020 also marked the birth of the National Startup Advisory Council - consisting of 16 main members to bring together leading startup experts and advisers in Vietnam. The council helped achieve the goals of the National Startup Program and of the government, to implement high-demand startup training such as startup mentoring and TOT training, angel investor training, startup ecosystem consulting for schools and localities. The council also aimed to build a network of startup advisors in ASEAN.

In 2020, VCCI reaffirmed its leadership in creating innovation startup support by offering business integrity for startups and lectures to spread the good conduct in the startup community and investors, overcome barriers and risks from corruption to create a transparent business environment in Vietnam.

This activity also marked the cooperation and support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through the grant of the British Prosperity Fund to carry out a project called “Promoting an Equitable Business Environment for New Enterprises in Vietnam”.

In addition to cooperating with UNDP and becoming a GEN member (Global Startup Network), the Organizing Committee of the National Startup Program signed a partnership with the International Francophone Institute (IFI) and HACK4 to expand relations and link mentor networks in the startup ecosystem of the Francophone community and the overseas Vietnamese community.

In 2021, the program will further consolidate and perfect its own startup ecosystem to create effective startup projects. The Organizing Committee will deploy many innovative startup contents together with international organizations and localities. This will be a useful playground to engage the startup community of young people and students, open up many opportunities for young people, and build a team of innovative entrepreneurs in the future.

By Anh Mai, Vietnam Business Forum