Singapore International Foundation’s Young Social Entrepreneurs Programme Debuts in Vietnam

12:03:39 PM | 11/30/2021

The Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) signature Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Regional programme made its debut in Vietnam with a three-day virtual workshop from 26 to 28 November 2021.

YSE Regional | Hanoi was organised in partnership with the Vietnam National University – International School (VNU-IS). The workshop was the first collaboration between the SIF and VNU-IS.

The workshop was designed to empower youths in Vietnam who aspire to take their social enterprises to the next level. Themed “Unlock your Digital Solutions for Social Good”, it focused on innovative ideas that bridge the digital divide and leverage technology to solve social problems and uplift lives.

Twenty-two budding social entrepreneurs, representing 10 social enterprises from six Vietnamese cities, attended the workshop. The workshop facilitated cross-cultural exchanges and allowed attendees to gain insights into the social enterprise landscape in Vietnam and neighbouring regions.

Participants took part in webinars, peer learning and sharing sessions, business clinics, and a panel discussion. They gained insights and advice from the mentors and speakers, who were business consultants and entrepreneurs from more than 12 organisations in Vietnam and Singapore. These included PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore, Singapore Business Association Vietnam, and Keppel Land Vietnam

Additionally, 10 members of the YSE alumni network from India, Malaysia, and Singapore conducted virtual sessions on design thinking strategies for social enterprises. The learning for these alumni continues as well. Prior to the workshop, the SIF provided the YSE alumni with upskilling opportunities to improve their own training capability and become better able to guide their peers. These alumni – now seasoned social entrepreneurs – shared practical concepts and experience with the new cohort of YSE Regional participants.

The new changemakers were excited to learn from the alumni members. Ms Phạm Khánh Linh, Founder of Safe Life, said: “YSE Regional has been an amazing learning experience. We appreciate the opportunity to have met like-minded friends and other social entrepreneurs. It was especially valuable to hear past programme participants share their experience, and how they overcame the challenges they faced. The sharing sessions by the trainers, mentors, and social entrepreneurs will help me make better decisions for my projects.”

Mr Trần Lê Hoàng Thắng, Founder of BluBush, added: “We have gained valuable skills from the YSE Regional programme and now see many possibilities to grow our business and multiply its social impact. I have learned how to tackle our challenges from so many perspectives, be it from our mentors’ guidance or from the sessions led by past programme participants. These lessons are priceless and will continue to stay with us as we continue to develop on our social business idea.”

Previous editions of YSE Regional had been held in Bangalore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, and Shanghai.

Mr Jaryll Chan, SIF Division Director, Programmes, said: “This year, the SIF celebrates 30 years of bringing world communities together to uplift lives and effect positive change. We believe that when people from different parts of the world connect, they gain greater understanding that bridge cultural divides, inspire action, and enable collaborations for good. We are thus proud to bring our signature YSE programme to Vietnam and connect youths to share their passion to solve social issues through innovative business ideas. We look forward to supporting them on their journeys to build a better world.”

Mr Vu Minh Quan, Deputy Secretary of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of VNU-IS, said: “We are delighted to partner the SIF to empower youths in Vietnam through the YSE Regional programme. We see the programme as a great platform to widen their networks and gain new perspectives as they develop their social enterprises. We appreciate the warm support from our friends in Singapore and hope to engage in more meaningful collaborations with the SIF in future.”

Participants from YSE Regional | Hanoi will have the opportunity to further their YSE journey by applying for direct admission into the 2022 edition of the main international programme, YSE Global.

The YSE Global and Regional programmes have nurtured more than 1,300 changemakers of 42 nationalities and an international network of 618 social enterprises since 2010. Find out more about its impact on its alumni and their social enterprises from 2010 to 2019 in the SIF’s “Building a Better World through Good Business” impact study.

TKD (Vietnam Business Forum)