The social entrepreneurship scene in Vietnam

In May, the Vietnam Central Institute of Economic Management, in cooperation with the British Council and the Centre for Social Initiative Promotion released survey results on “Social businesses in Vietnam – Definition, Context and Policy”. The report stresses the role of social enterprises in the country’s socio-economic development and calls on the government to implement more effective policies to further promote the development of social enterprises.

Vietnam is still facing various difficulties in restructuring the economy while at the same time maintaining a sustainable economic growth rate. In particular, a growing middle-income class results in decreased development aid for the country. Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dang Huy Dong, claims that the government is well aware of the need to promote social enterprises alongside public and private sectors.

The survey results indicate that the social enterprise is still a fairly new concept in Vietnam, with currently about 200 organisations operating under this model. While this is a promising start, the number of social enterprises can still be considered very low compared to a population of 24 million, many of whom living in poverty.

The Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) states that there are approximately 165,000 entities in Vietnam that are currently operating as non-profits but could be transformed into social enterprises. The organisation’s director further points out that a lesson could be learned from Thailand’s four-year strategy in 2010 to promote social enterprises. Learnings from these activities could help Vietnam to come up with successful social enterprise development policies and develop training programs.

For further survey results, visit

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