Ha Noi, 24 July 2019 - Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Center for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) hosted the  press conference to announce “Blue Swallow 2019 – Drive social business initiatives for sustainable development.” The event attracted the participation of representatives of the government agencies, national and international non-governmental organizations, businesses - especially social enterprises, and press agencies.

With the vision of the sustainable development in three pillars in Viet Nam: Prosperous Economy, Fair and Humane Society based on Sustainable Environment, the “Blue Swallow 2019” drive large-scale change by focusing on seeking and supporting business initiatives that address challenges in the areas of: Sustainable Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, Sustainable Tourism, Women empowerment , and Inclusive Business.

Launched today, 24th July 2019, “Blue Swallow 2019” will be accompanied with sharing and searching activities that help select outstanding initiatives from from all over the country. The honoring event will be held in the end of October 2019 with the seminar and Gala night celebrating typical initiatives and individuals of 2019.

 Participating in Blue Swallow, businesses, organizations and individuals will have the opportunity to receive in-cash prizes up to 100 million VND, and be connected with financial resources from domestic and foreign investors up to USD 300,000 / initiative.

Blue Swallows is a Viet Nam’s leading program to build, accelerate and recognize business initiatives for social changes. It aims at  promoting entrepreneurial spirit and accelerating innovative and scalable business solutions which are making positive contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Organized for the first time in 2017, the program attracted the attention of hundreds of local and international organizations, embassies, businesses and social enterprises. 88 breakthrough business initiatives for social changes were acknowledged. 15 social business solutions and 10 eco-building initiatives that help tackle societal and environmental challenges were honored, bring hope and positive changes to the community.

 

Dr. Vu Tien Loc, VCCI President and Head the Organizing Committee said: “VCCI welcomes the contribution of Blue Swallows – a long-term program that brings together and promotes business initiatives for the humane and sustainably developed Vietnamese community. We believe that with the initial successes achieved in 2017, this year's program will continue to build and spread the spirit of social entrepreneurs in the community, thereby contributing to creating sustainable values for a better Viet Nam. Entering the industrial revolution 4.0, Viet Nam's economy is developing strongly, contributing to the new development stage of the country. In the context of international economic integration, many start-up enterprises were born, attracting capital and technological investment from all over the world. Vietnam is taking unprecedented great development opportunities"".

Rapid changes in all areas always result in both new opportunities and challenges. Viet Nam is addressing a wide range of social and environmental issues that directly affect the health, quality of life and social security of millions of people, requiring more innovative and sustainable solutions.

"Amidst the trend of integration, sustainable development has not only been an option but will become the only way for all organizations and businesses," Mr. Nghiem Vu Khai, Vice President of the Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations affirmed. "This year, Blue Swallows with the emphasis on tech-based business solutions will contribute to realizing Vietnam’s vision and determination to pursue the long-term development and sustainable growth."

“There is a growing ‘business case’ for driving social change in enterprises.  We see an-ever increasing global trend of ethical consumerism, in particular younger people and millennials, who care greatly about how products are produced and how services are delivered.  Some consumer surveys estimate Vietnamese are among the most socially-conscious in South East Asia, a trend that is matched by growth in ‘Ethical Investment’, where investors pay much more attention to Environmental, Social and Governance issues when investing in businesses,” said UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen. “At the same time, entrepreneurs and business leaders possess skills critical for finding solutions to the pressing challenges we face.  It’s only when we tap into the innovation, ambition and vision of business leaders in Viet Nam will we be able to unlock the full potential of the private sector in achieving the SDGs”.

Besides the sustainable development goals, this year, the program will specifically target the youth who have enormous potential to come up with many initiatives and show strong passion to make lasting impact on the community through their start-ups. They also have the quality of true entrepreneurs, who both understand business ethics and have a sense of social responsibility for the development of Viet Nam.

Being one of the businesses being honored in the Blue Swallows 2017, Ms. Nguyen Thi Van, Co-founder, Chairman of the Imagtor company shared: "The program has enhanced my confidence in continuing the journey to drive changes for the community, in which there is never a shortage of difficulties and challenges, but full of dedicated companions. Together with other social enterprises all over the country, we will continue to strongly move forward and carry out our mission in creating good values for the community through creative and sustainable business practices.”

“Since its inception, “Blue Swallows” has demonstrated CSIP's commitment in building an ecosystem to incubate and accelerate social initiatives,” said Ms. Ha Thi Thu Thanh, Chairman of Deloitte Vietnam, Chairwoman of CSIP's Board of Directors. “We believe that “Blue Swallows” this year will enhance cooperation, create a foundation to build a new generation of social entrepreneurs who come up with sustainable business models to solve social and environmental problems, contributing to create a more compassionate, peaceful and prosperous Viet Nam. With “Blue Swallows”, every initiative which is either big or small, will be spread widely, creating humane values for the community.”

On the press conference, representing the organizing commitee, Ms. Thanh also called on the community, individuals and organizations to accompany with “Blue Swallows” this year in seeking, honoring and replicating business initiatives as well as spreading the message of the program to the public.

“Every business initiative for social changes will become a little swallow that brings hope and positive changes to the community. Together, we can create new breakthroughs for Vietnam’s sustainable development,” she affirmed.

 In order to implement a large-scale program like Blue Swallows, the Organizing Committee has received valuable support from organizations, agencies and enterprises such as the United Nations Development Program in Vietnam (UNDP) - Gold sponsor, Community Livelihoods Fund (CLF), Coca-Cola Vietnam Beverage Co., Ltd. - Silver sponsors, World Bank (World Bank), Chatbot Vietnam Joint Stock Company - Bronze sponsors, Vietnam Business Forum and Viet Nam Economic Times - media sponsor; partners: Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), Market Development and Science and Technology Enterprise Department- Ministry of Science and Technology, Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science, Ho Chi Minh city Association for Women Executive & Entrepreneurs, Vietnam Business Coalition for Women Empowerment, Foreign Trade University, Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship under National Economics University.

For more details, please contact:

Ms. Nguyen Thao Hien

Communication Officer

Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP)

Phone number: 036 355 0464

Email: thaohien@csip.vn

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Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is a national organization which assembles and represents business community, employers and business associations of all economic sectors in Vietnam. To promote trade and business relations with enterprises abroad is one of its main functions. VCCI is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization having the status of a legal entity and operating with financial autonomy. VCCI plays the role as the sponsor for the Blue Swallows. At the same time, the Institute for Enterprise Development under VCCI is co-organized with the Center for Supporting Community Service Initiative ( CSIP).

The Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) is a socio-political organization of the Vietnamese science and technology intellectuals. VUSTA is organized and operates under the principle of voluntarism and democracy. VUSTA is the biggest network of non-governmental science and technology organizations in Vietnam. VUSTA is national members of many international and regional science, technology and engineering organizations. Its main mission includes: Gathering and uniting Vietnamese intellectuals in science and technology inside and outside the country, coordinating and guiding the operations of member associations; Acting as a bridge between member associations with the bodies of the Party, State and Vietnam Fatherland Front and other organizations to tackle common issues for the VUSTA intellectuals; Representing and protecting the legal rights and interests of its members, member associations, and Vietnamese intellectuals in science and technology.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has been in Vietnam since 1978, when very few donors were present in Vietnam. Since then, UNDP has been standing shoulder to shoulder with Vietnam during its development from a poor country devastated by war to a middle-income country, at the forefront of poverty reduction and growth. UNDP works closely with the Government and other partners to expand the choices for people and ensure that everyone has equal access opportunities to realize their full potential.

Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP)

Established in 2008, Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) is the leading nonprofit organization that builds an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship development in Vietnam. With the mission to Inspire, Connect and Empower People to tackle social and environmental issues through sustainable and innovative business initiatives, CSIP finds and incubates sustainable social businesses including social enterprises, impact start-ups, inclusive businesses and creating-shared-values enterprises. We also works with other stakeholders to raise awareness of social entrepreneurship, build social businesses network and advocating for an enabling environment for social businesses to grow.

In the past decade, together with various partners, CSIP has incubated 200 social enterprises that created more than 100.000 jobs for disadvantaged population and improved quality of life for more than 600.000 people living in vulnerable circumstances such as small-scale famers, ethnic minorities, women, youths, people living with HIV, LGBT and people with disability in fields of agriculture, education, environment, health care, and technology.

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