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Social impact business key to reaching sustainable development goals

Released at: 13:13, 29/09/2018

Social impact business key to reaching sustainable development goals

Photo: Ngoc Lan

UNDP and NEU release report noting the important role SIBs play in achieving SDGs.

by Ngoc Lan

Social impact business (SIB) is a key factor in helping to achieve sustainable development goals and as such needs more support to develop, according to a study released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Economics University (NEU) on September 27 in Hanoi.

SIBs can balance social and economic targets and create a sustainable business model.

Some 59 per cent of SIBs in Vietnam choose to balance social and economic targets, with 34 per cent focusing more on social targets. Seventy per cent of these companies are operating profitably.

The report noted that job provision, ensuring a healthy and happy life for all people, and environmental protection are the top three fields SIBs work to promote.

It added that SIBs in Vietnam are usually small in scale and revenue. All have recently been seen to promote gender equality by employing women and three-quarters have accepted people with disabilities.

To promote the development of SIBs, the report recommended Vietnam increase their access to capital and innovative financing methods, boost their connectivity with other private enterprises, and set up a network for the SIB sector.

Professor Tran Tho Dat, Rector at NEU, said the university has been involved in promoting an entrepreneurial spirit in social and sustainable development since 2009 and the launch of the Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CSIE) demonstrates its high commitment in this regard. “I believe that the business model for society, for sustainable development, is the 21st century business model,” he said. “This model is a win-win model, a multi-value model, where entrepreneurs create economic values for themselves, making a positive impact on society and reducing environmental impacts.”

Ms. Catherine Phuong, UNDP Assistant Country Director in Vietnam, said that grasping this business model is critically important for Vietnam. “Developing a more sustainable and inclusive approach to economic growth through innovation and technology, improving labor productivity, and solving social and environmental challenges will help accelerate the realization of sustainable development goals,” she added.

The results of the study were based on nearly 500 questionnaires and interviews with 62 individuals representing stakeholders, through one-on-one interviews in or groups, with three workshops held for stakeholder consultation.

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