Citi Foundation supports innovation, startups in Vietnam

15:12 | 22/06/2018 Economy

Viet Nam has seen huge growth in startups in recent years, with 3,000 registered startups in 2017. Despite this growth, the social impact startup ecosystem lags behind other leaders in the region in terms of a coordinated national approach, such as in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.  

citi foundation supports innovation startups in vietnam
Citi Foundation supports innovation, startups in Vietnam

If only we could tap into the ambition, creativity and commitment of this new generation of young Vietnamese entrepreneurs to help find solutions to the biggest challenges the country faces?

This is the challenge the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Citi Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) have taken up as co-leads to deliver Youth Co:Lab Viet Nam 2018.

Following the launch in Ha Noi on the 15 of June, the Youth Co:Lab Diagnostic workshop moved to Ho Chi Minh City, at Saigon Innovation Hub on today 22nd June, to bring all major players in the impact startup ecosystem together and plot a course to foster the growth of the sector and connect startups to the business of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ms Akiko Fujii UNDP Viet Nam Deputy Country Director said in her opening remarks:”UNDP will open up applications for SDG Innovations Incubator and selected teams will receive an intensive business incubation and impact acceleration programme as well as the opportunities to pitch their ideas to national and international investors.”

“It is essential that we use events like today to bring all the players together in the ecosystem, and this is an important role for the Department of Science and Technology in Ho Chi Minh City”. Mr Nguyen Khac Thanh shared in his opening speech.

Citi Vietnam’s Head of Public Affairs Mr. Bui Quang Huy shared Citi Foundation’s commitment to youth, “Entrepreneurship aspirations don’t just come to life on their own. Young people said they need a few things, including the right skills for the right jobs, the right policies in place, and they would like mentoring and guidance along the way. Which is why the Citi Foundation has committed to invest $100MM to support 500,000 youths to become career-ready and employable by 2020.”

Citi is mobilizing 10,000 of our employees as volunteer mentors and coaches to provide professional advice to help the youth move towards their career goals. Citi calls this Pathways to Progress initiative and Youth Co:Lab is part of this global initiative to foster an ecosystem that will enable social and economic pathways for young people to succeed in the cities.

The Diagnostic events in both Hà Nội and HCM City will bring together experts from the private sector, Government, NGOs, investment firms, social entrepreneurs, startup incubators, and guests from Thailand and Malaysia to develop a set of recommendations for all sectors to help build a social impact startups in Việt Nam tổ address some of the biggest challenges the country faces.

The programme also includes a series of exciting activities to train and mentor Vietnamese youth. Up to 130 young people from across Viet Nam will be trained in design thinking, 21st century skills, social innovation, and SDG entrepreneurship, in Ha Noi and HCM City later this month. The Youth Co:Lab programme strongly focuses on ‘leaving no one behind’. One third of participants are youth from rural and mountainous areas and the communities of persons with disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing people, LGBTI people, ethnic minority and persons living with HIV.

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