A first-ever business incubator designed exclusively for ethnic minority youth in northern mountainous Vietnam has been launched to help them improve their livelihoods.
International nonprofit Aide et Action (AEA) in collaboration with the Vietnam Youth Union of Lao Cai province last week launched a kick-off ceremony for the project “Business Incubator for Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam,” sponsored by HSBC Vietnam.
Participants at the launch of the project
One of the project activities is the General Business Management Skills Training Program, which was run during the first week of November for young entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities of northern mountains.
While Lao Cai and Hoa Binh have become well-known tourist destinations, attracting millions of domestic and international tourists and creating many job opportunities for local people, the contribution of local people to local business development is still limited.
Aide et Action has launched the project with the aim of supporting ethnic minority youth in operating and developing successful businesses, contributing to local economic development and spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship in the community.
The Business Incubator is designed for young entrepreneurs in the northern mountainous provinces in particular, although the goal is to open it up to the whole country with the aim of providing diverse training courses from basic to intensive for ethnic minority youth. Through such training, ethnic minority youth will be better able to access the knowledge and skills needed in executive management, as well as able to receive legal advice to establish and develop a business.
Ethnic minority participants at the launch of the project
In addition, the project also creates opportunities for members of the Business Incubator to attend business forums, fairs and exhibitions to introduce their products and services and to connect and expand business networks.
Speaking at the launch, Nguyen Thi Tu, country director of AEA Vietnam, stated “With more than 20 years of experience in developing education for ethnic minorities in Vietnam, Aide et Action came to realize that economic development always goes hand in hand with education development. In recent years our strategy has focused on livelihood education for ethnic minority youth communities in the northern mountain provinces and we expect the Business Incubators to be a new playground to help them develop their capabilities and potential on doing business”.
General Director of HSBC Vietnam Tim Evans said: “HSBC always cares about multi-ethnic and culture of the community because we believe that diversity will benefit sustainable development for society. With the Business Incubator project, we hope to join hands with Aide et Action to facilitate learning and creating business and startup opportunities for young people living in upland areas who are striving for a better life.”
For Aide et Action, such cross-sector collaboration is critical in ensuring participants receive relevant advice, applicable to the local context of where the participants will launch their businesses. “We are always respectful the partnership in development projects and highly appreciate the support of the partners from central to local level and the participation of businesses in particular”, said Ms. Nguyen Thi Tu.
Aide et Action’s Business Incubator is sponsored by HSBC Vietnam with activities designed and advised by the advisor board including: Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Committee for Ethnic Minorities (CEMA), International Labor Organization (ILO), European Institute for Development Cooperation (IECD), Vietnam Youth Union of Lao Cai and Hoa Binh provinces, Business Association, Entrepreneurial Club with representatives of successful local businesses.