The social business model is one of the measures and initiatives that can help Vietnam deal with challenges in economic recovery and restructuring and maintaining sustainable development, a Vietnamese official has said.

Speaking at a conference to release the report of research on “Social businesses in Vietnam – Definition, Context and Policy” in Hanoi on May 15, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong appraised efforts of relevant parties which have engaged in the research for the first time.

The conference was organised by the British Council (BC), the Centre for Economic Management and the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP).

BC Director in Vietnam Robin Rickard shared experience in connecting social businesses in the UK , which pioneered the model.

The UK is home to 55,000 social businesses which earn nearly 27 billion pounds and contribute 8.4 billion pounds to the country’s GDP annually. A total of 475,000 workers and 300,000 volunteers or 5 percent of workers in the business sector are employed in social enterprises.

According to the report, social business is a new concept in Vietnam , although the country has about 200 organisations which are considered to be operating in the form of social businesses.

Since its inception, social business has placed social goals and missions as the top priority, used business activities based on market principles to reach goals and allocated most of their profits for social benefits.

Regarding the development of social businesses in Vietnam , the report says Vietnamese social enterprises are able to put forward creative social solutions.

It cites To he (children’s toy) company which was established in 2009 and Centres for Energy in Life, based in Hanoi and the central city of Nghe An, as bright examples of this social model.

The report also analysed and proposed measures to build mechanisms and policies to develop social businesses in Vietnam .

Vietnam should pay attention to the social effectiveness and impact of social businesses, the report said.-VNA