Impression from The Hybrid Marketplace and Learning Platform “Incubation for Social Investment Readiness”

On the 13th March, Green Credit Trust Fund (GCTF) participated the Hybrid Marketplace and Learning Platform event themed “Incubation for Social Investment Readiness” which was held by Spark, Adelphi and HATCH! Program in Hanoi.

Nearly 80 participants coming from 30 social enterprises (SEs) who is doing inclusive business, startup individuals have met and discussed with participated capacity development services providers and incubators on matching their needs with services offered on the development, scaling or startup process. “This is the first time I join a marketplace. The providers are all helpful, I have gained so much useful information and opportunities. We got a cooperation offer.” – an entrepreneur shared.

At the marketplace, many enterprises have found potential service providers who can give answer to their financial, strategic or legal concerns. This was also the great chance for service providers to promote their services to a wider range of customers, especially SEs. The discussion offered space for service providers to share their thoughts and observations of the market and how to create services for SEs and to make their services more transparent. “People come and discuss with us seriously. I can find the huge demand for incubation services from startup individuals and organizations.” – Le Viet Dat, HATCH! Program Manager said.

Participating in the marketplace, service providers like OCD, NHQuang & Associates who are currently targeting big enterprises, found ideas on how their services can be of value to SEs. From the experimenting marketplace model, the participants made suggestions to develop capacity development market, emphasizing connecting role of organizations like Spark.

         Green Credit Trust Fund attended as the service providers of financial supports on SMEs technology innovation projects


                      Connection activities between service providers and users at the Marketplace

In the afternoon, the Learning Platform “Incubation for Social Investment Readiness” which originally targeted service providers and business incubators has extended to welcome SEs after acknowledging great inquiry from that side.

Representative from Oxfam Novib has talked about conditions needed to receive investment from their social investment program and highlighted works to be done by SEs to facilitate investment.

Experiences from Adelphi’s capacity development program revealed that services quality evaluation and cooperation on meeting customers’ needs are keys to develop local service providers.

Representative from Uberis Capital, Mr. Cyrille Antignac also emphasized the role of business incubators as one of the vital factors influencing social investors’ decisions on entering certain market.


Group discussion


                     Mr. Mikael P. Henzler, Adelphi Managing Director presented at the Learning Platform

The discussion session has provided for service providers an insight in the development and future paths of this sector in Vietnam, as well as highlighted special features of service users being SEs instead of ordinary enterprises, advantages and challenges when doing business with them to propose appropriate action plan.

Mrs. Vu Thi Quynh Anh, Spark Executive Director shared: “This event is a real bridge bringing SEs and capacity development service providers closer and a platform where SEs in Vietnam learn from the experiences of investing funds and incubators to improve their investment readiness capacity. With the hope of making this event contribute positively to the development and flourish of SE community in Vietnam as well as incubation service providers for SEs, Spark will continue working with other organizations and initiatives to organize more marketplace and learning platform, conduct trainings and strive to develop this sector.”


EU supports funding of sustainable catfish supply chain in Vietnam

 A new project to establishing a sustainable pangasius supply chain in Viet Nam (SUPA) has been launched by the Viet Nam Cleaner Production Centre (VNCPC) and the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

 The project is worth €2.4 million, of which the European Union finances €1.9 million under the EU SWITCH-Asia Programme. The project is implemented by VNCPC in partnership with VASEP, WWF-Vietnam and WWF- Austria, reports VASEP.

Speaking about the project, Ms Berenice Muraille, Development Counselor of the Delegation of the European Union to Viet Nam said: “The project intends to improve the competitiveness of Viet Nam’s Pangasius industry in the global market. Through this project, EU directly supports the entire Pangasius supply chain from hatcheries, feed producers and processers in Vietnam to traders and end-use customers, including those in the EU which is the largest market for Viet Nam’s pangasius export”.

The four year long project, running from 2013 to 2017, will focus on capacity building, promotion of responsible production to increase product quality, mitigation of environmental impacts and reduction on production costs by applying Resources Efficiency and Cleaner Production methodology, product innovation and market development and promotion.

The project also supports information exchange, techniques for households and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in applying the current sustainable standards as Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Global GAP, etc, towards sustainable production aimed to increase the competitiveness of the Pangasius sector in the world market.

“SUPA is one of the supporting projects for Viet Nam’s Pangasius sector, which not only approaches from supply chain viewpoint but also applies “PUSH” and “PULL” methods for activities such as sustainable production and market promotion. It also includes the application of research results into practice,” Dr Tran Van Nhan, Director of VNCPC, emphasised.

It is expected that by the completion of the project, at least 70 per cent of the targeted middle to large Pangasius producing and processing enterprises, together with 30 per cent of the feed producers and small independent production SMEs will be actively engaged in Resources Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RE-CP), and at least 50 per cent of targeted processing SMEs will be provided with sustainable products compliant with the ASC standard to EU and other markets.

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Innovative methods, capacity for sustainable future in Vietnam

On November 14th 2013 – at Press Club, SPIN project successfully organized the workshop “Product Innovation – Key to Sustainable Future” which welcomed nearly 100 participants and press agencies. The workshop brought up an overview of current situation, challenges and opportunities in product innovatiôn in Vietnam for enterprises and national policies. 


The workshop was pleased to have enterprises representatives who have involved in SPIN project in the last 4 years, along with representatives from related authorities, NGOs active in in sustainable development and national reporters.

At the workshop, Dr. Marcel Cruel – TUDelft and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Bich Hoa – Vice-director of AIT-VN – reported the methodology, capacity of Vietnam enterprises in product innovation progress. Moreover, two representatives from two most successful co-operated enterprises with SPIN presented on their own stories regarding products innovation as well as awareness raising in this field. 

Specifically, it is labeled Hoa Ban+ of Thuan Hoa social protection center specializing in providing garment handcrafts bearing deep ethnic culture in each product as well as proving the existing contemporary, innovative products. The second is the Enterprise Manufacturing Corporation Investment Services Binh Dinh Import Export (PISICO) who has been raised awareness about the efficient use of resources and recycling material waste in the production process to make new, unique and innovative interior products, which has helped reduce emissions to the environment and material waste.

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Mr. Nguyen Hong Long – regional coordinator of SPIN project – presented with the specific results of SPIN after almost 4 years of operation – Green Street – located at 45 Bat Su, Hanoi. The project believes that Green Street is the truest testament to a sustainable future in Vietnam at the present time and in the future, when Vietnam businesses are to raise  their awareness and capacity together with support of government policies, the future of sustainability will beno longer unthinkable.

The workshop ended, the audience visited Green Street and I-Nature knowledge farm to feel and experience sustainable products of corporates in  Vietnam.

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Three SPIN enterprises attend as speakers in EcoAP 15th forum on cutting waste

On November 12th 2013, at Hilton Opera Hanoi hotel, the 15th forum of Eco-innovation Action Plan was organized with the theme Cutting waste…Resource efficiency and eco-innovation for sustainable food chains. At the forum, SPIN consultants who have worked with Vietnam enterprises attended to share their challenges and opportunities in 3 sub-sectors: Food processing, Packaging and Retail.  


Dr. Marcel Cruel at the forum

There are 4 consultants from SPIN project attending the forum, including: Dr. Marcel Cruel (Delft University of Technology), Mr. Nguyen Hong Long – representing GreenChoice company, Mr. Tran Duy Long – representing VietLien Group and Mr. Doan Minh Quang – reprensenting I-Nature Knowledge Farm. The spearker held palarell roundtable discussions on 3 sub-sectors mentioned in Vietnam enterprises to find a new creative way to cut down food waste in Vietnam in particular and worldwide. At these discussions, speakers and representatives of enterprises, government and NGOs in Vietnam and other countries sat down to share their difficulties, exchange knowledge and lesson learned to improve the situation in their own countries.


Mr. Tran Duy Long – representing Viet Lien Group – share food packaking and preserving


Mr. Doan Minh Quang – representing I-Nature – present food processing

 The forum was organized to address an urgent and practical global issue – food. According to Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), food waste has occupied up to 1/3 of the amount of food produced for human demands, which causes 750 millions USD losses every year. Resources have become exhausted, world population has increased and global warming has caused negative impacts; all of these factors will exacerbate current market conditions regarding the balance of supply and demand.

Despite the fact that the amount of food produced all over the world has exceeded world population’s demand in 2013, approximately one million people are suffering from starving and two million people have malnutrition.

Food manufacturers of locals, regions and worldwide now have the opportunity to adjust their strategies and turn market challenges into opportunities by eco-innovation and creative methods to access to new market segments, improve technical capacity and profitability for businesses.

The EcoAP 15th Forum is co-organized by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and European Commision in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

News available at, November 2013

Press release of the workshop “Product Innovation – Key to Sustainable Future”

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Sustainable products have been collected and displayed in Green Street, located at 45 Bat Su, Ha Noi

Project Sustainable Products Innovation (SPIN) organize a workshop on “Product Innovation – Key for Sustainable Future” with the aim to report the project’s achievements and share its experiences in product innovation in the four-year implementation in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The workshop would provide a comprehensive overview of product innovation practice and the prospects towards sustainability in Vietnam in particular and in Southeast Asia in general.




HA NOI November 14th 2013 – Project Sustainable Products Innovation (SPIN) organize a workshop on “Product Innovation – Key for Sustainable Future” with the aim to report the project’s achievements and share its experiences in product innovation in the four-year implementation in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The workshop would provide a comprehensive overview of product innovation practice and the prospects towards sustainability in Vietnam in particular and in Southeast Asia in general. 

SPIN has worked with more than 500 small and medium entrepreneurs in 4 sectors, namely Textile, Furniture, Handicraft and Packaging; supported them to innovate products at the link: Product design (Re-design and New-design), Product strategy, Clean technology consultancy and transfer. As a result, under the tight collaboration between these companies and SPIN’s experts and designers, 2000 products have been re-designed and new-designed to be friendly to the environment, non-poisoned to human’s health, specially, potential to be massively launched to the market.

Based on the methodology of Clean technology and Efficient Natural resources Use, 85 Laos companies have innovated their products in design and 85 Cambodia companies have focus on inside-innovation. In Vietnam, the process of product innovation has not been limited in the sphere of a company but expanded to form a value chain of companies who operate in the same sectors to support each other in production. In Laos and Cambodia, the companies have been oriented to be adaptive to changing environment, in parallel; Vietnam companies have an active access based on transferred technologies which are clustered and developed by SPIN to be suitable for specific contexts of companies and the natural conditions of Vietnam.

This model and innovative business practices would help entrepreneurs enhance their competitiveness and social responsibility as well as environmental friendliness of products.

Entrepreneurs who involve in SPIN project have been raised their awareness and capacity of product innovation and production towards sustainability. Regarding this, Mr. Nguyen Hong Long, Regional Coordinator of SPIN project, shares: “Through SPIN’s workshops and training courses, most of companies have comprehended that it would be not too difficult to innovate their products and still ensure their competitiveness. These companies have been motivated to take action in product innovation with knowledge equipped and technologies transferred in order to use efficiently natural resources and utilize the waste to create the input materials for production.

More than 30 sustainable technologies have been developed, utilized and clustered into smaller groups to be applied in specific contexts of business and natural conditions of Vietnam. In details, there are three most successful applied groups which are Renewable Energy, Renewable Materials and Zero-waste Knowledge Farm. The group of renewable energy includes solar energy and gasifier for residents and industry which are applied in companies producing mushroom, bamboo products such as Ngoc Dong, Hiep Hoa…The group of renewable materials has been implemented in producing furniture, green composite pots, coiling bamboo products…

Specially, the model of zero-waste knowledge farming named I-Nature embodies 25 sustainable technologies to create circle processes to keep the balance of the environment for the growth of plants and cattle. This model has been developed from traditional agricultural model with applied new technologies, resulting in zero-waste organic farming which causing no harm to environment and human’s health. Now, the model has been deployed at 10 households in Ba Vi and Soc Son, which contributes to their income.

According to Mr. Nguyen Hong Long, SPIN has created groups of sustainable technologies and a community of entrepreneurs with strong commitment to sustainable development, which would be the foundation for sustainable future in Vietnam.

At the workshop, Dr. Marcel Crul, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, presents the methodology of product innovation used in SPIN project and the typical case study in Vietnam. Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Hoa, Vice-director of Asian Institute of Technology Center in Vietnam, shares about Building product innovation capacity for entrepreneurs in Vietnam. As a result, Sustainable products have been collected and displayed in Green Street, located at 45 Bat Su, which was official open in September 2013.

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