Four teams win SDG Challenge 2017

Tuesday, 2017-12-19 17:42:20
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At the ceremony (Photo: VGP)
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NDO - The United Nations Development Program in Vietnam (UNDP Vietnam), in co-ordination with Hatch Ventures, held a ceremony in Hanoi on December 19 to present awards to the top four teams of the SDG Challenge 2017 competition and to launch the Social Impact Incubation Program to provide business consultancy to the winning teams for further development.

The four winning teams include Imagtor, which provides a video and photography editing service with the majority of the staff being People with Disabilities (PwDs); the Ocean, an affordable smart water refill network in order to reduce plastic usage; Sign Language Interpreting Service Company which provides sign language translation between deaf and hearing people via video telephones and similar technologies; and 1516 Green Interior Design which provides low-cost systems of wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity for the poor in remote areas.

SDG Challenge 2017 is a national competition for social impact start-ups and business innovators. The competition was introduced and hosted for the first time by UNDP Viet Nam and HATCH! VENTURES with the aim of identifying potential impact companies that could help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), advancing Vietnam towards Agenda 2030.

These four teams are wonderful ambassadors for SDG impact business, UNDP Country Director in Vietnam said, adding that they utilise new technologies and their businesses are built on strong partnerships, with business incubators, mentors, and technical experts.

Their businesses value the environment and empower and support the most marginalised in society, while finding creative ways to ensure that no one is left behind as Vietnam continues to move forward, he noted.

Founder and CEO of Hatch Ventures Pham Quoc Dat said that the start-up ecosystem in Vietnam is growing stronger than ever, creating favourable conditions for social impact start-ups to search for supporting resources.

The cooperation between Hatch Venture and UNDP Vietnam is vivid proof of how well the ecosystem is interacting for socio-economic development, which encourages future partnerships between the public and private sectors in supporting social impact companies and balancing the commercial and social parts of the economy’s development, he added.

To follow up, the winners are put into a Social Impact Incubation Programme jointly organised by UNDP Vietnam and Hatch Venture from December 2017 to June 2018. Under the programme, the companies are provided with initial working capital at a total of US$85,000, and consultancy packages in business development. The programme activities focus on supporting the companies to develop prototypes in order to test ideas and business models in the market, as well as to seize opportunities for future fundraising or grant proposals.