The “Green Start-up” programme initiated by the Ho Chi Minh City-based Business Studies and Assistance Centre has been creating a generation of young agricultural entrepreneurs who effectively exploit indigenous resources, a seminar has heard in HCM City.
At the “Green start-up, 10-year journey to create young agricultural entrepreneurs” seminar on May 31, many successful young entrepreneurs shared their start-up stories by using local resources.
They were the winners of start-up competitions organised by BSA, including Le Minh Vuong of Ninh Thuan province, who won a second prize in the start-up contest in 2015 for a project to produce compost and breed earthworms, Pham Dinh Ngai (Tra Vinh), who won the first prize in 2020 for his coconut flower nectar and sugar that meet ISO, HCCAP, international organic standards, and Doan Hong Tham (Can Tho), second prize winner in 2022 for her herbal tea products, and Tran Dang Dat of Dat Foods with peanut butter.
They experienced ups and downs, but persevered to come up with quality and healthy products and contribute to developing sustainable agriculture, they said.
Nguyen Lam Vien, chairman of Vinamit JSC, who has supported the start-up programme for many years, said Vietnam’s agricultural products are increasingly recognised by the world as is reflected in the steadily increasing exports of agro-forestry products.
Consumers globally are paying more attention to healthy and environment-friendly agricultural products, which offers young entrepreneurs a great opportunity if they know how to take advantage, he said.
In fact, in recent years, many start-ups have exported products such as vegetable powders, noodles, coconut flower nectar, and cashew- based products to major markets such as the US, Europe and Southeast Asia.
He said, unlike in the past, young entrepreneurs nowadays have good knowledge, management skills and agility.
Initiated in 2013 the innovative agricultural startup programme (changed to “Green Start-up” programme in 2023) has sought to support young people starting businesses, act as a bridge connecting start-ups with enterprises under the Business Association of High-quality Vietnamese Products, and build a community of start-ups to make it easier for them to forge strong linkages in the value chain and compare notes.
Vu Kim Anh, BSA’s deputy director and the person in charge of Green Start-up, said the programme has helped form an agricultural startup eco-system with thousands of young people who use local resources.
Under the programme, leading experts in technology, local resources, marketing and other areas provide start-ups with training in developing business and financial plans, investment solicitation skills, help them organise production efficiently and safely, among others, she said.
“In addition to creating conditions for them to sell their products at a green weekend market held on Saturdays and Sundays, we also encourage them to participate in programmes initiated by the international supermarket systems in Vietnam, including Central Group with a programme to help small businesses participate in Vietnam’s Goods Week in Thailand since 2017, and Gigamall and Uniqlo with programmes to bring locally-made products into their systems,” she said.
Nguyen Cam Chi, chairwoman of the Foundation of Youth Empowerment (FYE), said the BSA has not only organised the start-up competitions in the past 10 years, but also created opportunities for start-ups to strengthen their business.
Most start-up projects already have products in the market, and from this year the FYE would help them export, she said.
Also at the event, the 2023 Green Startup Project Contest was launched.
To run until the end of October, the competition is open to individuals, collectives, enterprises, and co-operatives in agricultural specialty processing or operating a circular economy model or projects that add value to local resources and have been operating for more than one year./.
Source: Vietnam News Agency