Vietnam has achieved significant economic progress over the years, particularly in sustainable development. However, the country’s rapid economic growth has resulted in environmental consequences such as greenhouse gas emissions, resource depletion, and over-exploitation of natural resources. Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest-growing per-capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, with an estimated 5% annual growth due to rapid industrialization and urbanization.
Growing environmental concerns within the country have in turn caused businesses to increase their social and environmental responsibilities. The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) segment in Vietnam has directly contributed to economic development, accounting for 45% of total GDP and employing over 5 Mn people.
While MSMEs are key drivers of economic growth, Social Impact Businesses (SIBs) are an integral part of this sector who have the potential to drive sustainable development. According to UNDESA, sustainable business models are anticipated to unlock USD 12 Tn and create 380 Mn jobs by 2030. SIBs distinguish themselves from conventional MSMEs by the source and use of capital, which has a greater emphasis on social and environmental impact.
In order to mobilize private investments towards SIBs, the Impact Investment Readiness Vietnam (IIRV) project implemented by IIX aims to bridge the gap between demand and supply-side players through targeted support.
By facilitating technical assistance to SIBs, the project ensures that enterprises will be able to raise capital and effectively scale their operations and in turn, impact. IIRV’s medium-term goal is to establish Vietnam as a global player in impact investing by recognizing the intersectionality of climate and gender in all contexts, particularly inclusive economic growth.
In collaboration with LightCastle, the partnership aims to empower Social Impact Businesses (SIBs) and ecosystem stakeholders through customized training modules on environment, gender, and impact investing. The modules prepared for this project have been briefly discussed below:
The Vietnamese economy has strong growth potential, and solutions and interventions need to be intersectional and holistic to achieve impact targets concurrent with Vietnam’s GDP and the achievement of SDGs.
IIRV mobilizes impact capital and builds MSME capacities in sectors that bring gender and climate together, empowering women and vulnerable populations in Vietnam. It recognizes how positive environmental impact enhances agency for women and how applying a gender lens to resource mobilization directly advances climate action.