A supportive community raised and sustained by an unique eco-system for the sustainable rural development worldwide
An unique eco-system including clean-tech, sustainable agribusiness, responsible eco-tourism and entrepreneurship education.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Vietnam: Saigon city, Dong Nai province
www.agrovn.com (old version)
www.s-agro.com (under construction)
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Estimated more than 30 million people have been living in poor conditions in rural areas throughout Vietnam. They have struggled to get rid of the current situation due to lack of knowledge and necessarily workable supports. Unfortunately, the existing public education system has badly failed in training its students a good foundation and essential skills to get a better live while the private education schools are emerging and so expensive. Vietnamese agribusiness supply chain and government's policies do not help.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Our proposed solution is to build up an eco-system based on the combination of clean-tech, sustainable agribusiness, responsible eco-tourism and entrepreneurship education in which the rural can get jobs to survive temporarily and trained to get rid of poverty by themselves simultaneously. After 2 years, each qualified adult can be a (social) entrepreneur in the community. The eco-system should include
- an eco-edu garden chain located near well-known tourism destinations throughout Vietnam. Each eco-edu garden should be 2-9 ha large and have a sustainable farming area where vegetables, fruit trees & flowers are planted naturally; an open education space for career orientation and training agribusiness, hospitality, eco-tour and kindergarten teachers; and an area for eco-friendly accommodation for tourists.
- a F&B store chain distributed in urban areas to sell natural products planted in the eco-edu gardens
- a chain of kindergartens built in each commune to cultivate "new seeds".
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Due to some unexpected obstacles in renting a strategic land for building the first head eco-edu garden surrounding Saigon, entrepreneurship education activities are delayed one year compared with the initial plan. However, the first garden will be kicked off by the end of this November and ready for operation in Feb 2018 as planned. I have spent time on career orientation for dozens of high school students so far.
We have just started with the first 2 pillars of the eco-system till now: clean-tech and sustainable agribusiness. We have been working with German and Finnish business partners to consult and educate Vietnamese provincial and city authorities & enterprises environmental technologies for cities. Around 200 kWp solar power system was installed on roofs, 2 fish oil and used cooking oil-based bio-diesel and 15 solid waste-to-energy projects are moving now in Vietnam. The pilot agribusiness project is supplying vegetables and fruit to USMart stores and around 50 families.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
S-Agro Corporation has officially operated since 9-2014 though legally registered in 8-2013 while I was working for another company. So far, operation and investment costs into some pilot agricultural projects come from our savings and earned incomes from consulting services related to clean-tech projects and selling vegetables and fruits from the pilot farm.
Our financial plan:
- 2017 - 2018: build the first head eco-edu garden near Saigon, the first F&B store in downtown Saigon and the first kindergarten. Money will come from the clean-tech business & the natural farm (50%) + grants from social entrepreneur organization & NGOs (50%)
- next 5 years: crowd fundings, call for purely angle investors (70%) + earned incomes (30%)
- since 2025: the eco-system can self-fund and be sustained
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Our differentiation results from 1) the unique functions of our eco-edu garden chain (working and learning space for the rural and students; attract foreign tourists for intercultural exchanges with the local to open their mind; bilingual educational activities can be performed in a eco-edu garden and live-stream for the whole chain even nationwide); 2) remaining an umbrella social corporation to support new entrepreneurs of the eco-system. The model can be applied in similar countries.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
I have begun seeking a workable solution for the sustainable development of Vietnam, particularly rural and remote areas since I arrived in Finland for studying International Business in 2010. I used to travel throughout Vietnam to meet and talk with the poor and minor ethnics, and join charity activities to bring foods, clothes, bicycles, books & medicine to some remote hamlets. However, I realized that such separate operations can not get the problems solved. Growing up in a poor farming family in a rural area in south Vietnam, I understood that only physical things and basic theory education are not enough. Entrepreneurship education supported by an umbrella social corporation and an eco-system to mentor and help new entrepreneurs before they get mature will definitely lead to sustainable positive changes.
My greatest teachers are the Buddha, sir Yukichi Fukuzawa & sir Henry Ford.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?