Community-oriented startups

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Huynh Hanh Phuc, founder of Green Connect.

Photo: CTV/CVN

The course of a young company is not simple, the leader must always steer the “boat” to guarantee the lives of dozens, even hundreds of employees.

In fact, even in times of turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, there are still many startups doing their best to support the community.

A journey full of pitfalls

As a well-known figure in the community of Vietnamese students studying abroad, Huynh Hanh Phuc (originally from Binh Dinh, Central Province) is admired by many people not only because he was a student from Vietnam. world’s most famous school, Harvard, but also because he left his job with a monthly salary of several hundred million VND to return to his home country to carry out a free education project for disadvantaged children (Teach for Vietnam) since 2015.

Hanh Phuc found that in Vietnam there is no efficient garbage collection and sorting system. So he embarked on this project.

“The garbage that was sorted before is finally mixed in the truck and dumped in the city’s large sanitary landfills”, he laments.

During the pandemic, many companies continued to perform well in the agricultural sector, but this came at a cost to the environment. In fact, the demand for clean agricultural and food products has greatly increased due to the increase in online shopping. But e-commerce has led to an increase in the amount of plastic packaging. However, environmental awareness programs are no longer provided due to social distancing requirements.

Nguyên Thi Yên, president and general manager of the clothing and textile company Nam Duong, with thousands of employees, is struggling with the lives of struggling people.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is seen as a +test+ for business survival. We are no exception, facing many significant challenges due to declining customer orders. We are also faced with the choice to reinvent or die. in an opportunity when producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) thanks to our clothing expertise”said Nguyên Thi Yên.

But great opportunities also mean the company faces many daunting challenges.

Sustainable development through a clear vision

A production workshop of clothing and textile company Nam Duong.

Photo: VNP/CVN

“As the production of personal protective equipment is a new field for us, in the first stage we had to work by learning. happy, but also worried because the order was urgent and the price of raw materials rose rapidly…”says Nguyên Thi Yên.

At that time, this businesswoman was very stressed because she had to work constantly, day and night. Transporting goods was difficult, a supplier of raw materials could cancel delivery at the last minute… “Fortunately, the order was completed on time and with quality. We are relieved to know that we learned and grew a lot during the pandemic”she says.

After reorienting your business, your business not only survives, but also makes a headway during the pandemic, effectively “attacking” the international market.

During the most stressful times of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Nguyên Thi Yên and his associates traveled to many parts of the country to donate over 50,000 personal protective clothing worth tens, billions of VND. Among the recipients of these donations were the Border Guard Command, the National Cancer Hospital (National Hospital K), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Ha Nam…

In the face of difficulties, GreenConnect persisted step by step and even won two first prizes in the contest for solutions to reduce plastic waste from the International Organization for the Protection of Nature (WWF) and the Vietnamese branch of the Alliance for the Processing of Packaging (PRO). GreenConnect was also a finalist in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) plastic waste reduction competition.

Responsibility to the community

Explaining why Hanh Phuc was never discouraged when he puts a lot of time and effort into jobs that don’t pay a lot of money even though he has a prestigious university degree, he said he always thought of the words of scientist Albert Einstein “Don don’t try to become a man of success. Try to become a worthy man”.

“I see a lot of problems in the world that arise when people put success above value. For example, there are people who always invest in super profitable projects in the short term, with the mindset +If I win, someone will have to lose + … , being a value creator does not mean minimizing success or working without direction, strategy and ambition”said Hanh Phuc about his philosophy of life.

Busy with a start-up that has firmly established itself with 3,000 cafes open across the country and products exported to 20 countries, Nguyên Duc Hung, CEO of Napoli Coffee, still devotes a lot of time to working to help improve the lives of families in circumstances difficult situations, those who want to get their lives back on track, and people whose lives have been seriously affected by COVID-19.

One of these charitable activities is offering coffee carts (worth 7.3 million VND/cart), training on how to make coffee and how to operate the coffee carts, etc. This is to help these struggling people to have a steady source of income. “We just donated four carts to poor people in Phu Nhuan District at the end of April and will continue to distribute them across the country throughout 2022”concluded Nguyên Duc Hung.

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