Press Release




On October 1, 2021, Management and Sustainable Development (MSD – United Way Vietnam), the National Economics University and the United Way Worldwide Organization, the representative of the Social Innovation and Challenge Village organized the Launching Ceremony for: Social Innovation Festival and Launch of Shinhan Square Bridge Vietnam Model. The event was attended by Deputy Minister Tran Van Tung – Ministry of Science and Technology; Mr. Lee Taekyung – General Director of Shinhan Bank Vietnam; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phil Pham Hong Chuong – Rector of National Economics University; Ms. Hooyung Young – Vice President of United Way Worldwide in Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan; Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Executive Director of MSD Institute – Village Head, and more than 200 attendees were officials from state management agencies, village co-heads, speakers, social investors, startups. creative industries and youth.

With the transition to a higher value economy, Vietnam is facing various social challenges such as connecting employment opportunities for young people with different skill sets, the problem of real estate, etc. equality in access to education and the integration of disadvantaged communities, environmental health issues. In particular, the COVID-19 crisis has caused uncertainty and increased vulnerability of this underserved group.

Not only a social problem, solving social challenges is also solving the problem of meeting customer needs at an all-encompassing level of the business, while ensuring economic efficiency and integrating social solutions, towards sustainable development. This is also a trend in the new context, attracting investors, especially in the context during and after COVID-19.

With the slogan “Unity Cooperation – Creating Trends – Leading Change for a Sustainable Vietnam”, Social Innovation and Challenge Village by the Research Institute for Sustainable Development (MSD)/United Way Vietnam Nam and the National Economics University, United Way Worldwide led and coordinated with the Global Network of Women Leaders and partners to launch the Social Innovation and Creativity Festival with a series of activities rich in the framework of the National TECHFEST 2021. The village is supported by financial and technical support from Shinhan Square Bridge and the 844 Program on Supporting the national innovation startup ecosystem until 2025. Key activities The festival’s activities include: Idea incubation program, innovative social startup projects, Social creative startup contest “Future Solutions”, product display activities to connect the market, Social Investor Forum, Start-up Forum led by Women – Youth, etc. In addition, the festival also introduced the Shinhan Square Bridge V model. Vietnam – a model that has been and is being effectively applied in Vietnam to promote the social and creative startup ecosystem.

In the opening speech, Deputy Minister Tran Van Tung shared: “The COVID-19 pandemic is posing a lot of social problems, social innovation startups have the opportunity and responsibility in solving them. I highly appreciate the initiative to form a Social Innovation and Challenge Village within the framework of the National Techfest 2021 with the chairmanship of the Management and Sustainable Development, United Way Worldwide, National and Economical University , Happy Women Leader Network. I warmly applaud Shinhan Financial Group for devoting resources to promoting social innovation in Vietnam over the past time through its cross-industry and cross-border synergistic impact initiative towards building an inclusive community, ensuring opportunities for everyone, leaving no one behind through the Shinhan Square Bridge model. I believe that along with resources from social investors, the Social Innovation and Challenge Village within the framework of the National Techfest will create an attractive and useful playground, effective in attracting and developing new businesses, social creative startup projects as well as attracting investment resources for social creativity.”

As a prominent social investor in Vietnam, Mr. Lee Taekyung, General Director of Shinhan Bank Vietnam shared: “I am very pleased and appreciate the dedicated leadership of state agencies in promoting the national initiative program, building a startup ecosystem that other countries are eager to learn from Vietnam. I am very pleased to accompany the Social Innovation and Challenge Village to carry out these very interesting activities. We are facing a lot of difficulties, uncertainties and unprecedented global challenges, which we cannot cope with alone. I believe in the power of startups in innovation and in the entrepreneurial spirit of young people.”

Assoc.Prof. Dr.Phil Pham Hong Chuong – Rector of National Economics University also commented “As the co-head of Social Innovation and Challenge village – a new village was established in TECHFEST 2021 to jointly promote innovation initiatives to solve urgent problems. As an educational institution, we always focus on promoting creative entrepreneurship for students and for the community. It is hoped that with the efforts of the Social Innovation and Challenge Village, activities within the framework of TECHFEST 2021 will be effectively implemented with many projects directly solving social problems. The launch of Village is just the beginning of cooperation between state management agencies, businesses, social organizations, universities, etc. In the future, we will create a integratively bright startup ecosystem, sustainable development, bringing a better life to Vietnamese people.”

Officially launching the Social Innovation Festival and the Social Innovation and Challenge village, the representative of the Organizing Committee, Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Executive Director of MSD, Head of the Village of Social Innovation and Challenges shared the village’s distinctive features in centered on entrepreneurship and actively connect and work with all stakeholders, the pillars of development to promote the social innovation ecosystem. Ms. Linh affirmed: “The immediate social challenges of COVID-19 in terms of education, health, employment, environment, etc. have shown us that solving social problems is also a need and concern customer. I think this is a trend and an opportunity for innovative startups to turn risks into risks when developing new technologies and applying new business models to solve social problems. The Social Innovation and Challenge Village wishes to call for the connection of all pillars to build an ecosystem to support social and innovative start-ups: the state, social investors, social organizations, domestic and international organizations, universities, etc. We believe that an united ecosystem that promotes social and start-up initiatives will contribute to the goal of a strong, equal and sustainably developed Vietnam”.


At the end of the official launching, a panel discussion on introducing the Shinhan Square Bridge model applied in Social Innovation and expert discussion on promoting the social innovation and creativity ecosystem in Vietnam. The discussion part had the participation of Mr. Pham Hong Quat, General Director at National Agency for Technology Enterpreneurships and Commercialization Development ; Ms. Hooyung Young – Vice President of United Way Worldwide in charge of Southeast Asia, Korea & Japan; Ms. Nguyen Phi Van, Chairman at Angel Investor Network; Mr. Tran Quang Hung, Deputy Secretary at the Hanoi Youth Union – Chairman at the Vietnam Student Association in Hanoi, Assoc.Prof. Dr.Phil Do Huong Lan, National Economics University/Co-head Village. The talkshow was coordinated by Ms. Tran Van Anh – Program Director at MSD/UWW/ Co-Head Village.

Sharing international experience and trends in promoting social innovation, Ms. Hooyung Young introduced Shinhan Square Bidge Vietnam model: “This is an experimental model that connects all parties together. in a common ecosystem. The model being implemented by UnitedWay Worldwide and MSD with Vietnamese and Korean startups, combined with social organizations, institutes and schools with the support of local government agencies is very effective in 7 provinces and cities. The model is expected to continue to be replicated to spread the social innovation ecosystem.”

Ms. Nguyen Phi Van, emphasized on the current investment trend: “Angel investors and even venture capital funds are now interested and want to invest in projects that create social impact, especially initiatives aimed at solving problems arising from COVID-19 in terms of healthcare, health, especially mental health, etc. Social goals, business models, scalability are the factors that investors care about when considering investing in a project. Therefore, start-ups need to pay attention to these issues, especially community-oriented projects that often have good social goals, but need to improve and pay more attention to growth models and management to call for and attract investment.”

Mr. Pham Hong Quat shared about policies and programs to promote innovation to solve national problems: “In early 2021, we advised the Ministry of Science and Technology to submit to the Prime Minister and received approval Decision 188, which we advised and approved to upgrade and expand Project 844, which focused on 2 goals: (1) building a connection network, supporting innovation startups, focusing on social responsibility and (2) forming open, connected innovation platforms to spread and attract creative initiatives to solve social problems.”

From many years of experience in working with young people in innovation, Mr. Tran Quang Hung said: “There have been many projects of young people in the past time that have applied modern technology such as AI, Blockchain to solve social problems, especially to help solve medical problems arising in COVID-19 or traceability issues for some agricultural products.”

Concluding the discussion, Ms. Tran Van Anh emphasized: “Stakeholders (government, businesses, social organizations, institutes/schools, …) all play an important role in promoting innovation. Social innovation aims to thoroughly and effectively solve social challenges as well as bring benefits and shared values ​​to all actors of this ecosystem.

The next series of activities of the Festival include: Future Solutions Contest – 2 categories: (1) Incubation for groups with innovative social startup ideas; (2) Acceleration: for businesses that are trading in products/services that have a social impact in the fields of Education, health, livelihoods – employment, environmental protection, etc. Deadline for submissions Contest entry: October 12, 2021.

– Social creative start-up training activities, Pitching final round from October 16-22, 2021
– The “Future Solution” award ceremony is scheduled for November 10, 2021
– Workshop for organizations supporting social and creative startups “Supporting creative social startups in a new context: challenges and solutions” is expected in October 2021.
– Social Investment Forum – Creating trends to lead change scheduled for November 10, 2021 – an international event with the participation of social investors, experts, innovative start-ups and domestic and international support organizations;
– Workshop on completing policies to promote social and creative start-ups in Vietnam, scheduled for November, 2021
– Women’s Forum for Social Innovation and Youth Leadership – Tackling Social Challenges is scheduled to be held in December 2021.
In addition, there are exhibitions and other satellite seminars.

More information about the activities of Official Launching Social Innovation Festival and the Shinhan Square Bridge Model is updated at and


For more information, please contact:

(Ms.) Chu Thu Ha

Communication Management – MSD

Email: | Tel.: (+84) 852.577.220

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