In February 2022, the Prime Minister approved the 2022-2025 Program on Support for private Enterprises in Sustainable Business to promote sustainable businesses, including inclusive business. Among others, the programme makes a strategic commitment to inclusive business, seeks to institutionalize support for inclusive business through promoting awareness about inclusive business, establishing an inclusive business accreditation system, providing inclusive business coaching services and encouraging investment in inclusive business.
Inclusive businesses models are specific innovative business models that explicitly seek to address the needs of low-income groups (such as small holder farmers) by “providing goods, services, and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis, either at scale or scalable, to people living at the base of the economic pyramid making them part of the value chain of companies’ core business as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers”.
ESCAP is working with AED to promote inclusive business by supporting the design and piloting of an inclusive business accreditation system in Viet Nam.
Accreditation systems for IB models are a relatively new concept and are an important component of the Guidelines for Promoting Inclusive Businesses in ASEAN (regional guidelines that have been agreed by the ASEAN member states). Some ASEAN member states, such as Cambodia, have put in place an accreditation system based on these guidelines, which include voluntary application, assessment of IB lines based on detailed criteria and sector benchmarks, consideration of past performance and future plans, the periodic confirmation of accreditation and the use of a composite rating tool with transparent criteria and weighting principles. Accredited companies could enhance their branding and receive specific IB incentives. These incentives may include recognition, financial, technical, market, and input access incentives. Viet Nam has taken these guidelines as a basis for the design of its national inclusive business accreditation system.
The design of the accreditation system will leverage an inclusive business landscape study which was completed in 2019 by ESCAP, in partnership with AED and the Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN). The study resulted in strategic recommendations to promote inclusive business in Vietnam.