Community Oriented Startups

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Huynh Hanh Phuc, founder of Green Connect.

Photo: CTV / CVN

The path of a start-up is not an easy one, the leader always has to lead the “boat” to ensure the lives of dozens, even hundreds of employees.

In fact, even in times of turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, many startups are still 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 District, downtown) is admired by many people not only because he was a student from Vietnam. The most famous school in the world, Harvard, but also because he quit his job with a monthly salary of several hundred million VND to go back to his home country to implement a free education project for underprivileged children (teach for Vietnam) since 2015.

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

“The trash that was sorted before is finally here Mixed up in the truck and dumped in the big city dumps,” he laments.

During the pandemic, many companies continued to do 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 well increased due to the huge 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.

Nguyen Thi Yen, president and general manager of Nam Duong apparel and textile company with thousands of employees, struggles with the lives of people who are facing difficulties.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is being seen as a + test + for business survival. We are no exception, we are facing many big challenges due to customer orders being rejected. We also faced the choice of reinventing or dying. We decided to turn risk into opportunity by producing personal protective equipment (PPE) PPE) thanks to our expertise in apparel”Nguyen Thi Yen said.

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

Sustainable development through a clear vision

Production workshop of Nam Duong Garment and Textile Company.

Photo: VNP / CVN

“Because the production of personal protective equipment is a new field for us, in the first stage we had to work while learning. So when we received an order to produce 3 million isolation gowns for export to Europe within four months, we were happy but also worried because the order was urgent and soaring Raw material price quickly…”says Nguyen Thi Yen.

At that time, this entrepreneur was very nervous because she had to work constantly day and night. Transporting the goods was difficult, the raw material supplier could cancel the delivery at the last minute… “Fortunately, the order was eventually completed on time and of great quality. We were relieved to know that we have learned and developed a lot during the pandemic”as you say.

After reorienting his business, his business has not only continued, but also made great progress during the epidemic, effectively “attacking” the international market.

During the most stressful times of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Nguyên Thi Yên and his companions traveled to many parts of the country to donate more than 50,000 personal protective suits worth tens of billions of Vietnamese dong. Recipients of these donations include Border Patrol Command, the National Cancer Hospital (National K Hospital), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Ham County…

In the face of difficulties, GreenConnect went step by step and won two first prizes in the competition for solutions to reduce plastic waste from the International Organization for Conservation of Nature (WWF) and the Vietnam branch of the Alliance for Packaging Processing. (forefront). GreenConnect was also a finalist in the UNDP competition to reduce plastic waste.

Responsibility towards society

Explaining why Hanh Fock was never frustrated when he put so much time and effort into jobs that didn’t earn much money despite his prestigious college degree, he said he always thought of Albert Einstein’s words “don’t try to become a successful man.” Try to be a worthy man.”

“I see many problems in the world that arise when people put success above value. For example, there are people who always invest in very profitable projects in the short term, with the mentality + if you win, someone will have to lose + … however Being a value-creator does not mean diminishing success or operating without direction, strategy, and ambition.”Hanh Phuc said about his life philosophy.

Busy with running a well-established startup with 3,000 coffee shops open across the country and products being exported to 20 countries, Nguyên Duc Hung, CEO of Napoli Coffee, still dedicates a lot of time to working to help improve families’ lives in difficult circumstances, for those who They wish to resume their lives and people whose lives have been seriously affected by COVID-19.

One such charitable activity is providing coffee carts (worth VND 7.3 million/cart), training on how to make coffee and how to operate coffee carts, etc. This is to help those people who are facing difficulties in obtaining a stable source of income. “We just donated four trolleys to the poor in Phu Nhuan at the end of April and we will continue to roll them out across the country throughout 2022.”Nguyen Duc Hong concluded.

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