Global Entrepreneurship Network members encouraged to become wildlife champions in Viet Nam
Hanoi, Viet Nam, 1st March 2017—During the Vietnamese launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and TRAFFIC, more than 60 Vietnamese entrepreneurs and businesspeople learned about the benefits of implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies that integrate zero-tolerance towards threatened wildlife consumption.
The GEN is a global network that helps people turn their ideas into promising new ventures—creating jobs, accelerating innovation and strengthening economic stability around the world.
Representatives from government agencies, universities, companies, business associations, and startup funds attended the Vietnamese launch of the GEN, which was also aimed at encouraging influential organizations from different sectors to join, including the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Startup Vietnam Foundation.
Through the GEN, TRAFFIC is hoping to target the most prolific consumers of rhino horn and other threatened wildlife: wealthy urban men between the ages of 35 and 55. Many of these consumers are businessmen who use wildlife products such as rhino horn as a display of wealth and to strengthen professional and personal relationships.
This network is a powerful platform to instil zero-tolerance toward threatened wildlife consumption in the Vietnamese business community
Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam Office
“We are engaging key members of our target audience to show that corporate social responsibility is not only an ethical practice, it can also benefit companies in the long run.”
A 2015 Nielsen global consumer study found that 86% of Vietnamese consumers—the highest number of socially conscious consumers in any of the countries surveyed—are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
“Viet Nam’s high percentage of socially conscious consumers is a vital piece of information that successful entrepreneurs need to know—being good to the environment is good for business too,” said Willemsen.
TRAFFIC is leveraging this progressive demand for sustainable business practices to nurture adoption of CSR practices in new and established companies. At the launch event, participants learned about the opportunities for sustainable development and corporate image enhancement using CSR and participants were encouraged to discuss their own experiences and the most effective ways to implement CSR policies and to sign pledges of zero-tolerance toward threatened wildlife consumption.
In co-operation with VCCI and other civil society organisations, TRAFFIC is working to reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products by fostering a culture of zero-tolerance towards threatened wildlife consumption and highlighting the benefits of responsible business practices.
“We want to show members of the GEN that investment in socially and environmentally responsible practices can improve their reputation, attract foreign investment, and appeal to a broader audience,” said Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vice Director of VCCI’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development Centre.
“Now that they see how to use CSR to protect wildlife and improve their business prospects, members of GEN Viet Nam are committed to taking actions to stop the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife such as rhino horn.”
TRAFFIC’s engagement of entrepreneurs through the GEN is part of a nationwide demand reduction strategy to encourage businesses to become champions of conservation by adopting CSR policies that reject the consumption of threatened wildlife.