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2.1 CIVIL ENGINEERING
Social enterprise is a maturing area of activity within the development sector, and in Vietnam the sector has expanded significantly over the last thirty years, providing social services to communities and individuals experiencing socio-economic exclusion. Initially growing in a legislative vacuum, social enterprise currently appears to be flourishing following recognition by the state. However, the sector now faces new challenges as it matures. With Vietnam’s attainment of middle-income status, the international development funding previously available is now limited and the focus is on capacity and viability. Based on findings from interviews with representatives from a wide range of social enterprises and support organizations we explore the challenges and opportunities for future development, finding that there continues to be significant opportunity for both the augmentation of the sector and its impact. Through analysing the influence of a changing international development environment on evolving government policy, we provide new insights into the thoughts and perceptions of social enterprise sector practitioners. Recognizing that policy change has not resulted in effective local implementation, we suggest that government action is now needed to fill that gap, by supporting new start-ups, prospective social enterprises, and those established enterprises which are striving for viability and increased impact.
Umfreville, P. & Bonnin, C. (2021). Mind the Gap: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities for Social Enterprise in Vietnam. Forum for Development Studies, vol. 48, no. 2, pg. 331–355. doi:10.1080/08039410.2021.1907785