Farmers win $12,000 in competition to start businesses

The International Labour Organization announced the three winners of the “Business Plan Competition” for their innovative business plans on 5 December.

Press release | 05 December 2014
HANOI (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) on Friday (5 December) announced the three winners of its “Business Plan Competition”, who received a prize of US$4,000 each for their innovative business plan.

The prize consists of a cash component of $3,000 and technical support component equivalent to $1,000.

The Best Women Business Plan Prize was awarded to Nguyen Thi Lan from Phu Tho Province. Lan’s plan of developing an embroidery business was highly valued by the review panel for its being creative and feasible with clearly identified partners and potential to create jobs for local women.

The Best Innovative Plan Prize went to Pham Doan Duong from Vinh Bao District, Hai Phong City, whose plan is to expand his existing business of producing sedge mats with an aim to preserving the communal traditional trade and creating jobs for the local community. Duong was given the highest score in innovation by the panel for providing a clear business idea with strong motivations and well prepared financial targets.

Under the Green category, Nong Thi Hue from Yen Bai Province was named the winner. Hue’s community-based business initiative of collecting garbage within her commune was regarded as very environment-friendly and practical.

Ms Nong Thi Hue, Mr Pham Doan Duong and Ms Nguyen Thi Lan receiving recognitions. ©ILO

As he congratulated the winners, Gyorgy Sziraczki, Director of ILO Country Office for Viet Nam said: “We hope the prize offers a starting point for the farmers to successfully start their business to create jobs for themselves and others and improve the livelihoods of their families.”

Entries for the competition were submitted upon completion series of workshops in which hundreds of farmers were trained under ILO’s “Start and Improve Your Business” training programme. The winning plans were chosen from a total of 45 most outstanding business plans selected by the programme’s trainers.

The review panel consists of international experts from ILO Headquarters in Geneva, ILO Regional Office in Bangkok, ILO Country Office in Hanoi, experts from General Department of Vocational Training, the Vietnam Vocational Training Association, Farmers’ Association, Women Entrepreneurs Council, Central Agro-forestry and fishery extension centre of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Unit of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Business Plan Competition was part of the ILO’s support to Viet Nam’s One Million Farmers Initiative. The initiative is the Vietnamese Government’s effort in improving the quality of rural workers in light of the increasing demand of industrialization and modernization in the rural area. The project aims at providing training to one million workers a year from 2009 until 2020, including farmers, members of poor households and the local authority staff.