Three groups of students from Hanoi are hoping their environmentally-friendly business proposals win them spots to attend the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) finals in the US this April.
The Vietnamese proposals submitted at the Southeast Asia regional in Thailand this week include producing eco-friendly cattle feed, opening an agricultural-tourism venture for children, and distributing a new type of fuel called "EcoCarbon."
Nguyen Thanh Thuy, team representative for the EcoCarbon project, said the idea came from the fact that climate change poses an existential threat to Vietnam and a major part of carbon dioxide emission is generated by the intensive use of coal in all industries.
"We thought of the EcoCarbon idea because as students we also have to care about how to save money on electricity and gas on a daily basis," Thuy said. "However, we also care about how to deal with the big issue of climate change and to make our living environment greener and better."
If chosen, the students would have a chance to introduce their early-stage social venture to the investment community abroad at the international contest finals to be held at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkley.
Since its inception in 1999, the GSVC has awarded more than US$250,000 to emerging entrepreneurs. Nearly 25 percent of past GSVC entrants are now operating companies.
Last year, VietGreen, another team from FTU, was the only Vietnamese representative at the regional final in Thailand.