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2012-2015 Individual MoG
2016-2017 High School MoG

Hoa Ban+

Why did you decide to work with very50 through the MoG program?

Hoa Ban+ is a new operating social enterprise. It came to existence based upon the realization that Social Protection Center has the weakness in its human resource as well as management skills and direction. Our workers are all disabled people and poor ethnic women. One of the founders comes from a local ethnic group that lacks in experiences of working independently in a right system. In terms of covering both social and business aspects, we have difficulty in giving a good direction.

While very50 aims to support SE with the use of brand building expertise, we also find it helpful their problem solving ability and the ability to propose future courses of action for a beginning SE. very50 staff works hard together with a group of MoG participants who are ready to struggle with SE’s problems and manual works. In short, they met our expectations. That’s why we have decided to do MoG with very50.

What does a typical day look like during the MoG project?

1. Pre-Vietnam period
MoG team and I began to get in touch and work out via email and skype one and a half months before MoGers came to Hanoi. During that time, MoGers needed to understand as much as possible about Hoa Ban+ by asking me questions (about 1000Q) to make sure what they should do/prepare to meet our needs. MoG team was divided into 3 teams: Strategy, Product and Promotion team. Three team leaders listed their schedules and asked me for group meetings alternatively via skype with all their team members. Those pre-meetings helped us a lot to understand each other. All team members and SE got closer and got to know what we need do.

2. Vietnam period
Since we are based in Maichau - 140km far from Hanoi, all members and I spent the first two days on doing some research in Hanoi. Then, we all worked together in Maichau for ten days. On the first day in Maichau, we researched around our factory, stores, shops and around the areas. Then, the representative and leader gave out the schedule/timetable of each team for the next day. Actually, I had a meeting almost the whole day with three teams. While we were in the meeting, other teams were working outside/in the factory/store/shops with workers and an English-Vietnamese speaking volunteer. To me it’s really necessary and important to work with MoG team the whole time in Hanoi and Maichau to change, improve or propose anything we need work together directly and tightly. That’s why I always arrange time before they come and to be with them all the time when they are in Vietnam.

How has very50 supported your activities in addition to the MoG program?

Well, I like this question, because it’s chance for me to say what I wanted to say to very50 but I’ve not said yet: “very50 played an important part in Hoa Ban+’s foundation”.

The beginning
Unlike any other partners of Hoa Ban+, very50 has been with us from the very beginning. They understand deeply the situation and how Hoa Ban+ was born. very50 and the founder, Mr. Ryosuke, in particular has assisted me to decided to establish a new SE after THSPC and C2I had been separated. When I was thinking and brainstorming with what/how I can do or how to start, how to operate a SE, he helped me about brand building, SE management and operations since my background is tourism business and I didn’t know much about it. Every time Mr.Ryo came to Hanoi for other SEs projetcs, I met with him for several strategic questions (about mission, vision, product lines, value chains, target, direction analysis etc ) and worked out step by step. For example, the “+” in “Hoa Ban+” came from Mr. Ryo’s idea. He is really a great master.

After the establishment up to now
After Hoa Ban+ was established, we have been struggling with a lot of difficulties in changing a social protection center into a social enterprise, changing disadvantaged people’s mind and changing the organizational structure. Sometime I was frustrated and even tears came out but when I emailed and shared the situations, all relies ended with the sentence “we always stand by you”. They don’t know how much it encouraged HB+ and me. Thanks to this, we always got back to work. Even now, HB+ is still having difficulties but very50 always finds chances to support us: they introduced us to some organizations and companies that we are able to co-operate with, such as Crossfields NGO, HIS Japanese travel company. They also invited us to Japan for researching, promoting and expanding our business. We believe that in the future their support will keep helping us a lot to complete our mission as well as develop our brand.

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