Targeting sustainable business in Vietnam, Standard Chartered Vietnam has paid good attention to supporting the community for years, as the bank believes its long-term success depends on the health and prosperity of the communities in which it operates.
Thriving with the community
For the UK-headquartered lender, the success of its own business will largely depend on the strength of the community where it is in. The lender, as a result, has long been focusing its attention on investing in the local community through meaningful programs on health and education over the years.
Since its launch in Vietnam in 2014, Goal – an education program within Standard Chartered’s initiative Futuremakers – has managed to equip over 25,000 adolescent girls with financial education, life skills, and work training. Through sports and activity-based learning, they have gained confidence, knowledge and skills needed to create their own future, and many of them have subsequently become the leaders in their families and communities later on.
A program like Goal, according to Nirukt Sapru, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam and ASEAN & South Asia Cluster Markets, comes in handy at times like this as it focuses on area of employability, which deemed to be particularly important after the pandemic.
Late last year, Standard Chartered also completed its Financial Education program for students in the northern province of Hoa Binh and the southern province of Binh Phuoc. The program provided basic financial knowledge such as effective financial management and financial responsibility, as well as how to start and invest in a business to help students better prepare for their future. A total of 1,100 students benefited from the program.
“Basically we think that for socio-economic development of any society, focus on women and children is critically important for the future generation,” noted Sapru.
In 2019, the bank, on a global scale, contributed US$9.4 million through fundraising and group donations to the Futuremakers initiative. Its ambition is to raise US$50 million between 2019 and 2023 to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow.
To promote the role of Vietnamese women in the business community, Standard Chartered Vietnam has launched a financial support program for women-owned enterprises in June. The bank will accordingly provide US$25 million of uncommitted credit facilities with tenor of up to 365 days, along with complimentary trainings on financial education, market updates and regular sharing sessions on topics of interest, to lenders that are female entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, in an effort to eliminate blindness in the local community, since 2014, the bank has also brought its global initiative Seeing is Believing to Vietnam. Over the years, the program has provided eye-screening services for more than three million locals, conducted over 47,000 eye surgeries, and presented over 34,600 pairs of spectacles to people in need.
“So increasingly we are continuing to focus our attention on supporting the community. We think that for a company to be successful, for a country to be successful, the community has to be successful. We’ll continue to do that”, stressed the CEO.
A helping hand during Covid-19
Apart from these community investments, in keeping with its brand promise to be ‘Here for good’, amid the pandemic, Standard Chartered Vietnam has made financial donations worth US$200,000 (VND4.66 billion) and other in-kind donations to support the Covid-19 prevention and relief efforts in Vietnam.
The fund has subsequently been allocated to various hospitals, such as the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases to spend on critical medical equipment, and charity organisations like Saigon Children’s Charity and others to aid disadvantaged children and young adults.
In April, the bank initiated the fundraising “Work from Home Workout Challenge”, which contributed VND450 million to the total donations. The program, at the same time, helped thousands of people, including its staff, clients and the community, stay mentally and physically healthy during the social distancing period.
“Supporting the communities has always been a core focus of our brand promise ‘Here for good’, especially during challenging times like these. We hope that the donations will offer meaningful assistance to the fight against Covid-19 in Vietnam and help the communities recover from the impact of the pandemic,” said Sapru.
Along with these donations, Standard Chartered Vietnam also ran a meaningful internal fundraising campaign named “Give One Day to fight Covid-19”, in which its employees could donate some of their salary to the parent bank Standard Chartered PLC’s US$50 million Covid-19 Global Charitable Fund. The money will be used to provide short-term relief and longer-term assistance for communities across the group’s 59 markets, including Vietnam.
By Trang Nguyen