The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today launched a Healthy Markets Innovation Fund – an initiative to identify and invest in innovative social enterprise ideas for HIV-related commodities and services in Vietnam.
The Innovation Fund is aimed at increasing the demand and supply of HIV goods and services. Implemented through USAID’s Healthy Markets project, the competition is open to teams from social enterprises, nonprofit organizations and businesses in Vietnam. Winners will be selected by a panel of HIV and social impact experts, and will receive financial and in-kind support, such as business mentoring and technical assistance for implementation.
“In the coming years, as Vietnam looks for novel ways of sustaining the HIV response, it will need to reach out to new partners and find new methods of providing goods and services,” said U.S. Consul General Rena Bitter. “The Healthy Markets Innovation Fund is a new exciting opportunity to engage and support private sector and community entrepreneurs with enterprising ideas that can contribute to the HIV response.”
Private sector and enterprising approaches are needed more than ever to support Vietnam’s efforts to ensure sustainable access to high quality and affordable lifesaving HIV goods and services, including condoms and HIV testing.
Today’s launch ceremony attracted notable personalities and private sector and social impact investment representatives. “The participation of private sector in maintaining and enhancing the HIV response in Vietnam is crucial,” said Mr. Truong Nguyen, Vice President of Business and Technology Development for IDG Ventures Vietnam. Mr. Truong highlighted the fund as an opportunity for “individuals and businesses to effectively invest in the HIV response, and support business and community entrepreneurs to pilot new enterprising ideas that can change lives in Vietnam.”
Healthy Markets is a five-year program meant to leverage private sector and social enterprise skills, resources and innovation to contribute to a sustained HIV response for populations facing the greatest risks in Vietnam. The program is funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID. It is implemented by PATH in partnership with The Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population and T&A Ogilvy.
For more information about the Innovation Fund, visit: http://sites.path.org/vietnam/. Additional information about USAID support for health in Vietnam is available at http://www.usaid.gov/vietnam/global-health.