Marine Gifts supporting small business for poor women in coastal Vietnam

Marine Gifts supporting small business for poor women in coastal Vietnam

Marine Protected Areas, VietnamVietnam
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Marine Gifts, found in 2011, is the first Vietnamese Social Enterprise focused on empowering women living in and around Marine Protected Areas of Vietnam by vocational and living skills training. We train local women to make handicrafts products and provide community – based eco/cultural services then purchase and sale to responsible travelers over the world via our online and offline stores.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Vietnam is a coastal country with 3.200 km of coastline and more than 1 million km2 territorial waters. Total inland waters are 3 times bigger than total main land and there are 83% of total resident are living in coastal areas, of them, more than 10 million people (65% are women and girls) are living totally depend on fishing and aquaculture. Vietnam’s coastal areas attract over 3 million international visitors and more than 10 million domestic tourists annually. Notably, the systems of MPA in Vietnam with about 16 MPA and 4 national parks with marine areas illustrated high priority of Vietnam government on conservation of marine resources. However, behind high-end resorts, gorgeous luxurious beaches and big development projects, women living around MPAs still face with difficult lives th

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

MG addressed a number of immediate needs: 1. It provides job opportunities and income in areas where the economic sources of income had been limited in accordance with government’s conservation purposes. 2. It contributes to raise awareness on illegal fishing, marine resources conservation, protection of beaches and undersea areas that are major tourist attractions. 3. It provide living skills training for women in the context of fact that infrastructure conditions in islands are limited with lack of electricity, fresh water supply and means of communication (radio, television coverage, newspaper, etc.) which lead to little access to information. It also contributes to the fact of limited awareness and access to information for women, and then they continue to be hardly listened, independent and be abused in some ways.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

At the moment, after 1 year operating, MG has it own legal status of a limited company and successfully set up 02 MG groups in Nha Trang Bay MPA and the first and only Trao Reef locally managed MPA in Vietnam (both in Khanh Hoa Province). We gain totally USD 60.000 in 2011, provide job and income for 32 women earning about USD 150/month. None of these 32 women was an artisan before they enter MG’s program. They even have no job, income and the chance to voice up at their family.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

1.Responsible tourism service providers who have reputation in high-class tourism services why we have strong focus on marine conservation expedition, participatation of local peoples as well as as Accessibility to protected areas 2.Handicraft producers(Craftlink, XQ)who aready set up distribution channels around the world. We have utilization of by-products from marine 3. Development organizations MCD, WWF)who have multiple approaches and networking, avaiable funding for their work. We believes that we have strong commitment and a market orientation comparing with their projects based aproach.
Team

Founding Story

That was 2009 when I was at a training for local women in Bich dam island (1 of 4 islands that have people living in Nha Trang bay MPA) – just 2 nautical from Nha Trang city (a famous tourism destination in Vietnam). It was the first time I came to an island although I have been in many coastal villages in Vietnam. I was the trainer and had given local people exercise that using a story of a famous elder’s movie star. I thought it will be very easy for local people to talk about an elder movie star such as I used to see my mother and her friends chatting every day. No one can do the exercise because they have never had a chance to watch television, got to know that famous movie star. That was so said for me to know that they have no electricity, no high school and hospital in the island. Many children were died when they were trying to go to the main city for high school. And women don’t dare to speak out at the meeting… I had tried to bring a better life for these lidies from then.
About You
Organization:
Marine Gifts Social Enterprise
About You
First Name

Hong

Last Name

Tang

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Marine Gifts Social Enterprise

Organization Country

, HI

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Marine Protected Areas

Age of Innovator

18-34

Gender of Innovator

Female

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

At the moment, after 1 year operating, MG has it own legal status of a limited company and successfully set up 02 MG groups in Nha Trang Bay MPA and the first and only Trao Reef locally managed MPA in Vietnam (both in Khanh Hoa Province). We gain totally USD 60.000 in 2011, provide job and income for 32 women earning about USD 150/month. None of these 32 women was an artisan before they enter MG’s program. They even have no job, income and the chance to voice up at their family.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

MG will expand to 16 MPAs and 4 National parks with high marine resources in Vietnam to 2018 and to 6 countries in Southeast Asia over the next ten years, bring job and income for at least 2.500 poor women who have no job and income now will earning $300 - $500.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

To achieve the goal, an investment of USD 500 is required, which will primarily be used to (i) to carry out an overall survey to all MPAs in Vietnam and surrounding countries as well as a market survey to develop a set of MG Products that can highlight potential attraction of each MPA; (ii) to provide local women with vocational skill trainings to ensure they will provide good services (iii) to branding, invest to human resources, marketing and promotion and for working capital. The project will have an internal return on investment of 103%.
The founding team of MG is seeking like-minded outside investors to help reach the goals of this project. The ideal investor will be seeking the significant financial rewards offered by the project, along with the desire to make a positive impacts.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Completing branding, operation tool kit; Products and products description ready for sale

Task 2

Preparing to establish up Marine Conservation Centre to call for more support and fund for community development work

Task 3

Saving profit to hire new office and more staffs

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Scale up Marine Gifts models to 5 more new Marine Protected Areas

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Completing Mangrove for Future funded Project to open 5 more new models, benefit 100 more poor women

Task 2

Call for new grands, investorments to replicated MG models to 5 more models

Task 3

Strengthening the management team by trainings, networking, coaching, etc

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

We have strong partnership with our local women, authorities as well as gorvenment offices, tourism operators, NGO and social enterprise in Vietnam. That is results from our founder's more than 10 years experiences working in these field befor founding Marine Gifts.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We are seeking for funds, investment to help the organisation level up, strengthen its impacts and achieve its goals.