Meet the winners of the SDG Challenge in Ho Chi Minh: Nguyen Thi Van
By Youth Co:lab
On the 28th October, 2017, UNDP Viet Nam and Youth Co:Lab held a SDG Innovation Challenge at the Hatch! Fair in Ho Chi Minh City. The purpose of this challenge was to encourage young people in Viet Nam to develop innovative ideas to help accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. One of the winners was Nguyen Thi Van, co-founder of photo and video-editing company Imagtor. She studied graphic design and worked as a graphic designer for many years. Being disabled herself, she realised during this period that computer- based work could be a great source of employment for people with mobility issues or other constraints which may prevent them from participating in the mainstream job market.
Briefly describe your company.
NTV: We provide photo and video editing for in-state and e-commerce international companies. In our company, 60% of staff are people with disabilities. I do what I do because in Vietnam more than 7 million people have disabilities and a lot of those people cannot find a job and are not able to live independently of their family, or they’ll have to do very low-income, very hard work. We think that IT is a really good solution for them to connect with the world. They can find jobs where they can work at the company or at home.
How did you get the idea?
NTV: I used to be a graphic designer. I came to understand that graphic designing is a very good job. I work on my computer, so if one day I cannot go to work at the company because of my health or something else I can work from home. I have always understood that people with disabilities can do very good work. And I think if you create a good environment and set up a good company you can match the people who need this sort of thing to the people who want to help us by training skills. I have a centre for people with disabilities where we train people on these skills.
What is the role of entrepreneurship in development?
NTV: It is very important. We help people with disabilities to find jobs with good incomes, which helps to erase poverty. So, they have an income, they can pay taxes, they can get more knowledge, information, and they can build their lives. You can imagine if they don’t have money their quality of life could be very low. If they have some money they go out, they learn more, they get information, and they change their mind. From that they change the social atmosphere. They get support and payback from the society and they can pay tax as well.