One of the top criteria for investors to consider is business integrity. Only when doing business with integrity can businesses create transparency for partners, shareholders, investors and customers. That is a commitment to sustainable development, building trust with partners and investors. In Vietnam, SMEs and startups are thriving, but investors have no tools to evaluate transparency and sustainability to make investment decisions. Realizing this problem, UNDP, with the funding of the British Prosperity Fund, supported VCCI to implement the Integrity Business Toolkit for Investors. This is a part of the National Startup Program 2020 and the project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in Viet Nam”.
The Toolkit is intended for all investors who are currently investing in Vietnam or are interested in start-ups and SMEs in Vietnam. This toolkit helps investors at early stage investment and angel investors. The toolkit provides investors with information on the business environment in Vietnam and enable them to approach businesses and projects that are still primitive but still ensure necessary information for investment decisions. Besides, as the development of startups in Vietnam is happening strongly, incubators, start-up accelerators, and training institutions who deliver training and prepare startups for fund-raising should also refer to and use this Toolkit.
The Business Integrity Toolkit is based on the four main elements: 1) The company and its shareholders; 2) Reputation with business partners; 3) Legal compliance; 4) Internal control system. Although business integrity has a much broader scope, this toolkit mainly focuses on topics commonly considered as “anti-corruption”. For startups, business integrity should be based on the three drives: 1) Personal moral compass; 2) Quality of the management system; 3) Understanding and compliance to Vietnam’s law. Those are the foundation for the project to develop this Toolkit.