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The role of entrepreneurs in social development and management of social development

(LLCT) - The article presents the characteristics and general structure of Vietnamese entrepreneurs, analyses their positive contributions to and limitations in social development and management of social development of Vietnam in the renewal process. The article also suggests some solutions to promote the role of entrepreneurs in social development and management of social development in Vietnam nowadays. 

Key words: Entrepreneurs, social development, management of social development.

1. Common concepts of entrepreneurs, social development and management of social development in Vietnam

There are many different concepts of Vietnamese entrepreneurs. The following definition can reflect in the clearest way this concept’s connotation: Vietnamese entrepreneurs are the contingent of people doing business. First and foremost, they are owners, leaders and managers who operate business activities (with self-interested purpose) of households and enterprises(1).

Vietnamese entrepreneurs are comprised of 5 main groups: (i) CEOs, managers or owners of small and medium enterprises; (ii) Managers and CEOs operating business activities in State enterprises; (iii) Managers and CEOs operating business activities in foreign-invested companies; (iv) Owners of farms, cooperatives, non-agricultural economic facilities and farming households having production and business with operation registration under the Law on Enterprises; (v) Vietnamese-originated businesses (bearing Vietnamese nationality or foreign nationality) who are CEOs, managers, owners or operate business activities in their country.

Vietnamese entrepreneurs are products of the renovaton process, industrialization and modernization of the country with socialist orientation. They have been mainly formed during the renewal process since 1986. Up to 2013, there were over 2 million businesses nationwide directly in charge of managing and administrating nearly 500 thousand enterprises, 15 thousand cooperatives and approximately 4 million economic family households(2).

Most of the Vietnamese entrepreneurs set up their businesses that stem from the real demand of life and ther desire to enrich themselves, their families and the society. They have learned and succeeded from their businesses. Vietnamese businesses’ educational background is generally low but in recent years, the number of businesses who are graduates, postgraduates and trained in business profession tends to increase(3). The average age of entrepreneurs are 30-50 with the rapidly increasing number of young businesses under the age of 30. Coming into being and developing in a society without business tradition, despite the lack of professional business lifestyle and international business experiences as well as close connections between themselves, Vietnamese businesses are generally hard-working, thirsty for knowledge and promotion. They have wills to set up business and desire to enrich as well as dare to accept risks and challenges. They are politically sensitive, patriotic, self-reliant and highly responsible for the community and the nation(4).

Social development is social changing towards progress and sustainability. Social development includes the following contents: (1) creating physical and economic conditions to solve social issues; (2) improve the population quality and basically solve the problems of labour and employment; increasing social welfare and enhancing the legal status and role of social organizations and groups to enable them to take part in dealing with social issues in an active, equal and effective manner; (4) establishing equality and equity in social life; (5) ensuring society, social assistance and realising social welfare; (6) stabilizing society and maintaining social order and public safety; building the society’s ability of managing peacefully conflicts and social changes; guaranteeing the rights of citizens and human rights; (7) protecting ecological environment and ensuring the exploration of natural resources in a sustainable way(5).

Management of social development is the oriented and systematic impact of management subject on objects (including human beings, community, social relations and social activities) with the aim of sustainable social development. Management of social development is to develop harmoniously social structure; orientate and control social changes; realize social security; implement social policies in accordance with each subject, each field and area in order to harmonize social relations and interest relations; handle emerging social issues and ensure social consensus, social welfare and human security. In the nature of socialist regime, management of social development sets human being as the starting point, the centre and also the ultimate goal. The state builds institution and regime of social management. Political-social organizations and social-vocational organizations play a core role in mobilizing, guiding and facilitating the people’s right to mastery and right to self-regulation(6).

2. The role of entrepreneurs in social development and management of social development in Vietnam in the renovation period

Vietnamese entrepreneurs’ contribution to social development and management of social development

Firstly, businessmans are a social force playing an important role in liberating productive forces, developing the economy and international integration. In the renewal period, they are the key force to mobilize productive resources, creating commodities and services for the society as well as promoting the country’s economic growth and socio-economic development. Through organization and management of production and businessmans and enterprises contribute to improving social division of labour and relocation of economic structure towards commodity production, industrialization, modernization and international integration. In which, the business sector contributes to over 70% of the state budget revenue, creating jobs for 7.4 million labourers, accounting for 81.7% of the non-agricultural labour force or 16.3% of the entire society’s labour force(7), etc. Vietnamese businesses (including businesses operating in foreign countries) are the key force to conduct joint venture and economic cooperation, making use of foreign investment and taking part in the global value chain. They are also the important force contributing to the delivery of Vietnam’s products, commodities, images and cultural values to the world. At the same time, they import commodities and transfer science and technology as well as bring the world’s business methods and advanced economic management methods back to Vietnam, promoting the nation’s cause of industrialization and modernization.

Secondly, in the renovation period, Vietnamese entrepreneurs make significant contribution to forming social structure and new social relations as well as value system and lifestyle in accordance with Vietnam’s industrialization, modernization and international integration. The new social structure of Vietnam further includes the contingent of millions of businesses with their important role in socio-economic development. They are indispensable links in linkages and socio-eocnomic cooperation including the linkage of “5 houses” (between the State, enterprises, scientists, banks and farmers). The contingent of businesses contribute to forming a lifestyle of creativitiy, self-dependence, self-control, daring to think, daring to do, daring to confront difficulties, daring to accept risks, having will to make money, having responsibilities to themselves, their families and the society. Becoming a rich and successful businessman is the goal and desire of many people, especially the youth.

Thirdly, together with strenghthening of production and business, the contingent of businessmans make important contribution to creating jobs, eliminating hunger, reducing poverty, executing social policies and ensuring social welfare. The birth and development of enterprises and businesses has brought about many jobs and means of living to many labourers in all parts of the countries, particularly to the contingent of workers, farmers, ethnic minority groups in border areas, mountainous areas, including war invalids, sick soldiers, the vulnerables and the disabled. Businesses also actively take part in social activities such as gratitude showing, hunger elimination and poverty reduction, donation to humanity and charitable funds, assistance to overcome consequences of natural disasters, building welfare works in contribution to social welfare, improvement of material and spiritual life for the people. During the renewal process, Vietnamese businessmans have contributed to building a society of solidarity, consensus, equality, welfare and civilization with socialist orientation.

Fourthly, entrepreneurs participate in social and vocational organizations or political and social organizations, among whom some became members of the National Assembly or People’s Councils of all levels and significantly contributed their opions and criticisms as well as build and implement socio-economic development policies of the nation and localities. Most of them joining in the National Assembly and People’s Councils of all levels have brought into play their intelligence and pratical experiences in building and implementing socio-economic development policies. Businesses’ experiences have formed view angles, evaluations and recommendations of pratical value when exercising supervision of civil authorities in executing laws, implementing the supervision role of the National Assembly and People’s Councils(8). Thus, in the renovation process, businesses are one of the basic forces taking part in building, deciding, criticizing and implementing social development policies and management of social development.

Vietnamese entrepreneurs’ limitations in social development and management of social development

A part of Vietnamese businessmans has not been methodically trained and short of business experiences. They lack long-term strategic visions, linkages and sustainable cooperation to create strength and enhance competitiveness of their products. Many businesses have insufficient knowledge of laws, especially international business laws, and lack capacity of business administration, resulting in passive competition and integration. Currently Vietnam doesn’t have many entrepreneurs having enough spirit and experiences to confidently negotiate and sign cooperation contracts with foreign partners.

There still remains a part of businessmans and enterprises doing illicit businesse, breaking the laws and violating business ethics; defrauding, cheating, smuggling, faking and counterfeiting which cause bad consequences to consumers and society. Some businesses and enterprises are irresponsible to labourers, having debt to social insurance, giving no priorities to occupational safety, food hygiene and safety as well as labourers’ spiritual life(9). Many businesses use wastefully and explore exhaustedly natural resources, damaging the environment.

More than a few entrepreneurs who are leaders and managers in state enterprises show their weaknesses in qualifications, capacity of economic management, signs of deterioration in political spirit, morality, lifestyle, embezzlement and corruption, seriously causing losses of the State’s assets and money, diminishing the people’s faith in the Party and the State.

3. Solutions to promote the role of entrepreneurs in social development and management of social development in Vietnam nowadays

Firstly, it is necessary to rightly recognize the position and role of businesses in the process of industrialization, modernization, renewal cause and international integration as well as in social development and management of social development. Create favourable conditions for and facilitate Vietnamese enterprises and businesses to actually become a core and leading force in the cause of industrialization, modernization and international integration, ensuring the independence and self-control of the economy(10). Encourage entrepreneurs spirit and startup spirit in order to create more jobs, more commodities and services, satisfying the increasing and various needs of the society. Continue completing regime of the socialist-oriented market economy, creating equal and favourable production and business environment for businesses to promote their business talent. Properly define rights and obligations of businesses and enterprises towards social development and management of social development.

Secondly, bring into play the role of representative organizations of the enterprise and business community. Connect and share experiences and knowledge of economy, business and business administration through domestic and foreign business and enterprises associations; enhance cooperation and linkage between businesses; increase competitiveness capacity of Vietnamese enterprises and commodities in the context of comprehensive international integration. Through Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), political and social organizations, business associations gather opinions, desires and initiatives of businesses to give advice to the Party and the State in building and implementing socio-eocnomic development policies, ensuring interests of businesses and enterpises, labourers, the community and the nation.

Thirdly, highlight business culture and social responsibility of businesses, building hamornious working relations, conserving the environment and sustainable development. Set standards of having patriotism, creativeness and passion in business, active integration, daring to think and do, having responsibility to labourers and the community, having well-educated lifestyle and abiding by the laws for Vietnamese businesses. Build policies to promote business development in rural areas, mountainous areas and ethnic minority areas; encourage the use of local labourers, ethnic minority labourers, women labourers or labourers from families of preferential treatment policy and the disabled. Solve harmoniously interest relations to ensure the efficiency and sustainability of the linkage of “5 houses” during the development process. Encourage and assist businesses to invest in technological renovation towards “green technology”, renovating service products and enhancing business linkages, attaching great importance to building, honouring, spreading and affirming the value of Vietnam’s commodities and brands.

Fourthly, publicize and clarify orientations and planning of socio-economic development as well as assistance policies to ensure investment rights and minimize business risks for businesses and enterprises; at the same time preventing corruption, bribes and group interests between businesses and policy makers. Strictly handle businesses and enterprises violating the laws, frauding, cheating, making fake and counterfeit products, smuggling, evading tax and polluting the environment, which damage consumers’ health and assets, cornering the market, causing losses of the State’s assets and money.

Fifthly, enhance the leadership of the Party in promoting the role of entrepreneurs in social development and management of social development. It is necessary to strengthen the institutionalization and concretization of the Party and the State’s guidelines and policies towards businessmans and all types of enterprises in connection with policies and guidelines of social development and sustainable management of social development. Strengthen Party development among businesses, particularly in enterprises and branches holding important positions of the economy. Enhance the political awareness of businesses and employers, ensuring businesses’ operation in accordance with the State’s policies and laws. Ensure an appropriate proportion of businesses’ representatives in agencies of the political system. Especially, businesses who are Party members in all types of enterprises should be examples of morality and lifestyle, having talent in business and business administration, wholeheartedly working for the sustainability of enterprises, ensuring the interests of labourers and having high sense of responsibility to the social community.

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Endnotes:

(1) Do Minh Cuong: “Discussion on concepts of Vietnamese businesses”, Scientific Magazine of Hanoi National University, Special Issue Economy and Business 25, 2009, https://js.vnu.edu.vn.

(2), (7) Vu Tien Loc: Increasingly growing Vietnamese businesses, http://bizlive.vn.

(3) The Central Institute for Economic Management#úng: The role of businesses in economic development, 2011, p.33.

(4) Hoang Van Hoa: The development of the Vietnamese businesses’ contingent in the 2011-2020 period, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2010, p.246-255.

(5) Phan Xuan Son: “Social development”, Online Political Theory Journal, http://lyluanchinhtri.vn.

(6) Phung Huu Phu, Nguyen Van Dang, Nguyen Viet Thong: Getting to know about some terms in documents of the 12th Party National Congress, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2016, p.260-261.

(8) Businesses participating in political market: should overcome themselves, http://enternews.vn.

(9) Resolution of the 12th Party National Congress’s 5th Plenum on making private economic development an important momentum of the socialist-oriented market economy, http://dangcongsan.vn.

(10) Resolution of the 12th Party National Congress’s 5th Plenum on completing the socialist-oriented market economy regime, http://vov.vn.

Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

MA. Duong Hoai An

Dak Lak Teachers’ Training College

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