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Women's Storytelling Salon : redefining business success - The story of Social Enterprise


She is a pioneer and an expert in social entrepreneurship development, child protection, and women’s rights. With CSIP, Oanh contributed to a new sector of social entrepreneurship in Vietnam and the region.

From 2009 to 2016 CSIP has built a pipeline of more than 100 social enterprises, which contribute to improve the life of 200,000 disadvantaged people. Oanh is also a key mover in initiating policy changes to create a conducive environment for the growth of the social enterprise sector in Vietnam. To spread the impact of her work nationally and regionally, she is a co-founders of Social Enterprise Asian Network, a trustee of AirAsia Foundation, a Board member of Pan Nature, founding member of Asian Venture Philanthropies Association, and the founder of Vietnam Social Entrepreneurs Club.

Prior to founding CSIP, Oanh built an extensive career in development, having worked with major international non-government organisations based in Vietnam.  In her previous roles, she worked as Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF Vietnam, Gender Coordinator with ActionAid International Vietnam, Project Officer with World Concern International, the National Project Facilitator for the project "Capacity building for implementation of National Plan of Action for the advancement of women in Vietnam", National Committee for the Advancement of Women in Vietnam. Oanh also worked as a research assistant in The Institute of Philosophy.

Oanh was educated in Vietnam and Australia. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and English from National University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam. In 1999, she earned her Master’s degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Monash University. She currently works and lives in Hanoi.

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My name is Nguyen Thi Van, however people often call me as Thao Van.

I am Co-founder cum Chairwoman of the Board of Will to Live Capacity Building Center for People with Disabilities (WLC) and Chairwoman of Imagtor Company.

In my childhood I faced a variety of writhe and disappointments which is the reason that when I matured I wanted to do something to change the society with hope that people with disabilities like me will no longer face the difficulties and discrimination as I did, and help them have sustainable livelihoods, proper attitude to themselves, and become more independent through providing IT vocational training and a employment program.

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Irene has been based in Vietnam since 2012, and has focused on initiatives that inspire women to find their own paths, and to ignite their leadership.  She is the co-author of a Book on Women Leaders, ‘Ba Trieu’s 21st Century Daughters’, the co-founder of the Women’s Story Telling Salon™, and has introduced the women leadership development programme Coming Into Your Own (CIYO) to Vietnam. 
Irene’s truly global experience spans more than 20 years living and working as a certified coach and international facilitator across four continents in her country of origin (Austria), China, Brazil, New Zealand, and presently in Viet Nam. 
Her Masters Degree in Sinology first brought her to China. There, in 2002, Irene became one of the first certified executive coaches working in Shanghai with Fortune 100 companies (in Mandarin).
In Brazil she continued advising as a China specialist, intercultural consultant and executive coach. There, in 2007, Irene also founded her own leadership development consultancy, iglobal Coaching ltd., which she later continued with new programmes for business and government agencies in New Zealand.
Each country and culture provided its own challenges and rewards; each move entailed deep reflections on how to best contribute to her new host country.

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