Marine Gifts on newspaper

View the link from India to know how Marine Gifts Empower Women in coastal Vietnam:


A note from Tuoi tre & tuoi tre online about Marine Gifts and the Sankalp Award


Marine Gifts – the finalist of Global Social Venture

The Global Social Venture Competition ( is the largest and oldest student-led business plan competition providing mentoring, exposure, and prizes for social ventures from around the world. The mission of the GSVC is to catalyze the creation of social ventures, educate future leaders and build awareness of social enterprises. The competition supports the creation of real businesses that bring about positive social change in a sustainable manner.

The GSVC is organized by the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in cooperation with 6 Regional Partners and 3 Outreach Partners around the globe.

Each year, entrant teams from around the world compete for over $45,000 while gaining valuable professional feedback on their ventures.

Since its inception in 1999, the GSVC has awarded more than a quarter of a million dollars to emerging social ventures and has introduced early-stage social venture entrepreneurs to the investment community. Nearly 25% of past GSVC entrants are now operating companies.


Thammasat Business School has organized GSVC in Southeast Asia in Thailand since 2007. Each year, GSVC-SEA welcomes teams from Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Thailand and Oceania. The International MBA Program and and Center of Sustainable Enterprise at Thammasat Business School seek to build the GSVC-SEA into a regional community of thought-leaders, educators, students, investors, and entrepreneurs that overcomes challenges faced by social entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia through GSVC competition and the Southeast Asia Social Entrepreneurship Symposium.

Two winners from GSVC Southeast Asia will represent the region to compete with other finalists from around the world at the GSVC Global Finals, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, USA in each April.

As a newly graduated Master of Cultural Studies – Tourism, Hong has entered this competition and was selected as one of 13 finalist for this round.

Marine Gifts’s representatives will present our business plan in this final round at 17 Mar at the Crowne Plaza Lumpini Park Hotel – Bang Kok, Thailand. We hope to introduce our business for as many people as we can and seek for 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 impact on creating a sustainable business model that preserves the environment and coastal communities living in importance areas of Vietnam and the Southeast Asia. The ideal investor will also bring industrial expertise, experience, and contacts in one of the strategic areas of tourism, handicrafts, sustainable development, or marine conservation.

Marine Gifts – the Sankalp Southeast Asia Finalist

The Sankalp Forum ( is holistic ecosystem designed to catalyze impact investments into sustainable and scalable social enterprises globally. Our mission is to create an enabling platform that supports socially relevant small and medium enterprises. We provide year-round access to investment opportunities, capacity building, knowledge and crucial networks.

Sankalp connect over 400 social enterprises, over 400 investors and funders, and 10,000 other stakeholders from across the world. In the past three years, more than two dozen of our enterprises have received investments, and over 160 others have been made investment ready through mentoring and capacity building programs.

Sankalp Forum in an initiative by Intellecap, an advisory firm that works in underserved markets. All our interventions are strongly grounded in our knowledge of practitioner needs that comes from the consulting, investment advisory and technology work that Intellecap does. We empower our community through workshops, round tables, focused networking meetings, knowledge building publications and reports, and multiple formats for accessing investments. The annual Sankalp Summit brings our entire network together to discuss emerging trends, and to recognize the best social enterprise models through the Sankalp Awards.

In 2012, Marine Gifts has been selected as 5 finalist of Southeast Asian for this award. Our CEO – Ms. Tang Thi Duyen Hong will enter Sankalp capacity building program this spring. We hope, with this award, Marine Gifts will find a good way to its development.

Our Impacts

  •    Economic impact – Direct income generation

By offering community based ecotourism services and handicraft products  to tourists via our stores in MPAs and tourism cities of Vietnam and online distribution channels, we create and provide long term and direct income for local women living in and around MPAs  by  promoting their own services.

  •    Social & Environment impact: Preserve Local Culture  & Promote Sustainable Usage of the Environment

By increasing the economic value of marine community based ecotourism and handicrafts made from marine – originated materials, we actively contribute to reduce the pressures of illegal and destructive fishing to the coast and also provide local people great chance to preserve and be proud of their own traditional way of life. Furthermore, our awareness raising programs with creative approaches will bring local people good knowledge and attitude about conserving marine resources.

  •    Social impact: Gender balance and development

By creating jobs, generating income and organization of focus groups and offering women with living skill trainings, we will definitely provide them with self-confidence and help them to voice up in family and at community, that support to gender balance and development in Vietnam society in general.

  •    Social impact: Community development works

As Marine Gifts grows, profits will be reinvested back into coastal communities to aid in the areas of needs that have been identified through in-depth surveys and studies, such as vocational skills training, living skills in the context of climate change or schooling opportunities to children and so on,..

The Management Team

Hong, Tang Thi Duyen

Hong is the Founder of Marine Gift; she got the award for Social Entrepreneur in 2010  (which sponsor by Center for Social  Initiatives  Promotion, is the first organization promoting social entrepreneur  in Vietnam)  for the idea of establishing up a social enterprise which can support women living in and around marine protected areas with vocational and living skills training.

Hong believe that these qualities and her love for marine life can help her lead MG towards success.

Tu, Tran Thi Huy

Ms Tu now leader of the MG group in Nha Trang bay MPA. She also in charge of vocational training division – gifts from shells category at MG. Tu very happy to contribute to a beautiful of Nha Trang bay – where she was born, grew up and spend her all life.

Thao, Ho Thi Phuong

Thao is responsible for communication program of MG and she is totally committed to work for a social enterprise and she love to see MG  became a  friendly  name with all  Vietnamese and responsible travelers around the world.

Anh, Dinh Ngoc


Born in 1981, thisHanoilady graduated fromHanoiCulturalUniversityand spent her 8 year working for many tourism companies, training institution, etc.

She is Hong’s university classmate. The two friends found in each other the passion of developing a set of sustainable tourism products to support poverty reduction inVietnam.

They have to work in many different agencies in tourism industry to really understand the system and best contributed to the development of Marine Gifts.

Anh is managing the CBT training division in Marine Gifts. She loves to share her experiences for as many women in coastalVietnamas she can.

Hang, Ho Thi

Born in 1986 and graduated from Hanoi Economic University, this young lady loves numbers, accounting and is in charge of administration – financial and account in Marine Gifts.

She doesn’t know much about marine areas and the development trend. However, she loves to support any friends come to help Marine Gifts achieve its goals.

Following the work of MG will be the board of advisors with different backgrounds (tourism development, business development or marine conservation) from several organizations (state management, non – profit organizations and universities) to provide technical assistance to MG work towards social benefits.

We also thanks to numbers of volunteers, partners and field supporter. Specially those have been with Hong in the Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD) and still stand beside Hong and Marine Gifts.

Our Products

Marine Gift provides vocational skills training for women living in andaround MPAs. Once women groups have fully equipped with skills, they will provide:

1. Community based Tourism Services

Provide tourist a chance to stay with local people, enjoy local food, exploring the beauty of the sea with local experiences and learn traditional ways of making gifts from marine originated wastes (Homestay; Food and beverage; Environmental education; Culture exploration

a Sea festival in Cu Lao Cham MPA

Tourist Enjoy watching sea turtose

2. “Marine Gifts” from shells/ trees products

Tourists can purchase these little items at MG stores in the MPAs or at MG stores in Hanoi, Hoi An and Nha Trang cities and at MG’s online distribution channels.

Key chain made by Raglay Enthnic minority women living in Nui Chua MPA/NP – the model is supported by ITB – The Institute for Tropical Biology

Shells picture, curtain and other little items made by women in Nha Trang bay MPA and trao reef locally managed MPA (the model supported by MCD – Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development)

MG is trying to develop more type of GIFTs from mangroves, trees such as jam & hots pot made from mangroves fruit, post card/pictures made from leaves, etc and will expand to 16 MPAs in Vietnamto 2018 and to 6 countries in Southeast Asia over the next ten years.

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 impact on creating a sustainable business model that preserves the environment and coastal communities living in importance areas ofVietnamand theSoutheast Asia. The ideal investor will also bring industrial expertise, experience, and contacts in one of the strategic areas of tourism, handicrafts, sustainable development, or marine conservation.

Business Model

MG was formed to offer a solution at a national level to help women living in and around MPAs overcome their challenges, to find an alternative livelihood to reduce illegal fishing and to promote the attractive images ofVietnamto the world.

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.

MG accomplished these 3 main objectives by equipped local women with vocational skills such as (1) to make GIFTs from marine originated waste (dead of shells, sea grass, pearl, etc), from mangrove-related materials (seeds and leaves) on the islands and (2) to provide community based tourism services such as:


–         Tour operation

–         Accommodation services (homestay)

–         Food and beverage services

–         Local tour guiding and environmental interpretation

–         Traditional art performance

–         First aid and security

Along with these vocational skills, management and leadership skills for local women are definitely significant for them to organize into group with their own management structure. Living skills (such as financial management, communication skills) and especially business skills are also indispensable for women in MPAs.

In addition, community development fund that mobilizes financial support from (1) MG profits, (2) development projects and (3) state budget and other sources to  ensure benefit for the whole community through infrastructure development (fresh water, schools and roads) is expect to actively contribute to the change in behavior towards nature resources conservation.

Furthermore, through networking activities, lessons learnt from MG will be shared among MPAs, development organization networks and others related to poverty reduction, marine conservation and gender balance.