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Hans de Boer and minister visit PUM project in Vietnam

“PUM is a gem,” says Hans de Boer, chairman of PUM and VNO-NCW. But what is it that PUM experts actually do? Hans de Boer and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management) set aside time in their busy schedule to visit SongHan Incubators (SHI) in Da Nang last week during the Dutch Trade Mission to Vietnam.

SHI is one of the incubators (organisation that supports start-ups) that PUM supports in Vietnam. The purpose of this support is to create employment for Vietnamese young people. Maud van den Meiracker and Peter van Dijk are two experts who are very closely involved with this incubator in Da Nang.

‘Universities pay little attention to entrepreneurship’

Maud recently returned from her third advisory mission at SHI. Maud: “I helped SongHan incubator in particular to set up a program to support the start-ups. Because universities pay little attention to entrepreneurship, what it entails, and what the possibilities are to start your own business. That is why we have developed an ‘Inspiration Workshop’. This is a free, two-day workshop organised for students to gain inspiration about the possibilities to start their own business and create their own employment opportunities.

Design Thinking

We also have many inspiring activities around ‘Design Thinking’ and introduce the ‘Business Model Canvas’. We let them work on a ‘business idea’ and at the end of the two-day workshop they pitch their idea to the group. The next step in which I helped is the registration and selection process of potential start-up teams. I then developed a programme (we call it the Incubator Journey) in which SongHan Incubator guided selected start-up teams over a period of approximately 3 months with ‘workshops’ and coaching/mentoring in the realization of a ‘repeatable and scalable business model’. This phase ends with a pitch to SongHan's CEO and key founders, and possibly ‘investors’.

Train the trainer

The start-up teams that have indeed found a suitable business model are invited to participate in the third part of the programme: the ‘Accelerator Bootcamps’. In addition to setting up this programme, I also helped SongHan Incubator with providing training to the ‘trainers’: coaches and mentors who must implement the programme and supervise the start-ups.”

Thi Phuong Thao Tran, manager of Songhan Incubators adds: “PUM has really added something to Songhan. PUM has supported Songhan in setting up and developing the incubator programme in an efficient manner.”