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World Bank Issues its First ‘Green Loan’ For Environmental Businesses in Vietnam

World Bank Issues 'Green Loan' to Vietnam for the first time ever.

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Vietnam
Most Vietnamese worry about air pollution, but it's cited most highly as a concern in Hanoi, which is closer to the polluting factories of southern China. VOA

A division of the World Bank has just made its first so-called “green loan” to a bank in Vietnam, meant for businesses to help with environmental problems in a nation that has one of the world’s highest emissions rates relative to its economy.   Vietnam has a fast growing economy but also has a fast growing pollution problem.

The loan package of $212.5 million to VPBank was announced this month under the Green Loan Principles, a voluntary set of international guidelines to make loans for eco-friendly projects, such as to promote solar power or biodiversity.

In explaining why it packaged the loan, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) said that Vietnam is the most “carbon intensive” nation in the Asia Pacific region, after China and Mongolia. Carbon intensity measures how much carbon dioxide a nation emits for every dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) it generates. In other words Vietnam’s economy costs a lot of greenhouse gas, and the IFC hopes loans like this one can help reduce the pollutants.

Vietnam
A man withdraws money from an ATM at a branch of Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) in Hanoi. VOA

This meets a “strategic objective of increasing financing for climate-smart initiatives to boost environmentally sustainable development in emerging markets with high potential of greenhouse gas emissions reduction such as Vietnam,” Rosy Khanna, the IFC financial institutions group director for Asia Pacific, said.

She said there is “high interest” among investors to provide a “source of capital while helping the country tackle climate change at the same time.”

Climate problems mean Vietnam has a business opportunity that the IFC values at $753 billion for investors looking to tackle them.

The Southeast Asian nation has one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world but that growth is causing worry about the potential impact on the environment. Vietnamese citizens are increasingly worried about everything from the plastic rubbish that is ending up in the ocean, to the toxic chemicals that could be polluting their food and water supply. Khanna said Vietnam has a lot of potential to reduce emissions, but the reason emissions are so high is that the nation is increasingly generating electricity through coal, the dirtiest source of energy.

Vietnam
Property developers are building enclosed communities in Vietnam where sustainability is part of the design, from motion-detecting lights to pollution warning systems. VOA

VPBank, officially known as the Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank, said it would use the loan to invest in alternatives.“

This is also an opportunity to help VPBank make positive contributions to national objectives by providing financial solutions to the segment of corporate customers investing in eco-friendly projects, such as renewable energy, national energy security, energy efficiency, green buildings, green transport, [and] waste treatment,” the bank said in a press release.

The IFC has also collaborated with businesses to facilitate green finance in other developing nations such as Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Mexico, and Ukraine.

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It said the loans in Vietnam would likely be used for green infrastructure, in addition to energy projects, particularly involving small or medium size businesses.

VPBank has committed to setting up a management system to ensure accountability for the green loan, allowing it to record and monitor the types of green projects the loan finances, as well as allowing for third party verification. (VOA)

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Older Entrepreneurs Are More Successful Than Younger Ones: Study

"Correcting people's negative stereotypes about older entrepreneurs, and encouraging people at later life stages to engage in entrepreneurship, is important"

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Business
Older entrepreneurs have slightly higher satisfaction levels and greater financial success than younger entrepreneurs. Pixabay

Researchers have found that older entrepreneurs have slightly higher satisfaction levels and greater financial success than younger entrepreneurs.

Additionally, the study, published in the Journal of Business Venturing showed that age has a positive and significant effect on the success of female entrepreneurs.

“Our findings suggest women should not give up too readily, because their chance of success increases as they move to later life stages, and their perseverance ultimately tends to pay off,” said study researcher Hao Zhao from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US.

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“Correcting people’s negative stereotypes about older entrepreneurs, and encouraging people at later life stages to engage in entrepreneurship, is important,” Zhao added.

For the findings, the research team conducted a meta-analysis based on 102 independent samples and determined that the rate of success for people who launch a business in their 20s is the same as for those who become entrepreneurs in their 50s.

According to Zhao, this suggests that, while younger entrepreneurs are generally more adept at inventing new technology and making bold moves, their older counterparts have more wisdom, financial capital, and business connections.

Entrepreneur, Startup, Start-Up, Man, Planning
Researchers have found that older entrepreneurs have slightly higher satisfaction levels and greater financial success than younger entrepreneurs. Pixabay

They found that older entrepreneurs have slightly higher satisfaction levels and greater financial success than younger entrepreneurs. Their only disadvantage is slightly lower growth rates, an artifact of their companies tending to be larger in size. For those in their 30s and 40s, the prospects aren’t quite as good.

The researchers concluded that midlife is a challenging time to start a business. Child care and elder care obligations also require valuable time and financial resources, and entrepreneurs do not have parental leave or daycare benefits.

ALSO READ: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges Citizens to Help Financially Poor People

“Although it is generally commendable to pursue one’s entrepreneurial aspiration, we suggest that early mid-life individuals carefully evaluate all of the resources at hand and take a realistic view of this career path before taking the leap,” said Zhao. (IANS)