Only humans are capable of changing the world for good and there are many heroes out there without a cape fully engaged in social enterprises pursuing that change. We all want a better world with equal and diverse opportunities for all, specially for the youth in our industry. We, members of the business event industry play a key role to sustainable and professional development. Hear and get inspired by one of Asia's top social entrepreneurs, whom to make a difference, and through knowing one and teaching one, he has revolutionized the social enterprise model approach to sustainable development for future generations. 


Session Type: Main Stage

Individual Session Link


Jimmy Pham



Jimmy Viet Tuan Pham emigrated with his mother and four older siblings from Vietnam in 1974, eventually settling in Australia in 1980. Jimmy’s professional background in tourism and hospitality management brought him back to Vietnam in 1996. He first witnessed the plight of at-risk youth on the streets of Hanoi, and KOTO was born.

Beginning: From humble beginnings as a sandwich stall manned by nine street youth in 1999, KOTO has grown to be an internationally recognized and award- winning non-pro t social enterprise, providing a 24-month intensive internationally-accredited vocational training program in hospitality training (Front of House and Back of House/Cookery), crucial life skills and English language for at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. This is delivered through KOTO’s national training center in Hanoi and its training restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Almost 1000 trainees have graduated from KOTO and at any given me there are 180 trainees undertaking the program. Jimmy continues to take a strong interest in every KOTO trainee. He personally knows the story of every single trainee that has been or going through the KOTO program!

Awards: In 2016, KOTO became the first legally registered entity operating as a social enterprise in Vietnam, after much-sought changes to the national law on Enterprises. Recent awards include KOTO being named as a finalist for the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy’s Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in 2013. In the same year, KOTO was awarded the inaugural UNICEF Vietnam Zero Award for Social Innova on for its work championing the rights of children and youth. In 2017, KOTO was awarded a Pioneer in the field of Social Enterprise by the Centre for Social Initiatives Promo on and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). In 2018, the Department of Foreign A airs and Trade (DFAT) through the “Her Turn: Women’s Economic Empowerment Project in Vietnam” funded KOTO to provide vocational and/or entrepreneurial skills training to rural and/or ethnic minority women. In addition, a number of KOTO female alumnae will receive in-depth women’s leadership and entrepreneurial skills training.

November 8 @ 11:55
11:55 — 13:00 (1h 5′)

The Parisian Macao Main Stage

Jimmy Pham