In 1997, the project proposal to establish a Business Support Centre (BSC) in Thai Nguyen was prepared by SNV Vietnam at the request of the Thai Nguyen Provincial People’s Committee. The BSC was established in 1999 with the goal to “increase rural employment opportunities through the stimulation and strengthening of entrepreneurial activities”. The project was formulated on two levels: 1. Service provider level: to establish a sustainable business support centre that can provide good BDS for enterprises in Thai Nguyen; and 2. Entrepreneurial level: to improve and strengthen entrepreneurial activities resulting in increased income and employment for beneficiaries

The Council of Co-operatives and Non State Enterprises (CCNSE) of Ninh Binh province and SNV cooperated in executing the Entrepreneurial Support Services (ESS) Project as part of the Income & Employment Generation (IEG) programme of SNV Vietnam. The IEG programme responds to the pressing need to absorb the fast growing labour surplus in rural areas. Specifically, there are areas where agriculture does not generate sufficient income and only part-time employment. Employment in state-owned enterprises has been declining and rural enterprises are still underdeveloped.