SBC101 case




In the first round of SBC 2023, further investigation and reflection regarding aspects of social innovations upon our business is an essential step in order to enhance our own model and maximize our social impact. 

Therefore, we have decided to explore the operation of Finful as our team’s case study. This report will outline the findings of our research and detail how we have applied the knowledge about business ecosystem and typology of social entrepreneurship acquired from the SBC101 course “Principles of Social Innovations” to our analysis. 


  1. Business ecosystem of Finful 

The business ecosystem encompasses the various stakeholders involved in your project and the broader environment in which your business operates. The term “context” refers to external factors beyond the entrepreneur’s direct control, including legal, political, socio-cultural, technological, ecological, and economic elements. Understanding the business ecosystem and its context is crucial for entrepreneurs to identify opportunities and challenges, and to make informed decisions that align with their goals and values. By analyzing the interplay between the different stakeholders and contextual factors, entrepreneurs can develop effective strategies to achieve sustainable and socially responsible outcomes.

Source: SBC101 course “Principles of Social Innovations”


In the case of Finful: 

In this case writing, we have chosen to dig deeper into the environment part of the ecosystem in which Finful is operating to get an overview of our business and our contribution to society.

In summary, Finful are taking full advantage of technology trends (edtech, fintech, gamification)  and regulation trends and current trends (investment demands among Gen Z, banks’ issues). Since the revenue stream of Finful is from the B2B model, it enables young people to learn about financial literacy regardless of region, income, culture, education.

This market sector in Vietnam so far is fragmented with little to none direct competitors. Therefore, this could be both the challenges and opportunities to consolidate and dominate the market. 


Politics & Administrative Structures: 

  • The government invested approximately $415 million in the ICT sector by the end 2020 with the goal: “70% of community learning centers to apply information technology in management, organization of educational activities” → Government making Ed-tech a priority in Vietnam.


→ Impact significantly on both domestic and Foreign Direct Investment. Vietnam’s Edtech is considered a ‘piece of cake’ for worldwide investors for those reasons:

(1) The high internet penetration 

(2) A large young population (16% nationwide) 

(3) Increase in demands for multimedia content + low-cost and time-efficient learning options  (Australia Government 2020)

→ Vietnam is a huge opportunity for both domestic (there are about 260 edtech businesses in Vietnam) and foreign investors.


Geography & Infrastructure:

  • Regarding Internet subscribers and smartphone penetration in Vietnam, according to Newzoo’s Global Mobile Market Report, the number of Internet users in Vietnam has been continuously climbing during 10 years ( from top 44 in 2013 to top 9 2021 worldwide), top 7 in Penetration rate of smartphones in 2021 with 68,2% (Statista)


Economics & Markets:

  • Vietnam was listed in the top 10 fastest growing Edtech market globally, posting annual growth of 44.3 percent (Vietnam Edtech Report, 2021).

  • The technology service is expected to increase at a CARG 23.4% during 2019E-2023E (Ken Research, 2019)

  • The gamification market will grow at a massive CARG of 38.1% by the year 2019E-2023E

* * The Vietnam’s edtech market is estimated to reach revenue US$3 billion by 2023


Culture & Social Fabric:

  • Online learning essentially removes geographical limits to service provision. Business locations in the industry tend to be correlated with internet connectivity, population distribution and economic activity. As a result, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi and other big cities are estimated to account for the majority of online education providers. Many students in remote areas that would otherwise be unable to engage with bricks-and-mortar institutions are able to access digital education. As of 2027 below, the total potential market size of edtech for gen Z (accounted for 20.9% of total population) is 21.5 million gen Z.  





  1. Finful – Social Constructionist 


Source: SBC101 course “Principles of Social Innovations”


In the case of Finful, it can be categorized as a Social Constructionist. 

Specifically, Social Constructionists create and operate ventures that aim to solve social problems that are not adequately addressed by existing organizations or governments. This is exactly what Finful has done by offering an innovative financial education app that targets young people and individuals with limited financial literacy.

Through its unique approach that incorporates gamification and social learning, Finful has challenged traditional financial education models that often fail to engage diverse audiences. By creating a new platform tailored to the needs of its target audience, Finful has provided an alternative structure for financial education that addresses a social need that was previously not fully met by governments or traditional financial institutions.

Furthermore, it is evident that Finful’s focus on promoting financial literacy and empowerment aligns with the principles of Social Constructionism, which aims to create social wealth.

Another key characteristic of Social Constructionists is their ability to identify and leverage opportunities for social impact. In the case of Finful, the company saw a gap in financial education for young people and individuals with limited financial literacy and created an innovative solution to address this need. By identifying and pursuing this opportunity, Finful has not only created a successful business but also contributed to a broader social goal of promoting financial inclusion and empowerment.

As a Social Constructionist, Finful also prioritizes collaboration and partnership with other organizations and stakeholders. The company is forming partnerships with financial institutions, educational organizations, and non-profits to expand its reach and impact. By working together with other organizations and leveraging their strengths and resources, Finful has been able to achieve greater social impact than it could have achieved alone. This collaborative approach is a hallmark of Social Constructionism and is essential for creating sustainable and scalable solutions to social problems.




  1. SBC101 course “Principles of Social Innovations”

  2. Boudreau, K. J., & Lakhani, K. R. (2013). Using the crowd as an innovation partner. Harvard business review, 91(4), 60-69.