c/o Teollisen yhteistyön rahasto Oy (FINNFUND)
P.O. Box 147
00181 Helsinki - FINLAND
tel: +358 9 348 434 (please ask for Finnpartnership)
Aspectus Oy is a Finnish company established in 2010, operating currently also in Vietnam, specialized in communicating, analyzing, utilizing and commercializing the information obtained from the poorer communities in developing countries.
The entrepreneurs behind Aspectus had several years of grass roots level experience from relief work, and understood the concern of donors. “We took on the challenge and started to develop the first ever service that would tell the donors in real time what has been accomplished with their donation”, says Kari-Pekka Murtonen, one of the developers of Bank4Hope, who is also in charge of Aspectus’s international operations.
Through the Bank4Hope’s service a single donation, even as small as two euros, can be tracked and one can follow how it reaches its destination in six target countries through three different Finnish organisations. Among the corporate users of the service are, for example, SOK and Nokia. “The service increases transparency but of what we are even more excited about is the fact that the people on the receiving end are able to tell their stories. This is highly important from the perspective of rights-based approach”, Murtonen continues.
”It was clear from the beginning that we would open our first customer support center to either Vietnam or Cambodia. For this purpose Finnpartnership’s support was crucial for the success of the project”, says Murtonen. In practice, Bank4Hope service helps organisations to digitize the reporting of projects in developing countries. The information can be gathered e.g. via cell phones and can be used for the normal reporting and follow-up (of work). Additionally, part of the information is connected with donors through Bank4Hope.
After the pre-feasibility studies Aspectus decided to establish their customer service center in Vietnam. “We received valuable help from Finnpartnership regarding the feasibility studies as well as legal issues, that is, what type of contracts we need in our type of business cooperation. However, we got the most use out of the Finnpartnership’s support when training the employees. It enabled Aspectus’s Finnish employees to travel to Vietnam to train the local employees and provide sufficient background knowledge to all”, Murtonen describes the significance of the support.
Currently there are four persons working full-time at the customer service center, and several persons are employed on a part-time basis – including youngsters from poorer backgrounds. The staff at the customer service center feel that the technical challenges of developing a global service together with the multicultural customer service make the work highly interesting and motivating. “I am glad to be part of this team and want to do more to help the people in need. I wish that Bank4Hope will become ever more successful”, says Ngo Ho, one of the Vietnamese developers.
Aspectus encourages companies to venture to the international markets and utilize the support that Finnpartnership offers. “However, a small company should not enter the developing markets without careful consideration but utilize the support for conducting elaborate plans in order to minimize the risks”, reminds Murtonen.