Know One Teach One

Unverified non-profit organisation

Know One Teach One (KOTO) is the first established social enterprise & the first vocational training program targeting disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. Since its inception in 1997, KOTO has seen over 1,200 disadvantaged youth in Vietnam graduate from the program, with a certificate in hospitality or commercial cookery, and obtain stable employment in Vietnam’s hospitality industry. KOTO provides a holistic hospitality training program giving young people a well-rounded education to prepare them for life beyond the program. The program includes hospitality training, English lessons, life skills training & computer skills training with a range of extracurricular activities & community service initiatives.

KOTO has had a transformative impact on the lives of disadvantaged and at-risk youth, including their families and communities. Throughout this time, KOTO has consistently maintained a 100% rate of employment for its graduates upon graduation. In 2021, Mekong Economics Ltd, a market research firm, conducted the 2021 KOTO Social Impact Report, which suggests that over 21 years of operation, KOTO has created a lasting impact on society, demonstrated through the following outcomes of its graduates.

(1) On entering the program, KOTO trainees were poor, disadvantaged, and experiencing serious social and economic marginalization. Most are from Government-certified poor or near-poor households, meaning living with an average monthly income per person of $65 or less. Yet, in March 2020, 83% of KOTO graduates were employed with a median gross monthly income of $436/month; 96% earned above the national minimum wage ($193) and 90% earned above the average wage in the hospitality industry in Vietnam ($234);

(2) KOTO graduates experience career growth: 33% have been promoted to managerial positions at their work and 7% have founded registered businesses;

(3) KOTO graduates practised and maintained a community-oriented mindset: 78% provided regular financial support to their family (median yearly support $522) and 83% engaged in community service, donations, volunteering or sharing experience and expertise with KOTO staff and trainees;

(4) Across 20 years, investment in a KOTO trainee yielded an annualized social rate of return on investment (ROI) of 22% or a total ROI of 5.125%.

By enabling disadvantaged youth to not only become self-sufficient but also be able to support their family, keep their siblings at school, and give back to their community, KOTO has contributed to reducing youth unemployment and gradually breaking the cycle of poverty


Year established


Organisation annual cash turnover (in US$ equivalent)

500,000 - 1 million

Further information

About this organisation

Partnership types

Doing business with the poor

Regions / countries / territories

Asia: Vietnam

Global issues

Children, youth and family welfare; Education and training; Job creation and all (3)

Business sectors

Education and training; Manufacturing; Retail trade