Hanoi (VNA) – Several Vietnamese businesses have been successful andstretched their reach globally, and many of them are run by very talentedwomen, said founder and Director of the Women’s Initiative for Start-ups andEntrepreneurship (WISE) Tu Thu Hien.
Thecountry is celebrating Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day (October 13), which was launchedin 2004 to recognise businesspersons’ role in development. Among Vietnameseentrepreneurs, women have gained an increasingly strong foothold in theeconomy.
Belowis the full interview on this topic the WISE leader gave to the Vietnam NewsAgency:
Why is it important to encouragewomen to start businesses? What is the role of women-owned enterprises?
Encouragingwomen to embark on business ventures is important as they make up 50 percent ofthe labour force in Vietnamand hold a lot of untapped potential.
Womenhave a lot of strengths, even more than men. In Vietnam, to some extent, women arestill limited by traditional ways of thinking. They have a lot of potential,initiative and a good mindset, and if they are encouraged and effectively used,they could develop many business models and create high-quality products andservices for society.
Women-ledenterprises comprise 25 percent of the total number of businesses in Vietnam. Manyof them have been successful, grown strongly and stretched their reach globally,such as Vietjet Air, TH True Milk and Vinamilk. These firms are all run by verytalented women and have gained successes at the international scale, not onlyin Vietnam.
Therefore, it can be said that women-owned enterprises play a huge role,greatly contributing to the economy, society and their employees.
Thefigures demonstrate the important role of women in the economy of Vietnam.According to research by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), women-ledbusinesses have more strengths than men-owned ones such as employing a higherpercentage of female workers, spending less per worker on wages, contributingslightly more to the national budget in taxes per worker, and spending slightlymore on social insurance.
Thoughthis research was conducted at a small scale in some provinces and notnationwide, to an extent the indicators demonstrate women’s enormous potentialin business management and operation.
As WISE was founded in Ho Chi Minh City in March2017, are there any WISE-funded start-ups that have succeeded, or could you detailsome future projects for start-ups?
WISEalso partners with start-up support programmes in its ecosystem and providessupplementary support to ensure that more businesswomen can benefit from them.
WISErecently launched an acceleration programme designed for women-owned tourismcompanies and has initially chosen four of them. WISE offers assistance thatmeets the demands of businesses and targets so they progress strongly andsustainably.
Underthis programme, WISE will discover the weaknesses of women entrepreneurs anddesign schemes to best meet their needs.
WISEalso offers consultancies, training, business and market access opportunitiesand other kinds of support.
WISE’sstrategy is to help women-led enterprises in the acceleration programme for 3-6months. Once finished, they can work independently after undergoingcapacity-building courses and accessing networks and other market resources insteadof receiving financial aid.
Inthe near future, WISE will continue to focus on agriculture and tourism whichare promising for women, both in workforce population and market potential.
Does WISE work to connect Vietnamesewomen start-ups with the region?
WISEhas been cooperating with the SHE (Support Her Enterprise) Investment programmeof Cambodia and theAssociations of Women Entrepreneurs of Myanmar and Laosto build a network connecting female start-ups in the Mekongregion, called “Mekong Women in Business”. WISE is in the process ofestablishing this portal. Once completed, it will link Vietnamese femalestart-ups with partners from Mekong countriesto share markets, information and knowledge, among other resources.
Thank you very much!-VNA
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