Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs to Start Innovative Business

10:50:45 AM | 6/25/2019

According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2018, women-led businesses in Vietnam accounted for 31.3% of total businesses, ranking sixth among 57 rated countries.

High ranking for women business owners

Vietnam is the only country in Asia to be among the top 10 countries in the world in this index and it continues to maintain its rankings of opportunity and participation in women's economies.

According to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, 71.2% of Vietnamese women join the labor force, significantly higher than the average rate of 61.1% in the East Asia - Pacific region and 49.6% in the world. The above figures partly illustrate success in persistent pursuit and execution of Vietnam's gender equality policy. Currently, about 25,000 small and medium-sized enterprises are women-led.

Currently, women are playing a greater role in many new fields and industries that were previously only for men. Many have achieved high status in their careers. A report recently released by the Vietnam Women's Union said that many women groups and women have been awarded the Independence Order and the Labor Order, and thousands of women have been awarded noble titles such as national emulation soldiers, excellent teachers, excellent physicians, people's teachers, people’s physicians, excellent artists, and people's artists.

At the same time, the rate of women’s participation in political leadership tends to increase. In the 14th National Assembly, 133 women were elected, accounting for 26.8%, ranking second in ASEAN and 43rd out of 143 countries in the world. With progressive rankings related to women's participation in the economic, educational and political sectors, Vietnam is considered a leading light of gender equality in realizing the Millennium Development Goals.

Supporting creative women to start a business

However, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), gender inequality remains a major challenge in the country's development. Even when women contribute substantially to society and the economy, they are still underestimated in the labor market. They are not benefiting from equal economic growth with men. In addition, inequality exhibits clearly in many aspects of social life. Many cases of violence and sexual abuse against women and girls are complicatedly developing.

According to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, in order to achieve the goal of gender equality, beside the big goal of completing the policy framework on social security, prioritized insurance reform, lifelong learning for women and girls, and work for elderly women and migrant women, Vietnam also advocates supporting creative women to start a business as a breakthrough policy factor to improve the rate and quality of female business owners.

Since 2017, the Prime Minister has approved two projects “Communication, education, advocacy and support for women’s involvement in solutions to women-related social issues” in 2017 - 2027” (Project 938) and “Support for women starting a business in 2017 - 2025” (Project 939). Carrying out Project 939, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Women's Union organized a series of activities, including training courses to provide knowledge and skills of entrepreneurship for women; matching fairs for women to exchange and learn, promote trade and product consumption for women; incentives for women to develop business ideas; and supports for completing plans and accessing resources to realize ideas. At the same time, the committee launched good production and business movements, thus promoting passion and aspiration to start a business, supporting business establishment and production investment to raise incomes.

71.2% of Vietnamese women join the labor force, significantly higher than the average rate of 61.1% in the East Asia - Pacific region and 49.6% in the world.

The committee also proposed solutions to address difficulties for start-up women like concretizing regulations on support for women-managed businesses, facilitating women-owned businesses to access resources, especially when they are small, medium or micro enterprises.

In more than one year of implementing the project, more than 8,600 women started up a business and 137 projects participated in the “National Women’s Start-up Day.” It can be said that Project 939 not only arouses women’s potential and creativity in economic development but also contributes to raising the social awareness of women’s role in economic development and realizing the national goal of business development and the National Strategy on Gender Equality.

Nguyen Thanh