Vietnamese Women Entrepreneurs: Aggressive in Business, Compassionate in Everyday Life

11:37:56 AM | 3/5/2021

Not only making great contributions to economic development, Vietnamese businesswomen also take the lead in carrying out social responsibility, promoting gender equality and social progress. Characterized by self-reliance, intelligence and agility, female entrepreneurs are an important resource for the country's socio-economic development.

“Today, Vietnamese businesswomen are not only talented, beautiful, brave, and intellectual, but also have golden hearts for national development and social progress. Their success and contributions to socio-economic development and national construction are undeniable. They actively participate in voluntary activities and inspire compassion among their employees, as they see it as a part of honest business philosophy," said Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), at the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Meeting Program 2021.

Vietnamese women are always appreciated for their diligence, dignity, speech and conduct. In the current Industry 4.0 era, women have become "sparkling flowers" as they are not only meticulously doing housework but also showing their talent, wisdom and energy along with their skills in the market, becoming successful businesswomen and contributing more significantly to economic development.

According to statistics, about 24% of enterprises in Vietnam are owned or led by women, higher than the Southeast Asia average of 8%, ranking No.  19 out of 54 countries in the Female Entrepreneurship Index (FEI), and ranking No. 7 among 54 countries in women entrepreneurs.

Many women-owned enterprises have achieved impressive and creditworthy business results in the international arena. Outstanding female entrepreneurs include Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao - CEO of Vietjet Air, Thai Huong - General Director of Bac A Bank and Chairwoman of TH Group, Cao Thi Ngoc Dung - President of PNJ, Nguyen Thi Nga - President of BRG, and Mai Kieu Lien - President and CEO of Vinamilk.

Among 25 businesswomen in the Asia Power Businesswomen 2020 recently released by Forbes Magazine, Vietnam has two: Truong Thi Le Khanh - Founder and President Vinh Hoan Corporation (VHC) and Nguyen Bach Diep - President of FPT Retail. They were chosen among elites in many countries in the region, such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China and Vietnam, across many different industries. Their names, brands and corporate reputation affirm their success and gain widespread recognition.

While some women entrepreneurs have built, managed and run Vietnam's top brands and elevated these brands to challenge international brands, a vast majority of women-owned businesses are small and medium in scale. Notably, women owned about 30% of micro and small enterprises. Among household businesses, more than 50% are women-owned.

According to many experts, if they own technology, women-owned enterprises can completely boost business operations to develop more strongly.

In particular, according to Dr. Vu Tien Loc, while the Covid-19 pandemic is causing strong and negative impacts on the global economy, including Vietnam, domestic enterprises, especially women-led ones that employ many female workers, are resilient to external changes and play a significant role in the Government’s success of achieving double goals.

“Women are the ones who decide the future of Vietnam's economy," he added.

Madam Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), once said that in order to achieve certain business success, each woman must experience numerous difficulties and challenges. In addition to common difficulties that all entrepreneurs face, prejudices about women's entrepreneurship are a major barrier to them. Most women-owned enterprises are small and micro, with limited ability to find customers and deploy business resources like access to capital, information, knowledge, support programs and policies. VCCI's surveys showed that women-owned businesses are currently facing many difficulties, especially in finding customers and adapting to market fluctuations.

To overcome these difficulties, women entrepreneurs need to be proactive and constantly learn to improve their qualifications, knowledge and skills, and become more professional in corporate governance, she said. At the same time, it is necessary to flexibly use public services to ease their workload when they are too busy with their business affairs, make well-prepared plans and good management skills to promptly respond to uncertainties occurring in the business and on the market; and improve information technology prowess to manage their companies anywhere and anytime.

In addition, women-owned enterprises can increase their participation in associations and business networks to connect with partner networks, to share and to gain business experience.

By Anh Mai, Vietnam Business Forum