How do you assess the situation of women starting and developing businesses in Vietnam?
|Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, chairwoman of the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) |
Vietnamese female entrepreneurs are growing stronger in quantity, quality, professionalism, and influence.
According to a report by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in 2009 only 4 per cent of businesses were owned by women. This number increased to 24 per cent in 2019.
The latest report from Mastercard published last month shows that the rate of female entrepreneurs in Vietnam accounted for 27 per cent, ranking 20th out of 55 countries and territories surveyed.
In 2021, Nguyen Phuong Thao, a Vietnamese businesswoman, officially entered the top 1,000 richest people in the world. We also have many female entrepreneurs ranked at the top of Asia's most powerful women.
Not only contributing to society, GDP, and job creation, Vietnamese businesswomen are also a pioneer in building a greener economy towards a sustainable business model.
Vietnam ranks first in the world in terms of startup entrepreneurship and second in optimism in entrepreneurship, according to the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index report conducted by Amway Group in collaboration with partners.
What are the barriers that women-owned businesses face during the digital transformation?
According to a report by VWEC in 2021, 99 per cent of female entrepreneurs want to carry out digital transformation and apply technology in business operations to innovate and keep up with trends in the digital age.
However, in fact, less than 20 per cent are applying technology in the field of purchasing and inventory management, and 30 per cent of female-owned enterprises have implemented payment, personnel, and financial management software.
The above figures have proven that Vietnamese businesswomen have begun to be aware of and join the game of digital transformation, which is a very good signal to help them overcome issues such as lacking the confidence to take more risks than men might take.
Another important factor is the issue of internal human resources of the enterprise, including financial and labour resources, while another challenge is foreign languages. All technology software uses specialised terms in foreign languages.
I hope projects that support women startups, like Visa's She's Next, will try to localise the documents to make them easier to understand.
If the programme is successful in Vietnam, I think this will be an extremely important highlight in digital transformation, especially in using payment tools.
What plans does VWEC have to support female-led businesses in digital transformation?
Over 20 years of establishment, we have cooperated with many partners to implement activities according to market trends and we have a very strong network in ASEAN. Currently, VWEC is acting as a dialogue channel in the bloc, and we also attended the Global Summit of Women.
Currently, the VWEC is a partner of Google in the Women Win programme to deploy a marketing training package and identify businesses on Google Maps and Google Tools. We also just celebrated our fifth anniversary with Facebook on the She Means Business in Vietnam programme.
VWEC has supported female entrepreneurs to use digital platforms in business operations and customer access and management. We also equip them with financial insights to help businesses adapt and overcome a crisis.
We are also a partner of organisations implementing digital training programmes, consulting, and connecting businesses. In the coming time, VWEC will continue to work with partners to form an ecosystem to support the female business community in this country.