The rise of female business leaders in Vietnam

March 09, 2021 | 10:20
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With wisdom and courage, female sellers are bringing more authentic “Made in Vietnam” goods and services to worldwide customers.

The imprint of Vietnamese female leaders in the past years has made great contributions to the local economy. According to a report from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Vietnam has witnessed a significant growth of businesses run by women across the country. By the end of September 2019, 24 per cent of the total number of businesses nationwide are owned by women, the highest percentage of women-led businesses in Southeast Asia.

This year, the International Women's Day (IWD) is themed "Choose to Challenge" by calling out gender bias and inequality while choosing to celebrate the achievements of women. Being the essential asset for the growth of Vietnamese products in the global stage, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) run by women have gradually proven their competitive edges, especially with the blossoming of cross-border e-commerce websites.

Choose to Challenge

Though more women have joined the industry in the past few years, there are still many challenges that they have to face, like to overcome gender stereotypes and the expectations of work-family balance from society. In addition, the consequences of COVID-19 have pushed their enterprises on the verge of financial and inventory crisis due to social distancing, which leads to the temporary business suspension as well as the decrease in demand from both domestic customers and international tourists.

the rise of female business leaders in vietnam
Phung Minh Thuy, deputy business director and co-founder of HMGpop

“Entrepreneurship has never been easy, especially for women,” Phung Minh Thuy, deputy business director and co-founder of HMGpop shared. Thuy believes that female leaders have to manage their time effectively to maintain the balance between work and family, to not only meet the expectations of their customers, partners, and the internal team but also take good care of their families at the same time.

Despite the challenges, Thuy acknowledges the unique strengths that each woman has to thrive in their own field. “With delicacy and flexibility in communication, detail-oriented work ethics, and sensibility to better understand the market, females have the advantages when it comes to working in the competitive business industry," she shared.

the rise of female business leaders in vietnam
HMGpop Products

Bring authentic Vietnam product to the world

By that industry, Thuy refers to cross-border e-commerce. Businesses can capture the trend of consumers’ behaviour transforming from offline to online, to not only succeed in their current marketplace but also in international online stores worldwide.

Starting with an architecture enterprise, Thuy and her husband gained their first business lessons through several failures. In 2012, when the real estate industry suffered a downfall, Thuy decided to invest in designing and manufacturing 3D pop-up cards and promoting them on several e-commerce websites. Realising the potential growth of pop-up cards as in many cultures that give prominence to the gifting custom, she decided to choose Amazon as the channel to introduce her products to global customers.

“To get HMGpop to become Amazon’s Choice, I have spent some time to get familiar with how to manage a business on Amazon, such as how to optimise the product listings,” Thuy shared. As a result, HMGpop’s products have gained overwhelming support from global customers and maintained its top position in the Card category on Amazon with the transaction record of up to 1,300 orders per day. From 2019 to 2020, the business also witnessed an impressive growth of 100 per cent on the Amazon store, and revenue from Amazon accounts for 30 per cent of the company’s total revenue.

the rise of female business leaders in vietnam
Tran Hanh Thu, CEO of Tanisa

Another aspiring brand that featured in the remarkable female-owned Amazon businesses is Tanisa – A Tay Ninh Specialty and rice product manufacturer and exporter. From the viewpoint of Tran Hanh Thu, CEO of Tanisa, Vietnamese food, with its unique taste along with other health benefits, has always been loved worldwide. However, these products did not manage to make a mark in the world like Japanese Sushi or Korean Kimchi. Moreover, Vietnamese products are even sold as products from other Asian countries. This has become the key motivation for Thu to strive towards her aspiration of exporting "Made in Vietnam" products with authentic Vietnamese values to the global customers.

According to Thu, “Though B2B export can help increased revenue, these channels do not ensure that SMEs like Tanisa can achieve their branding goals. Meanwhile, Amazon has not only enabled us to promote Tanisa products as 100 per cent 'Made in Vietnam’ but also has created a ‘flat world” – far different from traditional selling methods, where Tanisa products can reach international customers directly from the manufacturers in Vietnam. So far, my experience has been absolutely pleasant!”

the rise of female business leaders in vietnam
Tanisa products

Sharpen the thought and capture the opportunity

HMGpop and Tanisa are the two representatives in the large community of successful female-owned enterprises on Amazon. As the leading e-commerce companies, with 20 online stores worldwide and over 185 fulfillment centres across the world, female sellers are contributing a lot on Amazon, according to a recent poll, 42 per cent of businesses selling in Amazon’s store worldwide are female-owned.

Amazon continues the effort of helping Vietnamese businesses, including female-owned businesses, to start a global business. In December 2020, Vietnamese language support was launched in order to better support local sellers in starting and maintaining their digital business competitiveness by sharing resources in the local language and connecting them with the broader seller community.

In 2020, Amazon launched more than 250 tools and services to help sellers manage and grow their businesses. Among all these services and tools, Amazon has offered to sellers in the past years, many find Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) helpful. With this service, sellers can store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centres all over the world, where Amazon picks, packs, delivers, and provides customer service for these products. Therefore, sellers can concentrate on conducting customer insight research and enhancing their business strategies to generate more revenue.

With the strengths and convenience to help launch a global business, Amazon is considered a “promising land” where Vietnamese SMEs are empowered to grow in their specific field, regardless of whether they are run by males or females. “Equal opportunity in the business industry is like having the same starting point. To thrive and become the leader, you should consider choosing products with highly competitive advantages,” Thuy shared.

Amazon Global Selling helps businesses from anywhere in the world to launch a global business, reaching Amazon customers around the world and building international brands. Through sellers on Amazon online stores, sellers of different types and sizes can now sell to 300+ million worldwide active customer accounts, including 150+ million Prime customers in overseas Amazon marketplaces and millions of institutional buyers in the USA, Europe and Japan. Learn more at or visit for the latest news.

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