PRESENTATION BY MS. NGUYEN THI PHUONG MINH, Vietnam
The renovation direction of Vietnam, with an economy of multiple sectors and forms of ownership, particularly the Cooperative Law (1996) and the Decree 90/2001/ND-CP, has created a driving force and favorable opportunity for the establishment and strong development of enterprises, including those managed by women. The number of small and medium enterprises has been increasing quickly. From 2000 to 2005, there were 160,752 registered enterprises, about 3.3 times higher than the total number of newly established enterprises that were registered during the period from 1991-1999. At present, the annual average number of registered enterprises is approximately 6 times higher than that of the period 1991-1999.
Of all enterprises in
In spite of these advantages, Vietnamese women entrepreneurs are faced with the following disadvantages and difficulties:
-Low competitiveness of many women’s enterprises due to shortages of capital, small scales of operation, difficulties in technology, information, management knowledge, and obstacles caused by inadequate legal framework, socio-psychological environment. Many women entrepreneurs lack professional, foreign language, and business management knowledge and skills. Many of them have not yet participated in any training in business management.
-The global business environment changes quickly and frequently. The globalization process and changes in business technology applications have impacted all enterprises. Women in small and medium enterprises face the threat of being excluded
-Women’s enterprises have an undeveloped network of support. Women entrepreneurs are not bold enough in doing business; they have to assume both business work and household chores.
Therefore, the VWU’s role sees a great need to effectively promote and support the development of female enterprises in order to contribute to the realization of the targets of socio-economic growth, enhancing
1. Policy advocacy for female enterprises:
Along with credit support, training to improve business management knowledge and skills for women is a focus of the VWU. Training programs of the VWU concentrate on training of key trainers and of women owners of enterprises. These trainings focus on 2 aspects: business inception and business management.
During the 5 years from 2000-2005, we gained from the implementation of projects funded by the Dutch, German and Australian Governments and from the Vietnamese Government’s Human Resource Training Support Program for small and medium enterprises. During the period 2004-2008, about 400 key trainers in business administration have been developed by Women’s Unions at different levels. The VWU has developed a pool of VWU’s trainers in enterprise building for women. Moreover, the VWU has also provided business training for hundreds of thousands of female enterprises, including basic training in counseling for female entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises in 20 selected provinces/cities. The VWU’s Training School for Women Cadres has set up a “Women and
The central VWU’s Women Enterprise Coordinating Committeeis a focal point for information on supporting activities for women’s enterprises. The Committee assumes the task of maximizing mobilization and appropriate allocation of resources for women’s enterprises. In addition, the
Every year, the VWU, in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Advertisement and Trade Fair Company (Ministry of Commerce),has organized various trade promotion activities such as exhibitions, the trade fair on “Vietnamese Women With Economic Development and Integration”; participated in the trade fair and exhibited at the conference of Asia-Pacific Women Entrepreneurs; conducted a workshop “Culture in Doing Business”; selected and awarded the prizes “Golden Rose” and the “Golden Conical Hat” to successful women entrepreneurs; and conducted meetings for experience sharing and information for women entrepreneurs.
To reduce the burden of household work for women entrepreneurs, the Union conducted training on management of family; conducted various communicative activities among women and communities to build “Plentiful, equal, progress and happiness family and to raise awareness on gender and role of men in the family. A series of workshops and dialogues on “Enterprise, Family and Social Work”, “Gender Equality in Business and Production”, “Men Share Responsibilities with Women and Family”…were conducted by the VWU. In addition, the VWU has activities to promote women’s enterprises, which helped to raise the awareness and sense of responsibility among families and the society towards the work and life of women entrepreneurs.
On the threshold of Vietnam entering WTO, the VWU’s direction in supporting women’s enterprises continues to focus on the above 5 areas, in which priority is given to policy advice, training, information, counseling and development of supporting networks to assist women entrepreneurs to improve their status and meet the requirements of international integration. The VWU has committed itself to continue its efforts in supporting women entrepreneurs, facilitating their talents and potential to enrich their families, the country andcontributing to the advancement and equality for women.