On 17-18 May 2018, SNV Vietnam and the Provincial Women’s Union in Quang Binh province organised an event to kick-off the National Women-led Business Start-up Programme (NWBSP) in the province. The NWBSP will be implemented between 2017 and 2025 in 63 provinces in Vietnam with the aim to boost women entrepreneurship and innovation.
The event was organised to increase awareness around the Women-led Business Start-up Programme, which aims to support thousands of women in starting up their own businesses and encourage more women-led businesses in Quang Binh province. Under the NWBSP the Women’s Union will provide direct support to women for the implementation of business development and start-up ideas through capacity building activities and by enhancing women’s access to inputs, resources and markets.
During the event, a total of 8 stalls decorated by the District and Communal Women’s Unions displayed more than 100 agricultural and traditional products, including potatoes, bamboo and rattan crafts and organic mushrooms and other vegetables. The event was a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs to promote their products and find access to new markets. “Today I feel very happy and I would like to show my appreciation to the Women’s Union and SNV for giving me the opportunity to express my voice and thoughts during this event”, says Ms. Nguyen Thi Luoc, Director of Bac Tien Mushroom Cooperative in Quang Ninh district. “I also want to thank you for the continuous support under the EOWE programme to me and my mushroom cooperative during the start-up and expansion phase that we are in. The support enabled me to join technical training courses to improve the quality of my products and to introduce them to the customers in the surrounding provinces.”
Visitors explore the products of women-led enterprises
Local products from women-led enterprises in Quang Binh province
In addition to women entrepreneurs, the event was visited by women in the province who are interested in starting their own business. During the event women entrepreneurs and female visitors were able to meet, discuss and exchange experiences and inspiration around starting and developing your own business. A selected number of women-led enterprises and cooperatives were honorably given an award for their success in starting their own business and for their contribution to provincial economic development. Many of their products have become well-known among local customers. The success of these enterprises/cooperatives forms an encouragement for other women in developing and implementing their start-up ideas as well as finding and expanding markets for their products.
The event was also attended by high-level participants, including Mr. Nguyen Huu Hoai (Chairman of Quang Binh People’s Committee), Mr. Nguyen Tien Hoang (Vice Chairman of Quang Binh People’s Committee), Ms. Pham Thi Han (Chairwoman of Quang Binh Women’s Union), Ms. Tran Tu Anh (FLOW/EOWE Project Manager, SNV Vietnam) and other key leaders and staff of relevant governmental agencies.
Through the EOWE programme, SNV will support the Women’s Union to become a key player in fostering the entrepreneurship ecosystem and private sector development in Vietnam, thereby strengthening their policy influence to promote a women’s economic empowerment agenda. The partnership will enable the Women’s Union to effectively implement the National Start-up Programme. On a policy level, SNV and the Women’s Union will organise annual Public-Private-Civil society dialogues to engage different stakeholders, from female entrepreneurs to senior policy makers, to discuss challenges and opportunities for women businesses and start-ups, with the aim that these reflections and insights could feed into new gender-responsive policies and programmes.
“We are determined to support women in developing innovative ideas and in starting and developing their own businesses”, explains Ms. Pham Thi Han, Chairwomen of the Quang Binh Women’s Union. “In the upcoming months, we will continue to strengthen the communication activities to encourage women to start a business with available resources. Today’s event is the initial step to connect individuals and enterprises as well as to show our respect and honor for the contribution of women’s businesses to economic development in Quang Binh province. The successful stories will form a great encouragement to those who are interested in starting their own business in the province.”
In the upcoming months similar kick-off events will be organised in three other provinces, Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan, where the EOWE programme is being implemented.