Forum seeks to promote women entrepreneurs and connect businesses in Ben Tre

A workshop on "Sharing solutions to find marketplace, support women entrepreneurs and connect businesses" has just been held in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre.

Photo: UN Women/Kim Lan Nguyen

The workshop was organized in the series of activities of the Innovative Women's Entrepreneurship Day Program of the Women's Union of Ben Tre province, Ben Tre Investment Promotion and Enterprise Support Center (iPEC) and the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC).

The workshop welcomed 150 representatives from People's Committee, Department of Planning and Investment, Department of Industry and Trade, Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Business Association, women entrepreneurs and women start-ups in Ben Tre province.

On the occasion, UN Women presented 2 awards for the Innovative Start-up Idea Contest of the Women's Union of Ben Tre province.

Ben Tre is one of the leader in implementing the governmental project ‘Supporting national innovative startup ecosystems until 2025’. It is especially successful with its program ‘Dong Khoi – Starting Up and Developing Businesses’.

In 2016, the Ben Tre Provincial Party issued the Program No. 10-CTr/TU on ‘Dong Khoi – Starting Up and Developing Businesses’. After three years running, this program has achieved certain positive results, fostering the establishment of a true startup environment and freer investment environment in the province.

From 2016 to 2019, there were 2,890 companies in total, with the aim for 2,500 new ones in 2020. 15,039 new families in the province took part in commercial activities, an increase to 45,953 province-wide. The program received 980 documents to request support on new ideas and projects, 369 of which were already approved. It also financed 1,554 projects of various scales with the total capital of around VND1,761 billion (approx. $75.46 million).

Thanks to various suitable policies and favorable conditions, many individuals dare open their own businesses while others also have excellent startup ideas to escape poverty. Several startup models such as shaping handicraft coconut, manufacturing bio-fertilizer from coconut peat, producing cosmetics from coconut, or making probiotics from bagasse pulp have been impressively fruitful.

One of the most prominent example of these startup successes is the small-scale business of Ngo Thi Hoang Oanh, located in Khanh Thanh Tan Commune in Mo Cay Bac District. After pursuing the major of business administration in Ho Chi Minh City, Ms. Oanh realized the potential of her hometown in creating cosmetics from coconut oil. In 2016, she and her husband established a family-scale company to produce lipsticks and soap.

Minh Nguyen