Strengthening Resilience for Women-Led Businesses

Thu, 24 Mar 2022 16:47:00  |  Print  |  Email   Share:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has left severe consequences on businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones owned by women,” said Madam Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council, at the recent Workshop on "Strengthening resilience and adaptability for business recovery and development” in Hanoi.


Women-owned companies account for about 24% of total enterprises in Vietnam. This rate is oriented to increase to 27% by 2025 and 30% by 2030 under the National Strategy for Gender Equality 2020-2030. Women-owned businesses are becoming an important driving force of the country's economy thanks to their growth in number, scale and influence.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic is like a terrible hurricane that destroys the human health and economic strength of most countries in the world. The pandemic has wrecked Vietnamese businesses, including women-owned ones, causing them to face market shrinkage, supply disruption, labor shortage, rising cost and uncontrollable cash flows.

A business survey conducted by VCCI in 2021 showed that up to 93.9% of businesses are negatively impacted by the pandemic. Against that backdrop, 119,800 companies left the market, an increase of 17.8% over 2020 (data released by the General Statistics Office in 2021).

A quick study by the Vietnam Women's Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) in March 2020 also showed that up to 72.2% of surveyed businesses said that the epidemic will cause a loss/narrowing of the consumption market; 62.9% believed that enterprises will lack working capital/cash flow; 44.4% answered that they will have to reduce their workforce; 29.6% answered that they will not be able to repay their mature bank loans and 25.9% said that they will face input shortages.

Against this backdrop, the Party and the government have made many timely and flexible decisions to support businesses to overcome this difficult period, including funding packages, financial and credit support, tax and fee exemption and reduction, and other social security support packages, she said. The Prime Minister issued Decision No. 749/QD-TTg dated June 3, 2020 approving the "National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with an eye to 2030" and especially Resolution No. 11/NQ –CP dated January 30, 2022 on Socioeconomic Recovery and Development Program and Resolution 43 of the National Assembly on fiscal and monetary policies to support the program with an expected budget of VND350 trillion for three target groups, including enterprises, cooperatives, business households.

According to Mr. Nguyen Hoa Cuong, Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), in the context of the complicated Covid-19 epidemic development, the National Assembly and the Government issued resolutions on socioeconomic business recovery and development program and enterprises need to actively work hard to restructure and achieve the highest result in finance, digital transformation, Industry 4.0, and business connectivity and sustainable development to enhance their resilience and adaptability.

2022 is also the 5th launching anniversary of #SheMeansBusiness (2017 - 2022) in Vietnam, an initiative of Meta Platforms Inc. One of the efforts of the Vietnam Women's Entrepreneurs Council in the #SheMeansBusinees program over the past five years is supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to improve their digital skills in reaching and retaining customers, promoting and branding products as well as enhancing financial literacy in crisis response. "Meta-backed #SheMeansBusiness Program comes to Vietnamese women entrepreneurs at the right time as they are preparing for adaptation to the Covid-19 pandemic and potential crises," Minh said.

“Over the past two years, we have been supported more women entrepreneurs through training programs, on-demand learning resources to strengthen digital skills and financial management to grow their businesses. As we approach this anniversary, digital transformation has become more important than ever, and we look forward to continuing strong partnership between the two organizations to achieve our shared mission of unlocking the potential of digital transformation for women's entrepreneurs and foster inclusive economic recovery," said Ann Lim, Director of Policy Programs and Government Outreach for the Asia Pacific and Global Head of #SheMeansBusiness, Meta Platforms Inc.

By: Anh Mai/ Vietnam Business Forum



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