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Businesswomen forum kicks off

Released at: 06:29, 20/11/2014

Businesswomen forum kicks off

Leadership is the focus of a forum being held in Hanoi today for Vietnamese women entrepreneurs.

by Minh Tien

The “Supporting Women Entrepreneurs in Vietnam - Leadership for Sustainable Business Growth” forum is being held in Hanoi today, November 20, by the Hanoi Association for Women Entrepreneurs (HNEW) and USAID Governance for Inclusive Growth (USG).

The forum marks Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (November 19), part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is held annually from November 17 to 21 in over 150 countries and territories around the world. At the forum, 200 businesswomen nationwide will be provided with information on one of the most important factors for sustainable business growth, which is an “advanced leadership mindset”.

“Leadership mindset” is a critical factor in the strength of leaders, especially for businesswomen, together with factors on “human resources” and “business environment”, which are important for sustainable business growth and directly affect the development of enterprises. This leadership mindset represents the desire and hope for change and creativity among leaders. For businesswomen, this leadership mindset facilitates their leadership development to increase their power towards sustainable business growth in a modern society.

Within the scope of the forum, professional experts from around the world as well as local organizations will discuss valuable and practical information, including on new international opportunities, the importance of advancing women’s leadership skills in order to maximize their ability to respond to these opportunities, and four key elements to support women entrepreneurs in enterprise management for sustainable business growth during international integration, including Capital, Compliance, Human Resources, and Cooperation. Moreover, it is an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to meet, exchange experience and enhance interaction and support during international integration and development.

In recent years the number of women entrepreneurs in Vietnam has increased significantly and now stands at more than 25 per cent of the total. And one of the targets set by National Strategy for Gender Equality in the 2011-2020 period is that at least 35 per cent of businesses will be led by women by 2020. Vietnamese women entrepreneurs are asserting their talent and perseverance in business, and are willing to learn and absorb new concepts and change their leadership mindset with the aim of developing their business in a fast and strong manner, based on the goal of sustainable growth.

At the moment, however, besides general challenges created by the economic crisis, restrictions on business competence, managerial experience and knowledge of and compliance with local and international laws and regulations, competitive edge and international integration are also real issues that are obstacles facing Vietnamese entrepreneurs, including businesswomen. Businesses owned by women are mostly small and medium sized with notable limitations. Such limitations include having no long-term strategy for their operation, leadership based on a “traditional” mindset, and many other factors regarding long-term sustainable development, such as risk and human resources management, compliance, brand development, and strategic cooperation relationships, etc., that have not been paid adequate attention.

“Entering ‘the game’ globally means that Vietnamese businesspeople in general and Vietnamese businesswomen in particular must move into a new period, which needs new steps in development and new thinking. If their thinking does not change, especially leadership thinking, as they strive to achieve their goals with good strategies and vision and knowledge about compliance with local and international laws and regulations, being left behind and being out of ‘the game’ will be unavoidable. For Vietnamese businesswomen, changing their leadership thinking in an innovative and creative manner to make it adaptable to the new stage of development and to make it move toward growth and sustainable development is an essential requirement. It is a focus and goal for HNEW and GIG/USAID in collaborating in organizing this forum.”

Ms. Ha Thu Thanh, President of the Hanoi Association for Women Entrepreneurs (HNEW), Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Women Entrepreneurs (VAWE)

“Women entrepreneurs have the potential to drive Vietnam’s development and growth. Bringing together so many dedicated businesswomen from across Vietnam highlights the importance of advancing leadership skills for women entrepreneurs nationwide, and this forum should help improve their ability to respond to opportunities in Vietnam’s economic transition, including foreign investment, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and engagement with the One ASEAN Economic Community.”

Mr. Joakim Parker, USAID Mission Director

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