Women Business Owners in Vietnam

The findings in this report are based on a quantitative survey conducted among 500 larger, formal women-owned businesses across the country. The study had two main objectives: to uncover the challenges and concerns of female entrepreneurs as they try to grow their firms, and to gather and report on the policy and programmatic needs of the women’s business community in Vietnam.

The report finds that women-owned enterprises share many of the challenges faced by other enterprises in Vietnam: limited availability of capital, inadequate market information, ambiguous rules and regulations, and a shortage of skilled employees. Moreover, it also reveals that women entrepreneurs confront barriers that are gender-specific, including a lack of business and financial management training, insufficient networking opportunities, and difficulty in balancing work and family responsibilities.

The study concludes with three major recommendations from women entrepreneurs themselves on how the government can support them. First, strategic consideration should be given to promoting women's enterprise development – with a special emphasis on access to entrepreneurial education and training, access to capital, and access to new markets. Second, regular fora should be established to create more opportunities for businesswomen to network and form mentoring relationships. Finally, an official ‘home’ for information on issues relating to women’s enterprise development should be established so that women business owners can provide the government with information and feedback on what policies are needed and whether or not they work.

52 pages | © October 2006 IFC

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