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04/07/2019 - 07:33

The “Kick-starter” for start-up businesses

The first "Startup Women" contest held by the provincial Women's Union ended in mid-June was considered a "kick-starter", creating a strong movement in the women members who have started their businesses.

Ms. Hang takes advantage of bamboo materials to create an experience tourism space for visitors

Looking back on yourself to go further

When the idea of the Hue Lotus Tourism Development Project (Hue Lotus) won the first prize in the first "Women-led Startups" competition in 2019, people were not too surprised by the project feasibility and professionalism in the presentation of the founder, which was well expressed from previous rounds.

Ms. Duong Thi Thu Hang, the project founder, can present and respond well to both Vietnamese and English questions in front of the judges. Her entrepreneurial story has the power to inspire many other women members.

With the desire to introduce the beauty possessed only by Hue for tourists, in early 2017, even at the age of 36 and having been busy with work in a company, she still tried to make time to work as a tour guide on her days off.

"I went to a lot of travel companies to express my goodwill, but I was rejected wherever I got to," Hang said. Knowing her limitations, Ms. Hang is determined to invest her time in learning a foreign language and learning about history, culture and methods to become a tour guide.

As a result, she launched the Hue Lotus Tourism Development Project. Currently the project has received the consent of many investors inside and outside the province. Ms. Hang shared: “I am very grateful to the Provincial Women's Union for organizing the contest so that women who are passionate about start-up businesses like me have more opportunities to learn experiences and connect to call for investment”.

Although only stopping at the final round, Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, the owner of the clean mushroom production base in Phong My commune (Phong Dien) is still admirable. At the age of 50, she still managed to overcome many difficulties to maintain her 10-year-old mushroom base. Motivation is not only the income for the family but also maintaining the work for 5 women in hardship.

Ms. Minh Khai said that although she did not win, she learnt a lot in the contest and had the opportunity to introduce her products.

For Ms. Vo Thi Nhung Xuan, the owner of the project "Production and processing of Xuan Anh fish sauce", the thing that she got when participating in the contest was that she had collected millions of VND selling products through product introduction time, not to mention she could connect with long-term customers.

She said: "At first, I took part in the contest just because the Union asked me to, but when entering the competition, with the support from the consultants, the successful businesses in giving guidance and sharing experiences, I have gained much knowledge to apply to my project.

From the jury's suggestion, in the future, I will study more to be able to use glass bottles for fish sauce instead of the plastic ones, making my products more environment-friendly.”

Keep on assisting businesses

Witnessing the progress made through each round of the contest, Ms. Tran Thi Kim Loan, Chairwoman of the provincial Women's Union excitedly said: “The contest was unexpectedly successful. Through this, the Union becomes more confident to encourage women to boldly register for higher-level entrepreneurship contests ".

According to Ms. Loan, the contest not only achieves the initial goal of connecting, orienting and cultivating ideas and projects, but also creates a pervasiveness about the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation in the community. Many ideas and projects are creative, highly feasible, in line with current needs such as "Life skills education services in the 4.0 technology age"; "Recycling scrap plastic" ...

Being a companion, a trainer for projects and ideas to participate in the contest "Startup Women", Mr. Truong Thanh Hung, Director of FINNO Group, expert on training and advising creative enterprises, thought the contest is a "kick-starter" to create a strong movement in women in starting a business. "I believe the projects and ideas winning high prizes in this contest will have the potential to grow further," Mr. Hung said.

Mr. Hung added the advice to the Union’s members that they should boldly participate in entrepreneurship competitions because from those competitions, they would have the opportunity to verify whether their business model is good or not; attracting resources did not mean only going to the banks but also connecting with investors, partners working with them ...

Ms. Tran Thi Kim Loan said: “Based on the ideas and projects with high achievements, the Union will continue to encourage those women to confidently and boldly participate in competitions for “Innovative Startup Ideas” organized by the Provincial People's Committee, at the same time taking it as a basis to create favorable conditions for women to get preferential loans from the Women Startup Support Fund established by the Union in 2018. In addition, the Union will introduce and connect those projects to bring more opportunities for products from them to be promoted and introduced ...”.

The first "Startup Women" contest in 2019 has 40 projects and ideas. After the preliminary and semi-final rounds, the Organizing Committee selected 21 ideas, and projects to go to the final round and continued to select 14 ideas and projects to be presented at the finals.

 

Story, photo: THUAN LINH

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