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Competition launched for Vietnamese female entrepreneurs

Update: November, 30/2021 - 08:16

The SheDisrupts Việt Nam 2021 programme is expected to help bridge the existing gaps by supporting women-led Vietnamese startups. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

HÀ NỘI — Creatella Impact and WISE Vietnam launched 'SheDisrupts Việt Nam 2021', a fully digital competition for female Vietnamese entrepreneurs, on November 29.

The programme features a venture competition, mentorships and pre-acceleration programmes for women-led and women-owned startups. It is fully conducted in a remote and digital format, connecting participants with seasoned mentors, judges and facilitators from every corner of the world.

Female Vietnamese founders face higher barriers as entrepreneurs due to a lack of education on business knowledge and skills, a lack of access to finance, limited connections, and more attention to housework and child or elderly care compared to men. The SheDisrupts Việt Nam 2021 programme is expected to help bridge the existing gaps by supporting women-led Vietnamese startups.

“Women entrepreneurs should be at the heart of post-pandemic economic recovery to ensure it is sustainable and inclusive, but women face many more barriers in their journey to business success than their male counterparts. Through the Investing in Women initiative, the Australian Government is pleased to support SheDisrupts Việt Nam 2021 to catalyse greater economic opportunities for women and promote a stronger economic recovery in Việt Nam,” said Robyn Mudie, Australia’s Ambassador to Việt Nam.

"Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are critical to the achievement of peace, prosperity, and sustainable development. Canada prioritizes investments, partnerships and advocacy efforts that have the greatest potential to close gender gaps, and to promote women’s economic rights and leadership. The Embassy of Canada is pleased to support the implementation of a mentorship program under SheDisrupts Vietnam 2021 to assess digitalization and financial needs of women-led and women-owned social impact businesses. This will help inform the development of programmes for women-led and women-owned businesses in the future," said Deborah Paul, Ambassador of Canada to Việt Nam.

In the current preparatory phase, online applications are accepted from November 15 to December 19, 2021. Applicants can enter at https://she-disrupts.org/. Thirty teams will be selected for the Mentoring session, the first of two parts of SheDisrupts Vietnam 2021, which is scheduled on January 10, 2022. The mentoring sessions are designed to provide founders and their teams with essential business and pitching skills, as well as a platform to showcase their businesses to an international audience.

The 15 most outstanding participants will then be invited to join an intense two-week pre-acceleration program starting on February 14, 2022, which will cover business development, technology, marketing and financial skills, as well as topics specific to impact measurement and women’s economic empowerment. SheDisrupts Vietnam will conclude with a Demo Day on February 25, 2022.

"While women have strong potential for innovation, they need a strong push to materialise ideas into business and comprehensive support to grow business. WISE’s expertise in accelerating women-led startups, enhanced with Creatella Impact’s strength in technology and international network will provide a unique opportunity for Vietnamese women founders to access high-quality support to bring their business to the next level,” said Từ Thu Hiền, CEO of WISE Việt Nam.

The programme welcomes applications from early-stage startups (Pre-Seed to Pre-Series A), ideally with a clearly developed product idea and some traction, and with at least one woman among the founders or in a leadership role. The programme targets entrepreneurs who are developing solutions with a particular focus on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are an important driving force for Việt Nam's economy. There are currently 0.8 million enterprises in Việt Nam, of which 98 per cent are SMEs. From 2017 to 2020, SMEs contributed more than 40 per cent to the whole country’s GDP. — VNS

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