An orchid growing business in Hòa Bình. The province's authority in recent years has facilitated small enterprises to access preferential loans to develop. VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt
HÒA BÌNH — In recent years, Hòa Bình Province has drawn many young entrepreneurs to come and set up a business, creating jobs for local workers and contributing to the socio-economic development of the northern mountainous province.
In 2017, Đinh Đức Chiến decided to quit his job at Dung Quất Refinery in Quảng Ngãi Province to return to her home province to start a business. With 10 years of working experience in Việt Nam’s biggest oil refinery, he established Nhàn Xuân oil press facility and runs a household business in Hàng Trạm Town, Yên Thủy District.
In 2019, he expanded the business and established a safe agricultural cooperative in Yên Thủy with 12 members and an initial capital of nearly VNĐ1.4 billion (US$61,000), planting peanuts, sesame, and other oilseeds, as well as growing citrus fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants.
Initially, due to a lack of both experience and capital, he encountered many difficulties. However, with the advantage of operating in an area with abundant raw materials for oilseeds such as peanuts, black and yellow sesame, the procurement and transportation of raw materials was convenient, helping him reduce expenses and ensure supply.
In 2020, due to the impact of the COVID-19, the cooperative's revenue reached only nearly VNĐ700 million (US$30.4 million) after deducting interest expenses of about VNĐ100 million. Yet, with great efforts and innovative ideas for starting a business, the cooperative's products have been recognised as a 4-star OCOP (One Commune-One Product) product at the provincial level, and Chiến was awarded a certificate of merit by the province’s authority.
"In the near future, I hope to admit more members, and increase capital to expand the business scale so that I can purchase the entire peanut output of the district, create more jobs for workers and expand consumption markets for peanut oil products beyond the province and reach out to the world," Chiến told VOV.
Sharing the same aspiration to start a business, Nguyễn Trung Kiên, 31, director of Độc Lập Agricultural Service Cooperative in Độc lập commune said that after graduating from university, he worked for Central Plant Protection Joint Stock Company No.1. Through the job, he has collected many contacts with farmers in vegetable growing areas in Hà Nội such as Đông Anh, Gia Lâm and Mê Linh, and learnt about clean and high-tech agriculture, as well as the process of linking and consuming products.
In 2016, zucchini were grown in Độc Lập Commune for the first time. After bountiful harvests, local people found that the vegetable was suitable for the climate-soil specificity and yielded good quality, as well as being popular with consumers.
Kiên has gone to many wholesale markets to help hometown farmers to sell their zucchinis, as well visiting to Nova Seed Co to look for high-quality zucchini varieties to supply to farmers.
In mid-2016, Kiên left his job and returned to his hometown to start a business. With the support of his family, he opened three stores providing seeds and fertilisers to farmers. In addition, he also provided techniques and instructions for planting and caring for zucchini and helped look for consumption markets for local farm produce.
By November 2020, with the help of the provincial Cooperative Alliance and the commune authority, Độc Lập Agricultural Service Cooperative was established with 10 members, farming goats and growing zucchinis.
Farmers harvest zucchinis. Hòa Bình's zucchinis are popular among consumers thanks to their good quality. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hải
Currently, the cooperative purchases over 30 hectares of zucchini for farmers in the commune, harvesting about 2,000 tonnes per year, mainly for wholesale markets in Hà Nội, Hưng Yên and Hải Dương.
"To help farmers in the commune reduce the situation of 'good crop-low price', I and the members of the cooperative will invest efforts in improving product quality and growing zucchini according to VietGAP standards.
“The cooperative hopes all levels of authorities will offer support in completing product quality assessment, building brands and promoting trade, especially providing financial support for cooperatives to build preliminary processing houses and apply science and technology into drying and producing squash tea," Kiên said.
Maximum support for SME development
Apart from Chiến and Kiên, many young people and entrepreneurs have chosen Hòa Bình to develop their economy and gained success in many fields.
According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, by 2020, the total revenue of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the province was estimated at VNĐ49.6 trillion, with the income of employees averaging VNĐ4.5 million to VNĐ6.5 million per month.
To facilitate the development of the private economy in the area, the Hòa Bình People's Committee has taken many practical measures to implement the Law on Support for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises, such as establishing the provincial Public Administration Service Centre; applying a modern one-stop-shop at all district and commune levels; building the provincial public service portal; and providing online public services to better serve people and businesses.
In addition, local departments, branches, and business associations regularly organise meetings to hear the difficulties of businesses, tackle their problems and help businesses maintain production and business activities, especially during the complex development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With effective support policies, the province has become a hot investment destination for many young investors, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises. — VNS