Việt Nam Startup Day throws spotlight on young entrepreneurs

August 26, 2022 - 08:56
With the country’s relatively young population and high smartphone and internet use, Vietnamese start-ups have an opportunity to thrive, experts said.


A youngster presents a project and solicits investment in his start-up at the 2022 Vietnam Startup Day, which ended on Friday. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — With the country’s relatively young population and high smartphone and internet use, Vietnamese start-ups have an opportunity to thrive, experts said.

Speaking at the opening of the 10th Việt Nam Startup Day on Thursday, Nguyễn Thị Diệu Hằng, CEO of the Business Startup Support Centre (BSSC), said it is essential to support young start-ups by mobilising resources from the Government and business community to develop the start-up eco-system and foster innovation.

The centre, the event organiser, seeks to do that in the form of finance, facilities, consultation, training and promotion, she said.

It is vital to provide them with foundational knowledge on starting and developing businesses, raising capital and building and developing distribution channels, she added.

They also need legal advice on starting a business and support to develop start-up business networks, she added.

Vũ Quốc Huy, director of the National Innovation Centre run by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said to be successful young start-ups depends on multiple factors such as business model, capital and support from the Government and business community to design the best solutions and products.

But designing products suitable for the market is the most important, he said.

“We have quality human resources in the tech sector, which is also the basis for young Vietnamese start-ups to design products and introduce the products to the world.”

In major markets like the US and China, or even small and emerging markets such as in Southeast Asia, young start-ups have the opportunity to thrive amid the waves of new technologies, he said.

Last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Việt Nam’s start-ups received total investments of nearly US$1.4 billion, the highest since 2016, he said.

The number of start-ups is constantly growing and there are 3,800 of them now along with 200 investment funds and 100 business promotion organisations, he said.

The start-ups have huge potential in areas such as fintech, healthtech and logtech and emerging technology industries such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, 3D printing, and others, he added.

Youth start-up programme

The Government recently approved a programme called ‘Youth Startup Support 2022 – 2030’ to support at least 8,000 young people seeking to start businesses, including 1,000 in new and innovative areas. 

It also targets having 100,000 young people equipped with knowledge and training to improve their entrepreneurial and administrative capacity.

HCM City too recently rolled out a five-year scheme to develop an eco-system which can compete in Southeast Asia. By 2025, it wants to have 100 start-ups with access to venture capital and another 1,000 getting support from authorities.

The annual Startup Wheel contest awards were given away at the two-day Việt Nam Startup Day, which aimed to connect 150 prominent Vietnamese and international start-ups through BSSC’s network of 300. 

More than 15,000 people participated in the event, including 500 investors, investment managers, entrepreneurs, and experts from Vietnamese and international start-up support organisations. 

A total of 612 investment deals worth more than $20 million were struck at the event in the last nine years.

Việt Nam has one of the newest and most dynamic start-up scenes in Asia, and has emerged as a hub for start-ups, according to a recent report called the Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific.

The country was home to only 1,600 start-ups at the start of the pandemic, but the number has increased to more than 3,000 now, including four unicorns, according to the report. — VNS