Start-up enterprises need more incentives

December 04, 2019 - 07:12
Techfest 2019 in Hạ Long City from December 4-6 is expected to attract more than 5,500 people, 300 start-ups and 250 investors, and to help raise awareness of innovative ideas and promote the start-up spirit.


Lý Văn Kiêm checks his own website. Photo courtesy of Lý Văn Kiêm

by Mai Hiên

HÀ NỘI – A person's curriculum vitae (CV) is one of the most important documents when it comes to starting or advancing a career, but many CVs are compiled manually which can lead to mistakes, especially if a new copy has to be submitted for every job application.

Realising this, 35-year-old Lý Văn Kiêm decided to develop a website that creates electronic CVs to make it easier for people and officials to use and store the information.

The idea helped him win first prize at an innovative start-up competition in the northern province of Quảng Ninh last year.

“I realised that people spent a lot of time writing their CVs. It also takes a lot of time for local officials to validate them. We are living in a technological world so I thought why don’t we take advantage of technology?” he said.

Kiêm said the website he set up - - has several benefits.

“Instead of writing CVs for different job applications, users can just fill in a form online and update it when necessary.”

It helps save costs for users, personnel staff and officials in charge of administrative procedures at communal and ward levels at the same time because the information is already verified, he said.

Users can also take photos of themselves with their smartphones instead of having to pay at photography shop for hard copies.

For human resources managers, the website provides a complete breakdown on education, experience and work history, making it easier to store personnel records.

For State administrative agencies, the website supplies accurate information on employment, marital status and education. Authorities can make decisions based on this source of information.

He estimates the application of electronic CVs could help save VNĐ400 billion (US$17.3 million) if the number of users reached 10 million and the cost of taking a photo was VNĐ40,000 per person.

However, Kiêm said the number of users was still modest – about 2,000 – mainly students, adding that the website was being renovated to meet their demands.

According to Bùi Văn Quang, head of Quảng Ninh Province's Start-up Investment Club, the start-up movement had attracted widespread attention, especially among youngsters. But the number of innovative start-ups was still quite low, and Kiêm’s was a rare case.


Quảng Ninh has many advantages to develop tourism as the province is home to Hạ Long Bay, a world heritage site recognised by UNESCO, as well as numerous historical and cultural relic sites

The area has good transport and tourism infrastructure, with road and air routes and modern accommodation facilities available for tourists.

Tourism services have made a breakthrough with the number of tourists and revenue constantly increasing. In 2018 alone, the total number of tourists visiting Quảng Ninh reached over 12 million, providing revenue of VNĐ24 trillion, increases of 22.1 per cent and 28.1 per cent compared with 2017.

Although the province had this potential, it was difficult for creative start-ups to find a foothold, Quang said.

The right environment for innovative start-ups was crucial.

“In urban areas, it is easy to access science and technology. It offers opportunities for young people to explore and promote innovative start-ups ideas, but in rural and mountainous areas, such opportunities are limited,” he said.

Another factor is that many investors remain cautious of this area.

About 98 per cent of enterprises in the province were small and medium sized with modest profits, making it difficult for them to call for investment from big corporations, Quang said.

Kiêm agreed, saying a lot of people doubted the success of start-ups because they were new and couldn’t be applied on a large scale immediately.

A lack of connection between start-up businesses and successful corporations was also a problem, Quang said.

In order to boost innovative start-up activities, special mechanisms for them were necessary. Training courses for start-ups should be organised regularly, and seminars and meetings with experts and successful start-ups should be held so that young start-ups would have the chance to exchange skills and share experiences, he said.

Encouraging policies

In 2017, the Peoples’ Committee of Quảng Ninh issued a plan to support innovative start-ups, aiming at creating favourable conditions for them and attracting investment capital from organisations, individuals and large corporations.

According to Hoàng Vĩnh Khuyến, deputy director of the provincial Department of Science and Technology (DoST), this was shown through a series of policies that were issued to support the process of formation and development of innovative start-ups.

In accordance with a resolution adopted by the provincial People’s Council in December 2018, small and medium enterprises with start-up projects were entitled to receive support equal to 80 per cent of the cost of purchasing material for training courses related to start-ups. Enterprises that were willing to update their technology to create new products or services would also receive support of 50 per cent, while start-up incubators were entitled to 30 per cent of the cost for upgrading infrastructure.

Since then, in addition to sharing these policies in the media, the DoST had organised seminars for people to meet and exchange creative ideas, he said.

A start-up club was also set up in 2017. Now there are 11 clubs with more than 400 members who have a passion for business.

Start-up competitions have also been held to encourage organisations and individuals engaged in scientific and technological research.

Khuyến said Techfest 2019 in Hạ Long City from December 4-6 was a highly anticipated event among the start-up community in the province.

The national innovative entrepreneurship day, which is expected to attract more than 5,500 people, 300 start-ups and 250 investors, would help raise awareness of innovative ideas and promote the start-up spirit.

What would make Techfest 2019 different from previous events is the participation of regional and global partners, including many from Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, the US and European countries.

At the event, start-ups would be able to access advanced technological trends, and exchange and learn from successful start-ups.

It would also help local and international investors connect with start-up entrepreneurs to help them expand internationally, contributing to the development of the start-up ecosystem in the province, Khuyến said. — VNS