Youth union helps young start-up businesses overcome difficulties

March 22, 2021 - 08:39
The COVID-19 pandemic has badly affected production and business activities, especially start-up businesses set up by young people.


Vũ Quang Đạo feeding rabbits in his farm in Ngô Thôn Village, Xuân Lai Commune of Gia Bình District. — VNA/VNS Photo Thái Hùng

BẮC NINH — The COVID-19 pandemic has badly affected production and business activities, especially start-up businesses set up by young people.

To help young entrepreneurs overcome difficulties and stand firm during the pandemic, the Youth Union of Bắc Ninh Province has introduced several support solutions.

After graduating from university, Vũ Quang Đạo, 29, from Ngô Thôn Village, Xuân Lai Commune of Gia Bình District returned home and continued to volunteer in the military.

Leaving the army, and realising the potential of farming, Đạo decided to start up his own business. Local people were still farming in traditional ways, which were not very efficient.

With his family’s land stretching 7,000sq.m, Đạo used half of the area to dig a pond for fish and the rest was for growing fruit and raising livestock.

After receiving a VNĐ400 million (US$17,200) loan from Bắc Ninh Province’s Youth Start-up Fund, Đạo built barns for the animals and bought 70 bamboo rats and 1,000 rabbits.

To feed the animals, Đạo planted sugarcane, vegetables and raised worms.

After three months, his bamboo rats had started reproducing and the rabbits were ready for sale.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic meant he was unable to sell the animals.

About a third of his rabbits have reached their maximum weight and need to be sold, but he is unable to find customers.

Đạo had to spend more than VNĐ500,000 (US$27) per day to feed them, and the animals were at risk of contracting diseases.

“When I was trying to make the business survive, I heard about a 'rescue plan provided by the Youth Union organisations,” Đạo said.

Nguyễn Thị Trâm's vegetable farm in Minh Tân Commune of Lương Tài District was also badly impacted by the pandemic.

In 2015, Trâm leased 5ha of land to grow safe vegetables. After applying advanced techniques and technology in planting, last year, her farm earned a turnover of VNĐ13 billion (US$562,000), of which profit was VNĐ1.2 billion (US$52,000).

However, in February, her vegetables came to harvest but she could not sell them.

“This year, I focused on supplying vegetables for schools and factories, because I thought demand would be high when students and workers return after Tết,” said Trâm.

“However, due to the pandemic, many factories remained closed, while schools and restaurants were shut, so tens of tonnes of vegetables could not be sold, causing hundreds of millions of đồng in losses,” said Trâm.

Political and social organisations, especially Bắc Ninh’s Farmers' Association and Youth Union, helped 'rescue' a large amount of vegetables to help her continue production and business.

Nguyễn Đức Sâm, secretary of the provincial Youth Union, said: “In recent years, Bắc Ninh Youth Union had stepped up start-up activities that  became a bright spot in youth movements nationwide.”

“Facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, start-up companies of young people were severely affected, especially the production and consumption of products,” said Sâm.

“As a ‘midwife’ for young people’s start-up businesses, the Youth Union had strengthened coordination of sectors and agencies to review the economic development models by young people so as to provide encouragement and solutions to overcome difficulties,” said Sâm.

Particularly, the provincial Youth Union had co-operated with the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies to delay and reschedule debt repayments for businesses that were badly impacted by the pandemic, according to Sâm.

Last year, the bank rescheduled debts worth dozens of billions of đồng.

With the policy of on-the-spot support, the Youth Union at all levels of Bắc Ninh Province had 'rescued' and consumed dozens of tonnes of agricultural products.

Bắc Ninh Provincial Youth Union will continue to propose and recommend to the provincial People's Committee to pay attention to supplementing and maintaining the capital from the local budget entrusted to the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies to provide loans to young people starting businesses.

The union would also propose to the authorities to accelerate the reform of administrative procedures as well as enhance training and improve the quality of corporate governance to help businesses solve difficulties, said Sâm.  VNS