ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs: transforming opportunities into realities

Towards 105th anniversary of the International Women’s Day 8/3 (8/3/1910-8/3/2015), during the two days of 6th and 7th March, 2015, the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Forum under the theme “ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs in AEC: transforming opportunities into realities” and Outstanding ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs honoring Ceremony were held in Hanoi.

The Forum aims to create opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the bloc to share experiences and learn from one another; making business networks; encouraging women entrepreneurs to participate in the value chain, global supply chain; especially, supporting young entrepreneurs in learning successful experiences from the outstanding women entrepreneurs in the region as well as promoting the activities of AWEN in the upcoming time.
Those in attendance at the Forum included Mrs Nguyen Thi Doan, Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam cum Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Mr Le Luong Minh - General Secretary of ASEAN; Mrs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen - Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam cum Minister of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA); Mr Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Mrs Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) and ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) together with leader representatives of ministries, branches of Vietnam, Embassies, international organizations and various women entrepreneurs from ASEAN countries.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son, Rector of VNU University of Economics and Business attended and made a presentation entitled “Opportunities and challenges for ASEAN women entrepreneurs in ASEAN Economic Community” in the plenary session “ASEAN women entrepreneurs in ASEAN Economic Community”  in order to share the information about Vietnam’s preparation for its participation in ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), opportunities as well as challenges, difficulties and barriers to female entrepreneurs in the AEC.


Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son, VNU-UEB Rector participated in the plenary session “ASEAN women entrepreneurs in ASEAN Economic Community”

In the presentation entitled “Opportunities and challenges for ASEAN women entrepreneurs in ASEAN Economic Community”, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son shared information about Vietnam’s participation in AEC as well as opportunities and challenges for women entrepreneurs in AEC. He expressed his opinion that women doing start-ups or business would generally face with lots of barriers or difficulties such as perception about a traditional society, housework, access to finance or education and training of women with difficulties… However, he also shared some opportunities for women entrepreneurs in AEC: women entrepreneurs have lots of chances to receive the capacity building training through ASEAN’s development program for small and medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), ASEAN integration initiatives in general and training programs for female entrepreneurs in particular such as big chances for women entrepreneurs via ASEAN’s current programs “Empowerment for women”, ASEAN in cooperation with Asian women cooperation Forum to promote women entrepreneurs, share experiences and create enthusiasm and hope in business for women entrepreneurs...

VNU-UEB Rector, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son delivered his speech at the plenary session

In addition to the opportunities for ASEAN women entrepreneurs in AEC, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son also highlighted some challenges; for instance, female entrepreneurs usually have fewer chances to approach the training programs such as specialized knowledge, business and administration skills than male entrepreneurs, challenges for information access related to business, especially information at regional level…

In the discussion session, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son shared that the business women usually face with difficulties because they always have to raise/teach their children, do the housework and other difficult chores in their family… Therefore, they should find the true men who could understand them and share housework with them, so that they could do business without any concerns and worries. Additionally, the government should also have policies to support women entrepreneurs, create networks for them to share experiences and learn from one another…
ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Forum 2015 is a good opportunity for enterprises and women entrepreneurs to discuss the opportunities, challenges as well as preparation and methods of grasping chances when AEC will be established at the end of this year. It also  enhances the position of women entrepreneurs community, promotes economic empowerment of women; the beginning of ASEAN women entrepreneurs network, the support and development organizations for an action year for businesses in general and for women entrepreneurs in particular.

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Kha Nguyen

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