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HCM City (VNA) - The start-up culture in Vietnam has taken off since last year, with more young people eager to start businesses as the Government and local organisations have offered more favourable conditions.

Pham Duy Hieu, CEO of Startup Vietnam Foundation, said the number of young people starting businesses and receiving venture capital had doubled compared to last year.

Associate Professor Nguyen Tien Dung, rector of the University of Economics and Law, said many young people had signed up to take part in competitions offered by the HCM City Young Business People Association, the city’s Enterprise Association and the university’s Startup Club.

“The competitions help students experience reality and encourage them to pursue and commercialise their idea,” Dung said.

Most graduates want to have a stable job, but many other ones are willing to take the risk to start their own businesses, he said.

Last week, the university’s students, for instance, filled all 500 seats at the school’s auditorium to hear South Australia Governor Le Van Hieu speak about entrepreneurship and startup skills.

Dung’s students, especially those enrolled at the faculty of business administration and marketing and e-commerce, have many startup ideas.

For example, one student won a contest with her product, a loofah that can be used as a sponge. Several other students are trading safe seafood.

The university is also providing knowledge about business and law to students involved in startups and is contacting enterprises to seek investment funds.

A new startup fund worth 10 billion VND (444,444 USD) is now available for students at Vietnam National University-HCM City and the University of Economics and Law.

Dung said that HCM City has a dynamic market as well as assistance from the business community and local government for young people to start up their businesses.

The city’s Party Committee Secretary Dinh La Thăng earlier this year set a target of turning the city into a startup hub.

Last month, the HCM City Startup Investment and Innovation Fund was launched to provide capital for young startups in all fields, especially technology-oriented businesses.

Hieu of Startup Vietnam Foundation said that Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam had recently approved an enterprise assistance programme which would help startups.

About 80 percent of the assistance provided by the foundation is for startups in high-technology agriculture. There are now five startups in the field, he said.

The foundation also has incubation programmes for startups to help them with their vision and mission. It also connects them with successful enterprises and scientists in the incubation stage.

The startups are also introduced to venture investment funds, are given guidance on financial management and building human resources, and entering domestic and foreign markets.

“Startups must make a great effort to achieve success,” Hieu said.

The elements of success for startups are new ideas as well as products, love of discovery, and a readiness to confront adventure and risk.

Young people do not lack good ideas, but they must listen to the market demand via customers to develop their products and services, he said.

“Startups also need successful enterprises as a counsellor and investor. When startups succeed, they will help businesses’ research and development,” Hieu said.

He said the Government should create new policies as soon as possible to create favourable conditions for startups and venture capital funds.-VNA