Women who run small enterprises in the northern province of Vinh Phuc take part in a TYM training class to improve their management skills. (Photo: phucyen.vinhphuc.gov.vn)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - A one-year management training course for some 200 female entrepreneurs has just been completed under a project run by Tinh Thuong One Member Limited Liability Microfinance Institution (TYM) and the New York-based Citi Foundation.

Most of the entrepreneurs who attended the course were involved in agriculture and handicrafts in the provinces of Nam Dinh, Vinh Phuc, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Hung Yen.

They were given the opportunity to learn about marketing, human resource management, group work, decision making, financial management and business planning.

During classes with experts from the International Labour Organisation and the Vietnam Women’s Academy, the female entrepreneurs also looked at case studies and shared their real-life business experience.

Speaking at a workshop on July 18, TYM General Director Duong Thi Ngoc Linh said that TYM originated from the Tinh Thuong fund launched by the Vietnam Women’s Union in 1992 to help the Government’s hunger elimination and poverty reduction programme while improving women’s status within and outside the home.

TYM provides preferential loans or microfinance for low-income households, especially poor and vulnerable women. TYM also helps to collect its members’ savings which are sent daily, weekly or monthly and can be withdrawn at any time.

Up to last year, TYM had handed out more than 1.3 million loans worth 10.6 trillion VND (495 million USD) to more than 144,000 clients. Its outstanding loans last year reached 1 trillion VND (44 million USD).

Linh said that TYM had helped over 100,000 women escape poverty, and about 7,000 of them had become entrepreneurs, which had driven TYM’s leaders to consider a project to improve the management skills of these emerging businesswomen.

“They have real-life experiences but lack formal business knowledge,” Linh said, adding that once they were equipped with the proper tools, they would be able to run their businesses more effectively.

Pham Thi Hong, a TYM member from Tinh Gia district in the central province of Thanh Hoa, said that before attending TYM’s training classes, she had never thought about creating a website or Facebook page to advertise her wooden furniture products.

Nguyen Thi An, a peanut oil producer from Hung Nguyen district in the central province of Nghe An, said that she liked the TYM training classes because she had learned more about customers, market prices and negotiations.

“The classes gave me the chance to meet and learn from other businesswomen. They’re great!,” An said.

In 2011, Duong Thi Tuyet, a TYM member from the northern province of Nam Dinh, was one of six micro-entrepreneurs honoured internationally with the Global Micro-Entrepreneur Award for her copper moulding business.

The New York-based Citi Foundation, a member of global bank Citi, works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world.-VNS/VNA