Vietnam strives for ambitious goal of female-led enterprises hinh anh 1Vietnamese representatives talk on the sidelines of the 2017 APEC Women and the Economy Forum in Hue city in late September in 2017 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam aims at having 350,000 women-owned firms by 2020, meaning the number of female entrepreneurs must triple in the next three years, a rate even faster than the overall growth speed of business volume nationwide.

The information was released at a forum and leadership training session for women organised by the Vietnam Association for Women Entrepreneurs (VAWE) in Ho Chi Minh City on July 10.

Vice President of VAWE Cao Thi Ngoc Dung said women-led firms account for about 25 percent of the nation’s total number of companies, equaling more than 100,000 firms.

However, she noted that most of them are of small and micro size, with low competitiveness, and restricted access to information and technology.

Women entrepreneurs also have to deal with social prejudice of women’s role in business. The rise of the international economic integration and fourth industrial revolution is offering opportunities to the group but requiring them to continuously pursue innovation.

Stephen Berlinguette, chief representative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in HCM City, said women face more disadvantages than men in starting their own businesses, which reflects not only gender inequality but also a negative impact on economic development.

He pointed out that the growth of any economy would be hindered if half of their population are not facilitated to get involved in business.

Therefore, female entrepreneurs in Vietnam and in the world need to be equipped with leadership skills, Berlinguette said, adding that narrowing gender disparity gap can promote the formation of innovative growth models.-VNA