[5 July 2011] In Vietnam, SMEs are the main generator of employment opportunities. The ILO Women Entreprise Development and Gender (WEDGE) project and its partners, and earlier the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have documented the situation facing women entrepreneurs, with a particular emphasis on growth aspects such as financing; expansion of product base and markets; increase in employment, and improvements in employment conditions; progression from “informal” to “formal” status; and growth from micro to small to medium size. There is an expectation that the support of the ILO will have a direct and positive impact on creating new enterprises and new jobs in both new and existing women-owned enterprises.
Implemented by a team of experts from Economica Vietnam and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the study follows the method elaborated in the mannual “Assessing the Enabling Environment for Women in Growth Enterprises: An ILO Integrated Framework Assessment Guide”. The study look into key areas of the business environment in the country that merit further enquiry, as appropriate, in contributing to an enabling environment for growth-oriented women entrepreneurs, including for women with disabilities and women from different ethnic origins.
The paper as the final product of the study aims at providing an insight on the issues faced by women entrerepreneuers in Vietnam, especially from the perspective of creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs in Vietnam. It is also expected that the study will provide inputs and suggestions for mainstreaming gender issues in the forthcoming policy or documents by the Government, e.g. the forthcoming 5 Year SME Development Plan between 2011 - 2016.