Hanoi – November 24, 2021, Social Challenge and Innovation Village – TechFest 2021, with the chairmanship of the Institute of Management Research for Sustainable Development (MSD – village head) and the Center for Applied Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship (COSTAS) ), Hanoi Intellectual Women’s Association (co-head of the village) and United Way Worldwide (co-head of the village), organized a workshop on “Women in Innovation – Addressing the social challenges in the context of the COVID 19”. The event is financially supported by the Shinhan Square Bridge program.
In recent years, with innovative thinking, the national spirit of entrepreneurship has been spread widely, attracting a large number of women of all backgrounds and ages in many fields and professions to participate. This has affirmed the passion and desire for innovation of Vietnamese women. 1 out of 4 private enterprises in Vietnam will be led by women. Women contribute up to 40% of the wealth to the Vietnamese economy. In addition to the role in socio-economic development, women-owned enterprises exhibit many advantages such as employing more female workers, paying higher social insurance premiums, lowering the cost of creating a job, solving many social challenges.
However, the Covid-19 epidemic has slowed down the whole world, and Vietnam is not an exception. Businesses lose revenue, workers become unemployed. Businesses that are started, led and owned by women are also affected.
To find the solutions to support and promote women to realize their start-up ideas, develop businesses to create more jobs and income, solve difficulties, and contribute to the realization of national development goals, also in response to the Action Month for Gender Equality and Prevention of Gender-Based Violence, the Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD), in collaboration with the Center for Science, Technology Application and Entrepreneurship, United Way Worldwide and units of the Village, organized the Workshop “Women in Innovation – Addressing the social challenges in the context of the COVID 19 “. The event had the participation of Mr. Tran Van Tung – Deputy Minister of Science and Technology; Mr. Pham Hong Quat – General Director at National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC); Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Min – Chairman of the Council of Women Entrepreneurs; Ms. Angela Williams – President and CEO of UnitedWay Worldwide; Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Executive Director of MSD, Head of Social Innovation and Challenge Village; Ms. Le Thi Khanh Van – Vice President of Vietnam Women Intellectuals Association, Co-head of the village; Representatives of female leaders enterprises, investors, social organizations, universities and press agencies.
Ms. Le Thi Khanh Van – Vice President of the Association of Vietnamese Women Intellectuals, Director of the Center for Applied Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Co-Head of the Social Innovation and Challenge Village, gave the opening speech: “In the recent years, across the country, there have been many women who are constantly learning, creating, promoting their internal resources, and starting successful businesses. According to statistics, women-owned enterprises account for 26.5% of the total number of enterprises in Vietnam. In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic, the challenges for businesses and startups in Vietnam are immense. The fact also shows that women-owned enterprises show more advantages such as employing more female workers, paying higher social insurance, lowering the cost of creating a job, tackling many social challenges and there are many role models in tackling social challenges during COVID 19. However, the reality shows that women leaders are adaptable, under pressure, and flexible. Therefore, there have been many opportunities to turn “Danger” into “Opportunity” with effective and innovative response strategies. Today’s workshop is held within the framework of Techfest, also an event to coincide with National Action Month for Gender Equality, I hope today’s workshop will share, discuss and inspire female leaders in start-ups, successful businesses to solve social problems. We are here to inspire Vietnamese women, also to prove to society our role, our influence in common development.”
In the welcoming speech, Mr. Tran Van Tung – Deputy Minister of Science and Technology emphasized: “In recent years, with the innovative thinking, the national spirit of entrepreneurship has been spread widely, attracting a large number of women of all backgrounds and ages in many fields and professions to participate. This has affirmed the passion and desire for innovation of Vietnamese women. Women play an important role in handling social challenges”. Mr. Tung also appreciated the role and efforts of the Social Challenge and Innovation Village and Shinhan Square Bridge Program in promoting the role of the female in innovative startups and the improvement of women in contributing to the development of the country.
Recent years have marked an increase and a strong rise in the number of women participating in diverse, active and multi-dimensional innovation activities. Innovation is a regular, continuous and present activity in all industries and fields, and the role of women in innovation is a prerequisite, meaningful, and positive value. Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh – Chairwoman of the Women Entrepreneurs Council shared that “Vietnamese women still face many barriers and challenges in self-development, but women have great advantages in innovation. Women have the ability to detect even small and sophisticated problems to solve, flexibility, high tolerance, ingenuity in communication, innovative spirit and thoroughness in each of their tasks. do”. In addition, in social issues, women play an essential role, not only innovating but also balancing human factors and solving social challenges.
Ms. Angela Williams – President and CEO of UnitedWay Worldwide, again evoked the role and capacity of women more in the aspect of social resolution in everything they do. Angela believes that the role of women is undeniable, what women should do when they still face barriers is to believe in themselves, remove barriers and participate in promoting the progress of women. society. She also shared the examples of global women leaders, including leaders of United Way Worldwide, who not only contribute to economic development but also effectively solve social problems.
Discussion on Women in Innovation: Addressing social challenges in the context of the COVID 19
The workshop was followed by the talk show ” Women in Innovation: Addressing social challenges in the context of the COVID 19 ” including representatives of state management agencies, businesses, investors, organizations and individuals. society about challenges as well as solutions, recommendations and proposals so that businesses can adapt, transform as well as thrive, and together solve the challenges of society in the current and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Typical businesses such as Sunstar or startup like Aligo Kids shared their stories of tackling social challenges. Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, Deputy General Director of Sao Thai Duong shared: “In the context of COVID 19, we see our role in contributing to solving social challenges. When we saw that our country was in need of COVID-19 test kits, Sunstar immediately joined, the situation was urgent, so we did not discuss profit or business because we determined this was what we needed to do. Sunstar has therefore become one of the pioneers in providing COVID-19 test kits in Vietnam and has had success in business, but first of all, the success of participating in solving social problems”.
Ngo Thuy Anh, founder and director of Hasu, Aligo Kids, Aligo Media and Memory Love Book said: “As a start-up, adapting to the changing needs of customers is extremely important. In the context of the pandemic, startups naturally face challenges, but they also have to find opportunities, solving customer problems, also solving social challenges.” With her startup, Thuy Anh has found new solutions to support children and the elderly with mental health problems.
Sharing about solutions to promote women’s entrepreneurship and innovation, Mr. Pham Hong Quat commented: “To support innovative women, let’s create a ecosystem. It is an attitude in which even men are sources of inspiration, a place to strengthen beliefs so that women can discover their inner strength, recognize problems that need to be solved, and be creative when coming up with solutions. When there are male launchers, women come up with new solutions, spread community values, and we will also be the beneficiaries, not only domestically but also internationally. So, in the coming time, let’s together inspire, give trust, challenge, and serve as a launching pad for women to sublimate and create.”
Closing the event, Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh – Director of MSD, Head of Social Innovation and Challenge Village shared: “We believe that women play a very important role in solving social challenges. Reality has proven that during the COVID-19 pandemic, women with the ability to adapt, work under pressure and be flexible can better promote economic development and solve social problems. We also need to pay attention to building an ecosystem of solidarity, finding solutions to promote cooperation and association between startups and scientists, corporations, and investors to support startups. women’s entrepreneurship, removing barriers to women’s development and advancement. Every woman needs to believe in herself, affirm her right to choose, follow her dreams, create and contribute to the social development process. If women are successful and happy, then surely society will also develop sustainably and happily.”
Watch again the workshop: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=2382596845208161