Support women-owned businesses and gender-responsive businesses to participate in the supply chain and promote the implementation of gender-responsive procurement

22/10/2023 10:10 AM

On October 12, in Hochiminh City, more than 100 representatives from the enterprises, business associations, ministries, and provincial sectoral departments discussed the solutions to support women-owned businesses to participate in the supply chain as well as to promote gender equality principles in procurement activities.

The Workshop “Support women-owned businesses and gender-responsive businesses to participate in the supply chain and promote the implementation of gender-responsive procurement” was co-organized by the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) with the assistance from the Australian Government.

Women-Owned Business Archives – Connected

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Currently, in Vietnam, more than 20% of small and medium-sized business owners are women; 51% of Vietnamese enterprises comprise women in their ownership structure, higher than in other countries. However, women-owned businesses are largely at the lowest levels of the supply chain in many industries and face difficulties in meeting the procurement requirements of the big companies.

According to the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the cause of this phenomenon is due to (i) low competitiveness, most women undertake low-skilled jobs; enterprise administration capacity and access to information, technology application remain restricted; (ii) the “dual responsibility” of many women to take care of their families, limited access to resources, lack of business support networks for women, (iii) gender-balanced intervention policy of enterprise leaders remains inadequate and weak, and change takes place slowly.

Speaking at the Workshop, Ms. Caroline Nyamayemobe, Acting Representative of UN Women Office in Vietnam highlighted that “Evidence shows that countries with greater gender equality have faster growing and more competitive economies. Prioritization of procurement from women-owned and gender-responsive businesses helps increase women's economic empowerment and promote gender equality in Vietnam. In addition, this is also one of the factors that contribute to improving enterprises’ prestige and competitive capacity during the integration process. Therefore, it is mutually beneficial and a smart choice”.

Women-Owned Businesses – Why They Matter – Motive Workforce Solutions

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The workshop provided an open forum for businesses to update information on policies, programs, initiatives, and solutions in support of women-owned businesses to participate in domestic and international supply chains. Participants shared practical experiences in promoting gender equality in business operations in general and procurement activities in particular.       

24 Vietnamese business leaders signed a CEO’s Statement of Support of the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), demonstrating their commitment to the empowerment of women in the workplace in the market, and in the community. With these new signatories, the total number of Vietnamese businesses that have signed and supported WEPs is 174.

This workshop is one of a series of activities in celebration of Vietnam Entrepreneurs' Day - October 13 and Vietnam Women's Day - October 20 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and UN Women.