The future of entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia is digital, socially influential and powered by women. Creatella Impact and WISE Vietnam are proud to present “SheDisrupts Vietnam 2021”, a fully digital venture competition for Vietnamese women entrepreneurs, in partnership with Investing in Women (an initiative of the Australian Government), GSRD Foundation and Global Affairs Canada. Applications are now open at https://she-disrupts.org/.
Unlocking the potential of Vietnamese women social entrepreneurs
What does sustainable development have in common with tech-driven, female entrepreneurship? They both represent the future of one of the most promising economies of Southeast Asia.
After successfully holding its first SheDisrupts Indonesia with IWEF, UNDP and UN Women in Indonesia, Creatella Impact organises a new venture competition and pre-acceleration programme in Vietnam, collaborating with WISE (Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship) and with the support from Investing in Women (an initiative of the Australian Government), GSRD Foundation and Global Affairs Canada. Backed by Australian Aid and Asian Development Bank, WISE Vietnam has built international mentorship programs for 50+ startups, and held accelerator programs for Vietnamese female startups annually, with over $ 3 million raised by finalists since 2018.
SMEs are an important driving force for Vietnam’s economy. Among approximately 0.8 million enterprises in Vietnam, 98% are small and medium sized ones. From 2017 to 2020, SMEs steadily contributed to more than 40% of the whole country’s GDP. Unfortunately, however, Vietnamese women founders are facing higher barriers as entrepreneurs. WISE Vietnam points out the four main existing gaps – lack of knowledge and business skills, lack of access to finance, limited connections, and more attention to housework and child or elderly care compared to men. With the efforts of WISE Vietnam and Creatella Impact, the newly launched programme SheDisrupts Vietnam 2021 will help bridge the existing gaps by supporting women-led Vietnamese startups.
“Women entrepreneurs should be at the heart of post-pandemic economic recovery to ensure it is sustainable and inclusive, but women face many more barriers in their journey to business success than their male counterparts. Through the Investing in Women initiative, the Australian Government is pleased to support She Disrupts Vietnam 2021 to catalyse greater economic opportunities for women and promote a stronger economic recovery in Vietnam.” – H.E. Robyn Mudie, Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam.
The programme features a venture competition, mentorships and pre-acceleration programme for women-led and women-owned innovative startups. It is fully conducted in a remote and digital format, connecting participants with seasoned mentors, judges and facilitators from every corner of the world.
‘Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are critical to the achievement of peace, prosperity, and sustainable development. Canada prioritizes investments, partnerships and advocacy efforts that have the greatest potential to close gender gaps, and to promote women’s economic rights and leadership. The Embassy of Canada is pleased to support the implementation of a mentorship program under SheDisrupts Vietnam 2021 to assess digitalization and financial needs of women-led and women-owned social impact businesses. This will help inform the development of programmes for women-led and women-owned businesses in the future.’ – said H.E. Deborah Paul, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam.
About the programme and the eligibility criteria
In the current preparatory phase, there is an online application/ venture competition from November 15 to December 19, 2021. Thirty teams will be selected for the Mentoring session, the first of two parts of SheDisrupts Vietnam 2021, which is scheduled on January 10, 2022. The mentoring sessions are designed to provide founders and their teams with essential business and pitching skills, as well as with a platform to showcase their businesses to an international audience.
“While women have strong potential for innovation, they need a strong push to materialize ideas into business and comprehensive support to grow the business. WISE’s expertise in accelerating women led startups, enhanced with Creatella Impact’s strength in technology and international network will provide an unique opportunity for Vietnamese women founders to access high quality support to bring their business to the next level.” – said Tu Thu Hien, CEO of WISE Vietnam.
The 15 most outstanding participants will then be invited to join an intense 2-weeks pre-acceleration program starting on February 14, 2022, which will cover topics including business development, technology, marketing and financial skills, as well as topics specific to impact measurement and women’s economic empowerment. SheDisrupts Vietnam will conclude with a Demo Day on February 25, 2022.
“We believe that sustainable human development can be accelerated by empowering women and ensuring gender equality. Therefore, we designed SheDisrupts model programs to empower women, leverage technology to accelerate innovation, facilitate capital flow to women-led impact oriented startups to help them scale and contribute to economic growth and prosperity. We are excited to collaborate with such reputable local and international partners and are strongly committed to delivering an impactful program for the women leaders of social enterprises in Vietnam.”, said Karen Vardanyan, Co-Executive Director of Creatella Impact.
The program welcomes applications from early-stage startups (Pre-Seed to Pre-Series A), ideally with a clearly developed product idea and some traction, and with at least one woman among the founders or in a leadership role. The program targets entrepreneurs who are developing solutions with a particular focus on gender parity and women’s economic empowerment. The program is industry agnostic: candidates may come from the world of health-tech, edtech, fintech – or any other.
The application criteria for the venture competition at a glance:
- For-profit social startups whose target market is Vietnam
- Women-led or gender-balanced teams with a women in C role
- Early-stage, from MVP to early traction
- With a product or service that disproportionately improves women’s economic empowerment
- Tech or innovation driven
For entrepreneurs and founding teams who are interested in taking part in the programme, please apply at https://she-disrupts.org/ The application deadline is December 19th, 2021 at 23:59 ICT.
About the Organizers and Partners of SheDisrupts Vietnam 2021:
For early stage social enterprises in emerging markets, committed to providing entrepreneurial innovative solutions for the achievement of SDGs by generating measurable social and environmental impact, Creatella Impact provides venture building, technology execution, mentorship, advisory support, other acceleration programmes, impact investment including financial capital, deal syndication, blended funding and diverse financial instruments.
With the vision of being the leading organization supporting women-led start-ups and businesses in Vietnam, the Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship (WISE) offers all rounded business development support for women, including capacity building, business incubation and acceleration, business mentoring, improving access to finance and investment; business community building; research and policy advocacy; and fostering connection with resources and opportunities for women to create new startups as well as innovate and grow their businesses.
Investing in Women
Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, catalyses inclusive economic growth through women’s economic empowerment in South East Asia.
Established in 2016, Investing in Women tackles one of the most critical social and economic issues of our time: gender inequality. Investing in Women uses innovative approaches to improve women’s economic participation as employees and as entrepreneurs and to influence the enabling environment to promote women’s economic empowerment in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar through: Workplace Gender Equality (WGE), Impact Investment for Women’s SMEs, Influencing Gender Norms.
Canadian Development Assistance and Cooperation in Vietnam
Since 1990, the Government of Canada has contributed over $1.7 billion in international assistance to support Vietnam’s development and poverty reduction efforts. Building upon almost three decades of development cooperation and in alignment with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), Canada continues to work in partnership with Vietnam on strengthening its national policies and institutional governance for more inclusive economic growth and the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Canada is focusing on growth of small and medium enterprises and cooperatives, social impact businesses and entrepreneurship, agricultural value chains and markets, private sector and trade readiness, food security and safety systems, environmental sustainability, climate action and energy transition. Together, Canada and Vietnam are working towards finding new and innovative approaches and resources to meet development challenges, including through more public-private partnerships for greater development impact and more sustainable gains.
GSRD Foundation was founded by the denim brand G-Star RAW in 2007 to create a positive impact on the lives of people and communities in those countries where G-Star products are made, by supporting young people, together with partners, through education, training and coaching. Website: gsrd.com