Enable Hong to provide micro business loans to Vietnamese women entrepreneurs
$1,000 will pay for:
a pool of funds from which Hong can provide start-up funding for newly-empowered single mothers to launch their own businesses
In 2007 in Quỳnh Lưu, a small village on the coast of Vietnam, a young unmarried woman named Hong found herself unexpectedly pregnant. Facing numerous challenges as a single mother, Hong felt that she and her daughter were unsupported and disrespected by Vietnamese society, something she quickly learned was common for women in her situation.
Hong understood that she had 2 choices: To either accept the fact that her life from now on would lonely, full of discrimination, and where her voice was never heard, or to decide that this was unacceptable and it was time someone tried to do something about the discrimination single mothers face in Vietnam.
She chose the latter!
Hong began by writing a blog to connect with other women in similar situations. Her blog quickly became the largest online community of single mothers in Vietnam, with more than 80,000 subscribers.
Through the discussions on her blog Hong understood that many women were stuck in unhealthy relationships or were forced to return to abusive partners as they couldn’t support their children alone. There was a great desire from these women to work but with little education, time and resources they had no way of improving their situations.
So, Hong got to work and set up a training course to support these disadvantaged but very determined women, through free counselling and vocational training, as well as English classes for their children, so that each woman and child could receive the help they need to become independent and successful. Once they finish training, Hong works hard to find job placements for them through her extensive networks.
As the courses went on, Hong found that some women were motivated to gain their financial independence through starting their own small businesses. With no budget for start-up capital Hong gave several women small loans out of her own pocket, and witnessed first-hand the transformative effect that succeeding in launching and running one’s own enterprise can have on these women’s lives. With each training course completed there are more budding entrepreneurs ready to get started, so Hong is now looking for seed funding to start a microfinance programme to meet this demand.