A boost for businesswomen
Small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) led by  businesswomen with an estimated demand of about US$ 1.19 billion have been ignored by banks.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) under the World Bank Group convened a round table on business equality on November 16 in Ha Noi.

The IFC questioned 500 enterprises and senior managers including 322 women-owned businesses and 178 men-run ones and founded that Vietnamese  businesswomen are managing and operating nearly 45,000 firms in different areas. The report said that  businesswoman churned out profits equivalent to that made by their male peers. Female-run businesses expanded at an average rate of over 20%. 

However, financial demand reaching US$ 1.19 billion, has yet met. Over the last two years, only 37% of SMEs led by females accessed bank loans. The rate was lower than that of male-owned businesses with 47%. 

In spite of a series of supportive programs in favor of female ownership, a majority of banks said that it is not necessary to apply new approach for businesswoman. In addition, they still assess the part of business is less profitable; owns higher risks; and lack of financial management skills. 

Moreover, the report found that traditionally social concept may distort the role of female leadership. 

The erroneous opinion has unconsciously or intentionally affected the capital access and other services of female ownership.  

Eliminating mistakes, seizing opportunities

Mr. Kyle Kelhofer, Country Director of IFC for Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos said that the report themed “Female-led enterprises in Viet Nam: Concept and potentials” provides an evidence that Vietnamese businesswomen have made remarkable contribution to SMEs development. 

He suggested that it was time for commercial banks to acknowledge that SMEs led by businesswomen represents a strategic and potential part which requires appropriate products and services. 

The report proposed commercial banks to pay more attention to the part by defining financial demands, opportunities, and non specific finance./.