Hue, September 29, 2017— The financing
gap is estimated at $1.19 billion for women-owned small and medium enterprises
(SMEs) in Vietnam, limiting opportunities for women to develop and grow
their businesses, a market study released today by IFC, a member of the
World Bank Group, finds.
SMEs are vital to Vietnam’s economic growth,
accounting for more than 98 percent of its businesses and 50 percent of
employment. However, one key segment of this market — women-owned SMEs
— is yet to be recognized. Running nearly 45,000 SMEs across sectors,
women entrepreneurs bring in similar average annual revenue as men, and
are growing at a pace of over 20 percent. Yet, when it comes to bank loans,
they tend to get a rough deal compared to men.
The report, entitled “Women-owned enterprises
in Vietnam: Perceptions and Potential”, reveals that only 37% of
women-owned SMEs have accessed bank loans in the last two years, compared
to 47% of male business owners. Though the country’s investment climate
is positive for women, most banks either feel there is no need for a different
approach to women entrepreneurs, or view the segment as less profitable,
higher risk, and lacking in financial management skills.
“The report reframes perceived challenges
of serving this segment as an opportunity for banks and other service providers,
to enable them to capture a growing market of savvy businesswomen, and
to unlock the vast under-tapped potential of women entrepreneurs in Vietnam,”
said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR.
“It is an opportune time for banks to recognize women-owned SMEs as a
separate and strategic customer segment, with uniquely tailored products
Identifying women-entrepreneurs as a significant
force within the SME sector in Vietnam, this study suggests banks to better
understand this under-served segment by recognizing their specific financial
and non-financial needs and opportunities. Investment should be made
in training bank staff on the gender dimension of banking such as gender
differences in needs, preferences, and financial behavior, and countering
any biases impacting service delivery. Banks could improve products and
services to women-owned SMEs by supporting platforms that provide relevant
non-financial services to businesswomen, thereby addressing issues such
as lack of access to financing, information, skills and new markets.
“This new report helps us learn more about
small- and medium enterprises in the growing economy of Vietnam, in particular
barriers and opportunities for women entrepreneurs and their need for education
and capital to further grow their businesses,” said Jason Moo, Chief Executive
Officer of Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte.
The study was conducted with support from
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women — a global initiative that provides
women entrepreneurs with business and management education, mentoring and
networking, and access to capital — and the Umbrella Facility for Gender
Equality (UFGE), a World Bank Group multi-donor trust fund addressing key
gaps between men and women to deliver development solutions that boost
prosperity and increase opportunity for all.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3
billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the
power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org