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New points relating to supporting Women-Owned business in replacement Workshop on Government Decree No.39/ 2018 /ND-CP


According to the General Statistics Office, by the end of 2019 Vietnam had total 285.000 women-owned enterprises (24% of all business that is already operating). General Statistics Office indicated that, most of women's businesses (93,2%) %) are micro and small businesses and 79,2% operate mainly in the service industry. Due to limited resources, low financial capacity, lack of knowledge and skill about information & communication technology (ICT) and especially gender stereotypes in family and business, woman-led companies met and faced many obstacles and challenges. Besides, these obstacles made women-owned business cannot fully exploit their development potential.

The law on support for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), is promulgated by National Assembly in 2017 with some principle of support for women-owned enterprises and it entered into force on 01/01/2018. However, in reality the government decree no.39/ 2018 /ND-CP in 11/3/2018 did not concretized many priorities supports contents for Women-Owned Businesses. The decree No. 32/2018/ND-CP only provides priority for woman-led companies in terms of human resource development. According to the decree, trainees in difficult socio-economic areas, women-owned businesses can entrance tuition fees to participate in business start-up and business administration training class.

Through the assessment of the effectiveness of business support services in general and women-owned enterprises support services in particular, the result showed that woman's business has been facing more challenges as well as having less opportunities in accessing support. The following issues is the main reason why woman's businesses had the limited access:

Ms. Nguyen Bich Thuy, Deputy Head of General and Policy Division, Enterprise Development Agency, Ministry of planning and investment shared new points about supporting woman-owned enterprises in replacement workshop on Decree No. 32/2018/ND-CP

Firstly, it is difficult to identify which business is owned by woman as defined in the current law on support woman-owned enterprises.  Clause 1 of article three of the Law on Support for SMEs states that Women-owned SMEs is the business with one or more women owning 51% or more of the charter capital and at least one woman is the manager who runs that company. Therefore, it is difficult for support agencies to identify the exact subject.

Secondly, current supports for women-owned SMEs are too limited and the procedures for receiving these supports are complicated. Therefore, women-owned SMEs did not perform procedures as the result of lack of attractiveness. Besides, many small and medium business and women-owned SMEs did not know about these support policies as well as how to receive above supports.

Fourthly, main current barriers for women-owned SMEs to access support policies is stems from the gender constraints of owners such as balancing business and family life, lack of successors, women's biological functions (childbirth, gender roles in the work of family care, etc.).

According to the above analysis, replacement workshop on government decree no.39/ 2018 /ND-CP this time added some new rules for supporting female-owned enterprises in order to maximize the advantages of the area and concretize more guidelines and principles of this decree. Some new points about supporting female-owned businesses in the workshop include:

Support and Service Consulting

The demand for consulting of SMEs is varied and especially almost all matters of operations, administration and management. In addition, some businesses may have a need for individual consultation according to specific issues that their firm is facing (intellectual property advice, human resources consulting, sales, etc.) or comprehensive consultancy to help businesses solve their problems. Basically, an enterprise always has to deal with the 6 main types of problems such as human resources, finance, production, sales, market and their internal systems.

In order to make policies on supporting small and medium enterprises to access consulting network from ministries and agencies more effectively, article 13 is adjusted towards providing comprehensive support for SMEs as well as increasing the value of consulting contracts for micro, small and medium enterprises. In addition, women-owned businesses, enterprises which employee a large number of female workers, or social enterprises will have higher rate and value of budget support contracts form state than ordinary SMEs.

Microenterprises is supported 100% value of consulting contracts that are not more than VND 50 million / year / enterprise. Women-owned microenterprises, enterprises employing a large number of female workers and social enterprises are supported up to VND 70 million / year / enterprise.

Small businesses are supported up to 50% of the value of consulting contracts which are not more than VND 100 million / year / enterprise. Women-owned small businesses, enterprises employing a large number of female workers and social enterprises are supported up to VND 150 million / year / enterprise.

Medium enterprises are supported up to 30% of the value of consulting contracts which are not more than VND 150 million / year / enterprise. Women-owned medium businesses, enterprises employing a large number of female workers and social enterprises are supported up to VND 200 million / year / enterprise.

Human resource support

Based on the circumstances of getting more practical, significant, and effective human resources’ development for SMEs that are included female-owned enterprises, especially when enterprises have to dealt with several difficulties during the crisis of Covid-19 pandemic, a number of policy adjustments to the proposals for growing support to 100% and minimum 70% for the business management training course has been drafted by the Decree. The tuition fees for all of these training courses are exempt for any joining students who come from female-owned enterprises.

Simultaneously, the Covid-19 epidemic’s devastating in 2020 has caused many issues and lost for many enterprises’ production and business activities. Therefore, the direct and suitable training model for each enterprise’s needs during the pandemic time has played an important role in helping enterprises staying in the way that is more sustainable stability and development. Depending on these reasons, the Decree has supplemented the regulations for the total fee of the direct business training course’ support is increasing from 50% to 70%. The number of 100% support for the direct busines training course’s total cost is applied only for women-owned SMEs.

The draft Decree is expected to be submitted to the Government in January 2021 for considerations and the approval. /.

Nguyen Bich Thuy

Policy and General Affairs Division

Agency for Enterprises Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam

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