Listen and subscribe to “Vietnam Innovators” in English: Vietcetera Podcast | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | YouTube.
Listen and subscribe to “Vietnam Innovators” in Vietnamese: Vietcetera Podcast | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | YouTube.
Having more women in business means an equitable and sustainable future. It’s not just a business imperative; it’s critical and essential. In fact, many studies have shown that having more women in senior positions is an advantage for the company and increases the diversity of perspective and thought.
Last year, Vietnam ranked 38th out of the 65 surveyed countries by the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs based on socioeconomic factors that nurture or hinder the ability of women to progress and thrive in the business world.
On a large scale, a McKinsey Global Institute report finds that US$12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.
In this episode of Vietnam Innovators, Amanda Murphy, HSBC’s Head of Commercial Banking for South & Southeast Asia, joined Hao Tran to share her optimism for Vietnam’s growth story, define the “3Ds” propelling the country’s economic rise and make a strong case for narrowing the gender gap through the launch of the HSBC Female Entrepreneur Fund in Vietnam.
Committed to helping female entrepreneurs
HSBC launched the Female Entrepreneur Fund across 16 markets this year. The goal is to provide the right solutions for female-led businesses to scale, and Vietnam is one of the latest HSBC markets to join the program.
Amanda is currently based in Singapore and has been with HSBC for the past 28 years. She is visiting Vietnam for the first time since the market reopened earlier this year to meet with her team and HSBC’s customers in Vietnam to connect and understand how HSBC can support its growth journey.
Amanda is aware that women sometimes hesitate to go to banks and other financiers to look for business financing. “We want to be very public about saying we’re here to support all businesses, those led by men and those that women lead.” Thus, the fund helps women tackle the challenges and biases that female leaders face.
When asked what brought this idea to reality, Amanda said the business case is simple: “When we look more broadly across the world, women make up half the world’s population but account for less than 40% of GDP. So how can we unlock the talent and the potential that is in women? The more we can do – the more we can drive that contribution – higher the GDP. That means employment increases, that means that families have more wealth, education, better healthcare, and that trickle effect.”
HSBC Vietnam’s launch of the Female Entrepreneur Fund comes alongside the introduction of the HSBC Roar initiative, which enables female entrepreneurs to access:
- A series of masterclasses hosted by experienced business leaders
- Tailored networking sessions with major companies in markets where the Fund operates
- Insights from the investor community and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors
- Bespoke advisory for female entrepreneurs from experienced HSBC bankers
Amanda emphasizes that they’re not just putting the balance sheets out there and making funds available for entrepreneurs who might need them. HSBC is committed to providing long-term and practical support to women in business.
Vietnam’s dynamism and strong outlook
When asked what she sees as the growth potential in terms of investment and expansion into Vietnam, Amanda said, “International businesses see Vietnam as an important destination for their future growth in the region. This was clearly indicated in the latest HSBC Navigator survey “Southeast Asia in Focus,” where we surveyed more than 1,500 international companies with business interests in Southeast Asia.”
As to what makes Vietnam unique, Amanda sums it up in 3Ds:
- Dynamism: the enterprising nature of young Vietnamese has produced a vibrant start-up scene that rivals any other in the world
- Digitization: a thriving e-commerce sector and the country has shown impressive ambition to get ahead of digitization and industry 4.0., rolling out its 5G network
- Demographics: a young population, a growing workforce, and a growing consumer class. HSBC’s Navigator survey identified Vietnam’s skilled workforce as the top reason that makes the country particularly attractive for businesses
Among the international companies participating in the survey, 45% of those with Vietnamese operations stated that the most important sustainability actions they could take were improving energy efficiency; HSBC has committed in Vietnam to arrange up to $12 billion in direct and indirect sustainable financing by 2030, to help its customers understand and act on their transition to lower emissions and achieve their wider ESG ambitions.
Overall, Vietnam is seen as an attractive destination for investment, and HSBC Global Research forecasts that Vietnam’s GDP is set to grow by 6.9% in 2022 and 6.3% in 2023.
Watch the full episode below.