Women Start-up Step up with WISE

Supporting youth and young women in employment and business in Vietnam is a big priority for the Canadian Government and the Uniterra programme. We have recently started working with the Women’s Initiative for Start-ups and Entrepreneurship (WISE), an initiative established by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) and funded by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support women in start-ups and business in the Mekong Region.

Uniterra has chosen to support WISE because its primary goal aligns with our vision: to support women who have the creativity and drive to start and grow their business but are often met with too many barriers to see success.

On March 28, 2018, WISE launched the Women Innovation Challenge, calling for women to participate in the first-ever competition for start-ups exclusive to women in the Mekong region. WUSC Vietnam was honoured to be the main sponsor for the launch event. Ms Hue Nguyen, WUSC Vietnam’s Country Coordinator, Stephanie Lapointe, Marketing and Communications Advisor and Nhung Luu, Digital Media Advisor, attended the event on behalf of WUSC and the Uniterra programme.

By joining this competition, early-stage start-ups with female founders and co-founders with innovative and scalable business models in the four countries are offered the opportunity to showcase their innovations, compete for prizes, gain valuable mentorship, get access to investments and markets, and widen their professional networks.

“While women made enormous strides and successes in the past decades, they still face greater challenges than men in starting up and especially in raising capital for business. They have strong potential for innovation but need a strong push to materialize ideas into business and comprehensive support to grow the business. That’s reason why the WISE Challenge is launched” – said Tu Thu Hien, WISE Founder & CEO.

As WISE’s partner and launch event sponsor, WUSC and Uniterra hope to contribute to the development of women start-ups and inspire more young women to take the lead, rise to the challenge, and continue to innovate to benefit the economies of the four countries in the Mekong Region.

The competition is now open for submission and will close on May 15th, 2018. More information on the application can be found at www.challenge.wisevietnam.org/