PRESS RELEASE

07/12/2020

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

November 27, 2020

Digital literacy training available to 65,000 microfinance clients in Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam. Over 100 representatives from Vietnam Women’s Union, government agencies, private sector, civil society groups, micro-finance service providers, and local women-led micro enterprises participated in a Forum on unlocking digital literacy opportunities in Vietnam. Organized by The Asia Foundation and Tinh Thuong One-member Limited Liability Microfinance Institution (TYM), the event officially launched the Vietnam component of the Go Digital ASEAN regional initiative supported by Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, which brings digital skills training to underserved communities throughout Southeast Asia.

In Vietnam, Go Digital ASEAN will focus on equipping women-led household businesses and micro-enterprises with critical technology skills to overcome the impacts of COVID-19 and leverage the digital economy for increased economic opportunities. The project will train up to 65,000 individuals in Vietnam and help contribute to the country’s financial inclusion and socioeconomic development priorities.

The government of Vietnam is prioritizing the nation’s digital transformation to ensure inclusive development in the era of Industry 4.0. On 3 June 2020, the Prime Minister approved the National Digital Transformation Program until 2025, with a vision toward 2030, with the aim to concurrently develop a digital government, economy, and society while also creating technology businesses capable of extending their reach to the world. In the process of digital transformation, large private enterprises are taking a leading role and leaving home-based micro businesses behind.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit Vietnamese micro-enterprises hard, women-led businesses were disproportionately affected. Many of the women who run household businesses faced barriers, such as inadequate skills and fluency in accessing online marketing tools and were unable to move their business operation online to weather the crisis.

Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, Member of the Presidium of Vietnam Women’s Union, General Director of Tinh Thuong One-member Limited Liability Microfinance Institution (TYM) opened the forum, emphasizing “Providing digital literacy training for microfinance clients, micro and small enterprises is crucial. Through the cooperation with The Asia Foundation, TYM has an opportunity to directly improve digital knowledge and skills for our clients and their family members, contributing to fostering business and employment opportunities for them. Through this Initiative, TYM hopes female clients who are direct beneficiaries of this Initiative will help equip other women and households with digital knowledge, thereby supporting more women to find business opportunities and generate employment. By enabling more women to explore and access economic and employment opportunities and advancing their digital capacity, TYM has performed well its political mission assigned by the Vietnam Women’s Union and contributed to promoting the national digital transformation process.”

The Asia Foundation believes that digital platforms can help build resilience to human and natural disasters by supporting entrepreneurs living in hard-hit or remote areas to access money, supplies, and markets outside of  their immediate communities,” said Filip Graovac, The Asia Foundation’s Deputy Country representative in Vietnam. “Projects like Go Digital ASEAN expand digital literacy and grow the potential of microbusinesses, women, and underserved populations so that they will not just survive, but thrive.

Tram Nguyen, Country Director for Google Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia shared: “Here at Google, we know that technology can play a significant role in helping many small businesses, especially during this time of crisis. For years, we’ve seen countless businesses around the world benefiting from the use of digital tools. Not only do they gain new skills, they now have the ability to reach new customers beyond their shores which ultimately helps to keep their businesses going. I believe it’s important for us to continue our work in this space and we are proud to support the Go Digital ASEAN initiative to help more Vietnamese businesses to help them adjust and succeed as our economies reopen.”

The event also highlighted the crucial role of the microfinance sector in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, particularly the service providers that are undergoing digital transformation to provide digital literacy training as part of financial education programs to facilitate inclusive access to finance for women-led businesses and marginalized populations.

About Tinh Thuong One-member Limited Liability Microfinance Institution (tymfund.org.vn)

Tinh Thuong One-member Limited Liability Microfinance Institution (TYM) was the first Microfinance Institution (MFI) to be licensed in Vietnam. Since being established in 1992 by the Vietnamese Women’s Union (VWU) we have supported more than 200.000 low-income women in rural and semi-urban Vietnam with our financial and social services. Our mission is to improve quality of life for low-income women and their families, especially poor and marginalized ones, by providing them with financial and social services that create favorable conditions for their active participation in socio-economic activities and enhance their overall position in society.

About The Asia Foundation (asiafoundation.org)

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation. Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries, including Vietnam and in Washington, DC.

About Google.org (google.org)

Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle.

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