As a first step towards driving women’s empowerment, the kick-off ceremony for the “Mekong Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs” (WE Inspire) project took place on January 19, 2024, in Ngai Xuyen commune, Tra Cu district, Tra Vinh province. WE Inspire is a joint initiative of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership and the Kenan Foundation Asia (Kenan), aimed at economically empowering women through a multifaceted capacity building approach. With support from the US Department of State, the kick-off event was co-organized by Kenan and the Tra Vinh Women’s Union, and saw active participation from a total of 120 women entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and small business cooperative groups from Tra Cu District who came to explore training opportunities on business skills, financial management, savings, and health.
The partners were very honoured to welcome representatives of the Tra Vinh Provincial People’s Committee, and various government agencies. Special gusts included Mrs. Huynh Thi So Phia, Tra Vinh Province Women’s Union; Mr. Benjamin Jalowsky, Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer, US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City; and, Mr. Richard Bernhard, Chief Representative of Kenan in Vietnam.
Richard Bernhard emphasized: “WE Inspire is not merely a project; it is a commitment to fostering positive change and empowering women in the Mekong Delta. Today, we unite in a collaborative effort to uplift, inspire, and pave the way for a brighter future for the women of Tra Vinh”.
With the understanding that women need to be in good health to succed in business, 120 women will receive free health check-ups from at clinics under the Department of Health of Tra Vinh province. In the following months, training courses on financial management, business skills, digital literacy, marketing, and 21st-century skills will be delivered for women in Tra Cu District communes including Phuoc Hung, An Quang Huu, Tap Son, Long Hiep, Ngai Xuyen, and Luu Nghiep Anh. In the following year year, financial and technical support will be provided to women who are starting or expanding a business.
About the “Mekong Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs” project:
A joint initiative from the Mekong – U.S. Partnership (under the U.S. Department of State) and Kenan Foundation Asia, the Mekong Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs (WE Inspire) project aims to facilitate marginalized women across Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam to have economic stability through capacity building and access to healthcare services.
In Vietnam, the project is to be implemented in Tra Vinh province from September 2023 to February 2026. The project builds skills in finance literacy, basic business, production and business management, digital literacy, nationwide health services, 21st-century skills, etc. for 120 marginalised women, to create conditions for micro-enterprises, cooperatives, and women-owned small business. Thus, provide them with access to finance products, microinsurance and health insurance to help prioritize women’s health and business needs to ensure sustainable living.