U.S., Vietnamese officials and GriffinWorx leadership gathered in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 21 for the opening of Vietnam’s first Women’s Entrepreneurial Center of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE). The center will bring 2,200 jobs to the region in 2017 and provide resources for the advancement of women’s entrepreneurship. The WECREATE Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) and GriffinWorx, an inclusive economic and gender empowerment organization.
“This center will influence many lives, which in turn will help Vietnam to not only continue to achieve growth, but also to achieve growth in a way that sustains and protects what society values—the health of the environment, the well-being of its workers, education and the means of creativity for a young, dynamic, entrepreneurial population, said Ambassador Ted Osius during the launch.”
Women constitute half the potential workforce but often encounter greater social and cultural barriers that their male counterparts when attempting to enter the workforce. Female-owned businesses are critical to expanding the economy and generating jobs that benefit both women and society as a whole. In connecting female entrepreneurs with mentors from the private sector, and providing coaching networks, business-building programs, co-working spaces, and daycare, WECREATE hopes to help women transcend those traditional obstacles.
The Center launched with submissions opened for StartUp Academy a fifteen-week visually-driven business building program that empowers women take their businesses from idea to operations during the program. Each session is led by a collection of local business-building mentors trained by GriffinWorx, who share their expertise with tailored solutions that support local new business creation.
“Entrepreneurship is growing rapidly in Vietnam,” said Sean Griffin, CEO and Founder of GriffinWorx. “Still, many women are entering into formal business for the first time. StartUp Academy provides knowledge, tools and resources that are required to design, test and build a viable business. Accelerating the ability for women entrepreneurs who participate to create revenue and grow customers.”
The Center is part of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) to increase regional prosperity. WECREATE was declared one of six key LMI projects by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and LMI Foreign Ministers in 2014. President Barack Obama announced the opening of the Center during his visit to Vietnam in May 2016. There are currently WECREATE Centers in Zambia, Pakistan, Cambodia and Kenya.
Thursday’s inauguration ceremony was attended by U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius, WECREATE Executive Director Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Doan Duy Khuong, Vietnam Women’s Union Vice President Tran Thi Tuyet, and GriffinWorx Founder and CEO Sean Griffin.
GriffinWorx is an inclusive economic and gender empowerment organization that helps our partners achieve meaningful and enduring impact around the world. We bring the entrepreneurial spirit, courage and innovation of a world-class firm to address some of the world’s toughest challenges. The organization operates a portfolio of proprietary economic empowerment programs including, WECREATE, StartUp Cup, StartUp Academy and Mentor Certification operate in over 60 countries resulting in nearly 4,000 businesses, created over 40,000 jobs and generated over $744 million in economic impact.
WECREATE is a global network of Women Entrepreneurship Community Centers being replicated in communities around the world. The WECREATE Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) and GriffinWorx.
WECREATE Centers are Powered by GriffinWorx and specifically designed to advance gender equality in entrepreneurship through tools, programming and events created to address the barriers faced by women seeking to start and grow their businesses.