With U.S. Government support, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today launched a regional network to highlight the successes of women entrepreneurs contributing to economic development and help them address challenges they face in finance, networking and training.
“I highly appreciate the efforts of the ASEAN Committee on Women and the ASEAN Secretariat as well as the initiaves of Vietnam in the development of the ASEAN Women’s Entrepreneurship Network (AWEN),” said Madame Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, Vietnam’s Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, H.E. Madame Pham Thi Hai Chuyen. Addressing the start of a two-day workshop in Hanoi, she said the Network with the members including the women entrepreneurs would contribute significantly to the promotion of the commercial and economic activities within the region and between ASEAN and other partners in order to promote gender equality, empowerment of women.
Supported regionally by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the workshop brought together 60 Network members to raise awareness of women entrepreneurs’ needs, build their knowledge and capacity in business development and management, and provide an opportunity for networking. AWEN strives to increase opportunities and access for all entrepreneurs to improve women’s income and quality of life.
The U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, David B. Shear, highlighted the importance that United States places on women’s empowerment and gender equality. “The U.S. Government supports activities to ensure women’s voices are represented, their needs addressed, and their leadership potential fostered,” he said. “We will continue to seek ways to reduce regulatory barriers and expand legal awareness for women, improve women’s access to social, medical, educational and economic opportunities, and increase women’s participation in policy dialogues”.
American firms, represented today by MasterCard, Motorola, Google, and Procter and Gamble, participated in the workshop by sharing experiences and knowledge with participants.
The United States Government will continue to support the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network as part of its ongoing support to people of ASEAN and is encouraging U.S. businesses to work closely with the Network as well. In Vietnam, expanding opportunities for women and other populations underrepresented in economic and social life is a priority of U.S. assistance through USAID.
For more information about the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network, contact Ms. Mega Irena at the ASEAN Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr. Chanyut (Pom) Nitikitpaiboon at USAID (email@example.com).