Quynh’s story

Our programmes were transformational for Quynh and her natural beauty product brand, supporting her to realise her dreams of creating a healthier, more sustainable planet.

Programme

WEAVE

Date

2020-2021

Location

Hanoi, Vietnam

Being an entrepreneur means that my life is more fulfilled. I can be financially independent, live freely and follow my hobbies and dreams.

Quynh Nguyen, founder of AZCare, and WEAVE alumna

Quynh Nguyen is the founder of AZCare in Hanoi, which produces natural herbal beauty products like shampoo, mouthwash and shower gel. She is one of 12,000 women entrepreneurs in Vietnam and Indonesia trained through our WEAVE project with USAID, Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™, Kinara Indonesia and WISE Vietnam. Our programmes supported Quynh to transform into the entrepreneur she wanted to be. Her business’ success not only means greater freedom and happiness for her, it also means a greener planet.

Before I became an entrepreneur, I worked for several pharmaceutical marketing companies. Most of my family members are also doctors and pharmacists. However, my passion is studying native medical plants and using them to make herbal remedies and treatments. I co-founded AZCare to research traditional herbal medicines and then use what we learn to create natural products that Vietnamese people can use and enjoy.

I think we faced difficulties that most businesses do when they are first starting up – working out the legal challenges facing small businesses, boosting marketing and communications, and establishing a HR system. However, the challenges are even more terrifying when you are a woman entrepreneur. I cannot devote myself to working 20 hours a day every day, like I would if I were a man, because I still need to take care of my children and our family. In the first few months of founding AZCare, I wasn’t able to pay myself a salary, and had to devote a lot of family time to my business. My family wanted me to go back to my office job.

That was when I found the WEAVE initiative, and when I starting using the HerVenture app. With HerVenture, it was like I found light in a dark place, I got a map to follow. The app taught me about identifying my company’s mission, how to expand the business and Human resources, and about the digital market and how to do e-commerce sales. Whenever I faced a problem that I couldn’t find the answer to, I would open the lessons in the app and study them until the answer presented itself to me.

I then applied to Road to Growth, because HerVenture had already given me so much business knowledge, and I believed that the programme would be even more in-depth. Just as I thought, the programme was a logical next step for me. If HerVenture is a map, telling you how to begin your start-up journey, then Road to Growth helped our business break through and sped up the launch of our product to market. The programme supported me to identify the target audience for my product, which meant we could focus on how to approach them specifically.

With HerVenture, it was like I found light in a dark place, I got a map to follow.

I was then fortunate enough to participate in the Mentoring programme as part of the WEAVE initiative. My mentor, Amrinder, was great. I not only consider her to be my mentor, but also my close friend who always listens to me sincerely and warmly. Amrinder has a busy workload as she is a university professor as well as an advisor for large companies, so she was able to give me advice on managing my time and being more productive at work. She walked with me to help me overcome the challenges we were facing due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, the support of the three programmes which make up the WEAVE initiative have transformed me from a very ordinary marketing employee to a formidable woman entrepreneur. I believe by participating in these three programmes, any woman could learn how to start up and grow their own small business. We need more programs for women entrepreneurs like these. Having a successful business means I can help more people. It brings me freedom. I want that for all women in Vietnam.

For me, being an entrepreneur means that my life is more fulfilled. I can be financially independent, live freely and follow my hobbies and dreams. My future vision for myself is just to be the owner of my own life. Having a successful business also means I can help more people. AZCare’s vision is a future where the ecosystem will be more balanced, to ensure a sustainable and safe environment for everyone and everything living on our planet.

It’s so important to have more good programmes like HerVenture, Road to Growth, and Mentoring. Women entrepreneurs have to split their time over so many things, not only their job but also family life. That means they don’t have so much time to gain knowledge, so with great programmes like these, we have the opportunities to develop a successful business.

Once women have a successful business, their lives are more fulfilled because they can be financially independent, they can live freely and follow their hobbies and dreams. And, of course, they’re happier.

Women entrepreneurs have too many strings holding us back. It’s time we untied them!

Women entrepreneurs have too many strings holding us back. It’s time we untied them!

Made possible by...

WEAVE was delivered collaboratively by the Foundation, Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™, and local, in-country implementing partners Kinara (Indonesia) and WISE (Vietnam). The contract was awarded by the ASEAN-USAID Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade, and E-Commerce (ASEAN-USAID IGNITE) program, a USAID-funded activity.