In recent years, the banking system has actively cooperated with international financial institutions to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially women-owned enterprises (WSMEs). This cooperation channel is creating more favorable conditions for WSMEs in accessing preferential financial services, thereby expanding production and business activities towards sustainable development.
WSMEs face many challenges
According to data from a number of specialized organizations, WSMEs currently account for about 26.5% of the total number of enterprises and are increasingly asserting their important role in terms of quantity, size and influence. However, the reality is that most WSMEs are facing many difficulties and obstacles, especially in accessing financial resources.
According to Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), from 2020, the Covid-19 epidemic has placed severe and extremely severe impacts on 87% of WSMEs; The pandemic has caused the revenue of these businesses to decline, and losses were much more serious compared to previous years.
In 2019, 61.1% of WSMEs made profit and 27.1% suffered from losses; by 2020, this percentage decreased significantly, only 53.2% of WSMEs were profitable and 32.1% suffered from losses. Entering 2021, the percentage of profitable WSMEs was only 42.7% and the rate of loss-making businesses increases to 39.2%.
As an enterprise operating in the field of tourism, Ms. Bui Thi Thanh Thuy – Director of Hoang Gia Quang Ninh Tourism and Trade Investment Co., Ltd (Quang Ninh) said: “The prolonged pandemic has seriously affected the company’s travel business, making it a big challenge to pay off bank debt .” Previously, in 2019, the Company was provided capital by SHB with a term of 7 years to promote business activities.
Ms. Bui Thi Thanh Thuy – Director of Hoang Gia Quang Ninh Tourism & Trade Investment Co., Ltd
Nguyen Thi Chi Phuong – Director of GHP General Business Co., Ltd (GHP Company) said that in early 2022, the company won the bid for ground leveling of Lien Ha Thai industrial park (this is an industrial a key and first industrial park in the economic zone of Thai Binh province) but do not have enough working capital to implement the project. Bank loans also seemed hard to access due to lack of collateral.
“ Luckily, when we were struggling with a lack of capital, we were supported by SHB in a timely manner. Thanks to the bank’s capital and incentives, the company has reduced its cost burden and is growing constantly. Previously, we could only participate in small projects, but with SHB’s capital, the company was able to participate in larger projects ” – Ms. Phuong shared – “ That support is very valuable, especially in the context that we were facing many difficulties ”.
A “fulcrum” for female-owned businesses
In order to support WSMEs impacted by the Covid-19 epidemic to recover and stabilize production and business, from the end of 2021, SHB has cooperated with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement the program of providing “Support to reduce impact of Covid-19 on WSMEs”.
Accordingly, WSMEs facing difficulties due to Covid-19 will be exempted from loan structure by this bank, supporting 6 months of interest (for customers subject to debt restructuring); funding commitment fee to withdraw up to 8% of the loan value (for new borrowers), and at the same time exempt and reduce all related fees… Value of this support is up to USD 10,000, from ADB funding.
At the same time, SHB offers many incentives to women-owned businesses to optimize financial transactions such as: offer high-class chosen accounts to businesses and leaders, 100% free payroll service, free internet banking service, domestic money transfer fee, free Standard Combo package for current account and free usage fee within 6 months.
SHB offers a lot of incentives to women-owned businesses in the past time
Ms. Bui Thi Thanh Thuy – Director of Hoang Gia Quang Ninh Tourism and Trade Investment Co., Ltd shared: “ Fortunately, in 2021, SHB has restructured the loan, while ADB paid interest on our behalf for 5 months. SHB and ADB have helped Hoang Gia survive so that we could be able develop and expand our business. Up to now, Hoang Gia has also expanded in scale, added 2 new ships, increased the number of staff by 12 people and signed cooperation agreements with many tour operators, since then the company’s revenue has increased by 150% compared to 2021. Besides, the business consulting program of ADB – SHB has helped the company to develop a long-term business development strategy and new marketing methods” .
The fleet of Hoang Gia Investment, Trade and Tourism Co., Ltd. is ready to welcome tourists
Not only benefit from financial supports, female-owned businesses can also participate in free business consulting and training courses on cash flow management, human resource management, product development and information technology to enhance competitiveness and develop sustainably.
SHB is known as a pioneer bank that always accompanies, stands by and supports SMEs, especially female-owned enterprises. Ms. Ngo Thu Ha – CEO of SHB shared: “ Women-owned enterprises are increasingly and positively contributing to economic development. We believe that, if there are timely support policies and solutions, this group of businesses will further promote their capabilities and strengths.”
Recently, SHB signed a credit contract with IFC worth $120 million to support SHB to develop its SME loan portfolio, including women-owned businesses and those involved in the supply chain. This is an important additional resource for the Bank to continue to develop specific policies and programs in accompanying and supporting SMEs in general and WSMEs in particular.
In addition to promoting international capital mobilization, SHB has been effectively implementing a series of policies, supporting businesses to access capital, designing specialized products, enhancing many non-financial solutions… supporting businesses to recover production and business after the Covid-19 pandemic, towards sustainable development.
Details can be referred: here