Young Vietnamese entrepreneurs taste success with help of government preferential loans

GMT 07:09 2016 Thursday ,28 April

Arab Today, arab today Young Vietnamese entrepreneurs taste success with help of government preferential loans

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Thi Tinh, Vietnam - XINHUA

 "It cost a lot. I had to pay a very high price for my current success," Le Thi Tinh, a young Vietnamese director of a company in northern Vietnam began her success story.

Having gone through ups and downs in creating her own business, the 32-year-old woman is now enjoying the fruits of her hard work.

After graduating from a college of pharmacy, Tinh worked at a pharmaceutical company in Vietnam's northern Hai Phong City.

After around five years, Tinh left Hai Phong to turn return to her hometown in Thai Binh province, which is well known as the rice bowl of Vietnam's northern Red River Delta.

"After returning to Thai Binh, I found that farmers in my hometown had not made full use of the fertile soil here for economic development," Tinh told Xinhua.

"It was a huge waste as such fertile soil was used for growing low value plants like corn and sweet potatoes. People could never elevate themselves socially by growing such cheap produce."

"I believed that medicinal plants could grow well in

such fertile soil in my hometown," Tinh said.

In 2013, the Vietnamese youngster decided to start her business by growing medicinal plants. However, due to lack of experience, Tinh failed twice, which cost her around 800 million Vietnamese dong (nearly 35,900 U.S. dollars) and forced her parents and her parents-in-law to remortgage their houses.

"It was so hard and arduous," Tinh said. "After the second failure, I felt that I was lost and did not know what to do."

"When I failed, my parents, my friends, and even my neighbors told me to give up and find less risky and easier things to do."

But the determination to develop her own business gave the young woman the strength not to give up and push on.

Right at the time when Tinh could not figure out her next step, she saw people coming to her village looking for Polyscias fruticosa (a species of plant which can be used as tonic, anti-inflammatory, antitoxin, antibacterial ointment, diuretic, febrifuge, anti-dysentery, and for neuralgia and rheumatic pains).

Tinh said Polyscias fruticosa is good as it's easy to grow and it is strong. Polyscias fruticosa was then chosen for her third attempt.

But the way to success was not that smooth for Tinh. At that time, frosty winter weather destroyed up to 70 percent of her plants.

Tinh then grew other medicinal plants which were taller in order to create shadows and prevent frost from damaging or killing Polyscias fruticosa. It finally worked this time.

It took Tinh nearly two years of being battered by failure before she could finally taste the sweet nectar of success.

"These were the costly lessons I have learned during the course of setting up my own business," Tinh, who is now the director of a company involved in medicinal plant growing operations and producing herbal tea, told Xinhua.

At present, Tinh is growing various kinds of medicinal plants on her 20 hectares (200,000 square meters) of fields.

Not stopping at growing medicinal plants, Tinh wanted to take advantage of the herbal sources and to bring her products closer to consumers.

"Raw herbal materials are good but it is difficult to access all markets. I want to produce things that people can use easily," the young director told Xinhua.

She decided to invest some 1.5 billion Vietnamese dong (nearly 67,300 U.S. dollars) to buy machines to make tea bags and learned how to make herbal tea from experts.

At present, Tinh's herbal tea products have been sold to over 50 provinces and cities across Vietnam. The products are also exported to the Republic of Korea.

With monthly revenue totaling between around 900 million Vietnamese dong (nearly 40,360 U.S. dollars) to one billion Vietnamese dong (over 44,840 U.S. dollars), Tinh's company has created jobs for 45 people.

Apart from her own determination and efforts, as well as the support from her family, Tinh also received the help from the government in business establishment.

While starting to plant Polyscias fruticosa, through the Youth Union, Tinh received loans of 200 million Vietnamese dong (nearly 9,000 U.S. dollars) with a preferential interest rate of 0.5 percent per month in three years for young people in establishing business.

Tinh said at that time, the preferential loan partially helped alleviate her burden of capital investment.

Following government regulations on supporting policies for job creation of the National Revolving Fund for Job Creation and the Regulations of Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) on policy credit for job creation and retention, Vietnamese young people are able to get loans under the fund managed by the Youth Union.

The maximum loan size is one billion Vietnamese dong for the production and business unit and 50 million Vietnamese dong for one job created.

It is reported that the total outstanding loans of job creation lending from the fund managed by the Youth Union reached 60 billion Vietnamese dong as of January 31, 2016, with 1,473 active borrowers and 959 projects (including 300 projects of related to production and business units).

"Young people like me have enthusiasm but lack investment capital in establishing businesses for economic development in a professional way. The government should have more preferential policies to support young people so as to create a more favorable conditions for them to set up their own businesses," Tinh said.

As to her plans in the future, Tinh said she is aiming to expand her overseas markets. "I want to export my products to other countries, and then more and more people will know about my herbal tea," she explained.

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