Twenty-four-year-old Pham Phuong Thao is from Thanh Hoa in north Vietnam. She set up a business selling flowers and ornamental plants three years ago and now employs six people. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Thao expects to significantly increase her revenue this year by diversifying into online sales and wholesale. She is also expanding into consulting on garden landscaping and design.
As well as the pandemic, Thao has had to overcome other significant barriers, like competition and family conflict. “When I first returned to my hometown to start a business, there were quite a lot of difficulties such as capital, spending time to fulfill family responsibilities such as taking care of my child, and big competitors,” she says. “There were a lot of conflicting opinions from my family, relatives and other people. But one thing motivating me is that my husband has always been supportive.”