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Strive Women in Vietnam

A Vietnamese woman holds up a food product.

Strive Women in Vietnam supports women entrepreneurs to feel confident, resilient, in control, and equipped to grow their businesses, so they gain economic power in their households, communities, and economies.


Strive Women, a four-year program led by CARE and supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, strengthens the financial health of women-led micro & small businesses in Vietnam. These businesses are the backbone of Vietnamese economies, make better credit customers, are fast adopters of ecommerce, and have proven to reinvest in their households and local communities.

Working with local partners, Strive Women in Vietnam takes a women-centered design approach to understand the needs of women entrepreneurs and deliver tailored financial products and support services, such as capacity building, digital skills enhancement, and women’s network strengthening. Additionally, the program innovates in areas such as climate crisis adaptation and childcare support, recognizing their disproportionate impact on women.

The opportunity

In Vietnam, women entrepreneurs, constituting 21% of formal micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), face challenges accessing equal capital opportunities, resulting in a $1.2 billion financing gap for their businesses. Obstacles include the lack of formal financial records, limited collateral access, and a shortage of specialized financial products (ADB, 2022). CARE’s research indicates harmful gender norms are further hindering financial inclusion, with 80% of men and 60% of women believing businesswomen should be the main childcare provider, despite the pressures of running a business (CARE, 2022). CARE findings showed that, despite these challenges, 75% of women entrepreneurs in Vietnam express a desire for access to more capital, underscoring the potential for transformative change in fostering financial inclusion. These factors highlight the significant opportunity for enhancing financial inclusion for women micro and small entrepreneurs in Vietnam.

Our focus

Strive Women in Vietnam supports micro and small enterprises, 90% of which will be women-led with at least two employees, and who have been in business for at least two years. Building on the success of the prior phase called Ignite, the program runs from 2023 to 2027 in Vietnam, where women face multiple gender barriers and there are large segments of unserved and underserved micro and small businesses ready for investment.


Latest Resources

Gender Norms Study in Vietnam

This study identifies gender barriers and perceptions faced by women entrepreneurs in Vietnam.

Read more
Mastercard Strive

Strive Women is part of Mastercard Strive, a global portfolio of philanthropic programs aimed at helping small businesses around the world thrive in the digital economy. The program is implemented by CARE, supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, and funded with a $9 million USD investment from the Mastercard Impact Fund.