My name is Ngô Thị Hoài. I am the Director of XLABS social enterprise. XLABS is sustaining WeCreate Vietnam, a public-private initiative between the US Government and Griffin Worx that supports start-up women entrepreneurs with access to mentors and resources. It started in October 2016. I am also a Facebook Community Leader Fellow and a Facebook Lead Trainer, delivering digital marketing knowledge and skills to thousands of women through the #SheMeansBusiness program since 2017.
As a new mom who was worried about getting back to work after a break, WeCreate gave her all the flexibility she needed.
When I had my second child, balancing work and motherhood became a huge challenge. I was constantly divided and struggled to manage everything. However, at that point, I decided to spend time with my children and quit my job.
It was the hardest time. I was restless and unhappy. To be at home after having worked for so long was difficult. I soon picked up an online part-time job, but after 4 years, I had had enough. My child was old enough and it was time for me to get back to work. I was fearful about getting back after a hiatus as I wasn’t sure if I would get the same opportunities. That’s when I found WeCreate Vietnam. The program provides mothers like me the flexibility of time so that we can manage both work and our households effectively. All my apprehensions vanished. Not only that, WeCreate also gave me the platform to help many women realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
Operating online helped continue the program during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We promoted this program using Facebook and built our community gradually. In 4 years, we served 4,000 participants, out of which, 80% were women. We recruited more than 200 mentors who voluntarily provided coaching to them. It was also because of the effort we took to set up an online community that we were able to continue connecting entrepreneurs to mentors even during the pandemic. In 2021, we introduced our program in Tra Vinh, where 30% of the population are minority ethnic groups. Nearly 200 local entrepreneurs have been connected to mentors, experts through online trainings and the online Startup Academy.
The goal is to empower more Vietnamese women entrepreneurs with the motto of “pay it forward”.
The work I do really motivates me because I believe women have great potential and are only looking to be supported. I want women to learn from my journey of going after my dreams despite roadblocks. They must believe in themselves and they will find the right path.