Business Team Engagement

The seminar on Startup Ecosystem at Vietnam Women Union gathered a wide range of attendees, from senior staff of the Union, leaders of Women Business Association and female business owners. During the seminar, one of the activities was pitching a startup company in front of prospect investors.

Each group of attendees had a 2 minute pitch to sell to their investors. The products given them were ordinary everyday items such as forks, knifes, spoons, and scissors. Every group was highly engaged to come up with a pitch for the product. Our team was impressed by the enthusiasm extruded by the speakers of each group.

The session continued on with Barry Goldberg introducing the different components of a startup ecosystem. The

During their week serving in Hanoi, the Business Team engaged with Center for Women and Development (CWD) for the first time. The day long workshop focused on Sales and Marketing. Vicky Scott and Sharla Chambers took turns explaining the Sales Cycle and Marketing strategies. The key point of this session was shifting the mindset of business owners from seller focused to customer focused. For businesses in the Vietnamese culture, this concept is difficult to adopt and practice. The key staff from CWD, including those who manages their hotel, restaurant, shops and services were divided into 3 groups to apply these methods and techniques to their own case study.

“We heard about customer focus here and there, but we never had the chance to look at it as a whole system like this. We also had no idea how to apply those ideas to reality, but today, we can use our own businesses to implement these changes.”

Each attendee left the workshop with a copy of the materials and an action plan to apply what they learn to better sell their products and services. The Business Team did more than just transferring knowledge. As the session went on, CWD staff discussed different challenges and issues that they were facing. This was a confirmation that our team has helped the staff to reconsider their approaches and practices to business. Such discussions are the stepping stones for future changes and impact.

Kathleen Hindman, a Managing Director in Texas prepared college seniors for a job interview. After the workshop, students at Vietnam Women Institute understood the preparation and steps toward a job interview.

The Business Team also held a mock interview between Kathleen and Che Walker to illustrate how a job interview would be conducted and how they can have an effective interview to secure the position.

The Q&A session was loaded with questions from the students. Time ran out before our team could answer all their questions. This shown us the interest an eagerness of these bright college students toward the workforce.

Both the CWD and the Women Institute has extended their invitations for our Team to come next year. For future engagement, we need people with business experience and background. For more information, please contact us at

This year was the first time our team has engaged with CWD. Such opportunity has opened the door for future engagement. We also had the chance to better understand the organization and its operations. CWD is similar to a social enterprise; they have the business services such as hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, retail shops. On the other hand, CWD also operates social services such as a domestic abuse and human trafficking rescue center, a kindergarten, a library and consulting services. Their mission is to serve the underprivileged women in Vietnam, which aligns with GVI’s mission. Perhaps in the future, they can become one of our strategic partners.