Entrepreneurs du Monde's program in Vietnam

Vietnam's geographical, historical and economic setting

92 M of inhabitants

116th HDI ranking

73 years old life expectancy

A South-East Asian country, Vietnam is bordered by China, Laos, Cambodia and the gulf of Thailand. Its capital is Hanoi.

French colonisation and the war against the USA in the twentieth century created rifts in the country between the north and south factions. Over time, the political situation has gradually stabilised and in 1986 the country moved towards a more open economy and engaged in reforms in the private sector, like China. Today, Vietnam is still a communist country.

Wars, high expenditure on armaments, and the United States’ embargo have significantly weakened the country. The regime continues to exert a firm control over politics, the economy and society, but Vietnam is enjoying a period of very strong economic growth. Indeed, the country is one of the biggest rice and coffee producers in the world.

Because of the different latitudes and the varied topography, the climate varies from region to region in Vietnam. Mountains and highlands represent two third of the Vietnamese territory. The mountainous region located in the North of Dien Bien province is known for the extreme poverty of its inhabitants, especially those from ethnic minorities.

Entrepreneurs du Monde in Vietnam

To help these marginalized and rural populations out of extreme poverty, Entrepreneurs du Monde set up the Anh Chi Em program in 2007. Anh Chi Em is active in the Dien Bien province. This mountainous northern province is the poorest in the country: more than half of the families, most of them from ethnic minorities, live below the poverty threshold. Anh Chi Em’s goal is to provide them with access to financial services appropriate to their small agricultural or commercial activity. Support services, which are essential to the socio-economic success of these micro-entrepreneurs, are given a high profile too.