It’s only sensible that there’ll be more women entrepreneurs in the future, says Vy Nguyen

Vy Nguyen

Vy Nguyen is a serial Vietnamese entrepreneur who has founded Advance Language Center, Chấn Văn Construction Company, and 411 Motorcycle Repair Chain between 2006 and now.

In 2019 she founded Nhi Dong 315, a children’s clinic and pharmacy chain, which is the first children’s healthcare chain in Vietnam.

In Nov 2020, Nhi Dong 315 announced the close of its pre-series A funding from a consortium of international investors from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Europe. This was Nhi Dong 315’s first external funding since it opened its first clinic in June 2019.

Vy Nguyen was among the 12 women (co-)founders interviewed for our Women in Startups: The SE Asia Edition report. She shared her experience as a woman entrepreneur. Edited excerpts:

Do you think it’s hard to get external funding as a solo woman founder? Why or why not?

Southeast Asia is particularly difficult to get venture funding. Ultimately it comes down to the quality of the business, and if you can show people that you are driven and have a vision, and if the business brings value.

How long did it take you to get your pre-series A round?

We came to market in March 2020, ended up 2 times oversubscribed by July 2020, despite the pandemic and having to fundraise on Zoom.

The share of startups with women founders has increased slightly in SE Asia over the last decade, based on Crunchbase data. Does it reflect what you are observing, at least for Vietnam ?

Vietnam has one of the highest levels of female-owned businesses in the world (higher than Sweden). Ultimately it comes down to the quality of the underlying business.

Do you think that participating in entrepreneurs’ ecosystems have helped?

Connectivity to the international finance community is critical. Many international investors are receptive to proposals from female founders. The local ecosystem is valuable but the important thing is connecting to the international community.

Do you see a future where there are more women entrepreneurs and more women VCs as well?  

Absolutely, it’s only sensible that there will be more women entrepreneurs and investors in the future.

To read more such interviews and access data like the share of capital that flowed to women-led startups in SE Asia, refer to our Research & Analytics report.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.