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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