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Emory University

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development


Ho Chi Minh City is commonly referred to as a developing business hub, largely due to the rapidly increasing number of private enterprises. Since the implementation of the Doi Moi in 1986, Vietnam’s private business sphere has grown tremendously, and women have played a large role in this development. Today, women own just under a quarter of formal enterprises in Vietnam, but this impressive statistic does not consider the many challenges these women have faced.

Through in-depth interviews with female business owners themselves, along with an online survey, this study determines how gender influences these business owners’ professional experiences. Gender norms have shifted drastically in Vietnam’s recent past, and this change has affected females in a variety of ways – sometimes minimally, and other times in a paramount manner. Not only has this adjustment brought potential impacts to the personal lives of women, but also their professional lives. Through the research conducted in this survey, I was able to deduce that gender does tend to have an impact on female business owners’ experiences, but the size of impact depends on many factors. Additionally, this influence comes in a variety of forms, such as treatment from peers, legal issues, and gendered expectations.


Asian Studies | Business | Development Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Social and Cultural Anthropology | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies | Women's Studies | Work, Economy and Organizations


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