Shark Dang Hong Anh, Chairman of the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association (Photo: Shark Tank)
Dr. Yen Platz: What significant achievements has the VYEA made to Vietnam in its 30 years of existence (1993–2023)?
Mr. Dang Hong Anh, Chairman of VYEA: After 30 years of establishment and development, VYEA has grown significantly, becoming a leading professional social organisation throughout the country. It wields considerable power in Vietnam's political, economic, cultural, and social life, serving as a vital link between the programmes of the Party, the state, and the VYEA community. The VYEA movement has helped to shape a new generation of ambitious, visionary, and skilled entrepreneurs. They are the business community's and Vietnamese entrepreneurs' front-runners, holding crucial leadership roles in large national firms.
Creating a network of VYEA throughout the country, including all 63 provinces and cities, the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, the Vietnam Rubber Group, and 14 affiliated clubs with a total membership of over 19,000 members
Many activities organised by the VYEA have helped to affirm and enhance the position and credibility of young entrepreneurs, including the Red Star Award for Outstanding Young Vietnamese Entrepreneurs, the Golden Star of Vietnam, and programmes for selecting and awarding titles to outstanding startup entrepreneurs (targeting the youth and young startup entrepreneurs).
Contribution to the economy: The association's members generate annual revenue in excess of $40 billion USD (more than 10% of the country's GDP).
Contribution to society: Members of the VYEA employ almost 5 million people. With an annual budget of hundreds of billion Vietnamese dong, the group has carried out charity and social activities from the national to the local levels. VYEA has initiated many innovative models in combating the COVID-19 pandemic with the essence of security, devotion, and promptness, such as ATMs of rice, ATMs of oxygen, and so on; accompanying support for victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin in Vietnam; supporting victims suffered flood in the central region, and expressing gratitude to families of policy beneficiaries, wounded soldiers, and martyrs. VYEA's activities have contributed to raising awareness about the importance and position of young entrepreneurs in the country's future, kindling the youth's determination and aspirations for building careers.
Dr. Yen Platz: On a scale of 1 to 10, how effective is the establishment of a network connecting young Vietnamese entrepreneurs with the region and internationally?
Mr. Dang Hong Anh, Chairman of VYEA: On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 6. VYEA has just become an official member of the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Association and the Asia-Pacific Young Entrepreneurs Organization. Moving forward, we hope to organise and gather young Vietnamese entrepreneurs around Southeast Asia and the world by establishing Young Entrepreneurs' Clubs in various countries. Our goal is to share ideals and work together to promote trade and investment with a strong sense of responsibility, which means building the image of a Vietnamese Young Entrepreneurs' Association, specifically one that integrates and develops in the future.
Dr. Yen Platz: Could you please share a bit about the future development strategy of VYEA?
Chairman Dang Hong Anh: VYEA will focus on various tactics in the upcoming time, including increasing number of members in both quantity and quality, with a stronger emphasis on member quality; promoting domestic trade and investment activities within the young entrepreneur community, as well as assisting members with economic development, market expansion, and competitive capabilities; creating a corporate and entrepreneurial culture; Asserting VYEA's status as a major enterprise association not only in Vietnam, but also on a global scale; creating and expanding a regional and worldwide business networking platform for young Vietnamese entrepreneurs; concentrating on CSR efforts to increase young Vietnamese businesses' sense of duty to the community.
Dr. Yen Platz: You are the first individual to be appointed Chairman for two consecutive terms. What aspects, in your opinion, led to acquiring that trust?
Chairman Dang Hong Anh: As Chairman of the VYEA, you are someone who takes on responsibility and cares about the communal well-being. Therefore, one must devote time, love, and effort to it, continually pondering and working for its advancement. To build trust, as the chairman, in my opinion, you should prioritise the community interest over personal benefit, demonstrating greater concern for the less strong associations in order to support their development. The chairman of VYEA should be someone who talks and acts decisively, and once a goal is established, they should relentlessly pursue it without giving up.
Dr. Yen Platz: I know that you are a talented tennis player. What similarities and differences exist between the competitive spirit in sports and in the business arena?
Chairman Dang Hong Anh: Similarities: When competing in sports, setting clear goals ahead of time, planning particular tactics, and being committed to attaining those goals; never giving up; focusing on priorities; learning from mistakes; aiming at the benefit of the whole.
Differences: I think there's not much of distinctions; whether in a sporting event or a business strategy, athletes and entrepreneurs have the same will to succeed. So far, I haven't discovered any significant differences because, whether you're an athlete or an entrepreneur, you're a “warrior” on the front lines, striving to conquer your mission.
Dr. Yen Platz: According to some psychologists, Vietnamese youngsters currently idolise entertainment stars rather than "economic stars," resulting in less incentive to work and develop themselves in order to contribute to the country's economy. What are your thoughts on this?
Chairman Dang Hong Anh: People have realised the growing importance of connecting people regardless of geographical distances or time zones as the internet and smart technologies have evolved. People's interaction tools, where ideas and views are creatively expressed and shared, have gradually grown into social networks. I believe that today's Vietnamese youngsters are intelligent, active, and innovative. However, how we use the present "media tools" efficiently to direct people is critical. I believe that if properly guided and directed towards positive values, individuals making a difference in communities, such as those supporting people with disabilities, can be shining examples for today's youth, inspiring them towards positive community-oriented spirits.
Dr. Yen Platz: Ryunosuke Satoro said, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." Can you and VYEA take on the mission of rallying and inspiring young Vietnamese entrepreneurs around the world to concentrate their efforts on Vietnam?
Chairman Dang Hong Anh: I believe VYEA can do so because it possesses all of the necessary characteristics to successfully integrate and connect Vietnamese young entrepreneurs from diverse countries. I really hope for the support and assistance of the Vietnamese embassies and trade offices in those countries in order to accomplish this. This help would aid in the dissemination of information and the introduction of VYEA to the Vietnamese entrepreneur community abroad, creating connections for us in the future as we build our network of young entrepreneurs.
Dr. Yen Platz: Thank you very much! I wish you and VYEA continued success in your efforts to benefit the community and society. Ready to take on the mission of mobilising young entrepreneurs from all over the world to Vietnam in support of a powerful, peaceful, and benevolent Vietnam beloved by foreign friends."
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