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Women’s Businesses Still Face Limited Access to Funding

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The Lao Women’s Business Association has found that its members are still facing difficulties and challenges gaining access to funding and markets.Ms Souphaphone Suannavong, Head of Survey Team, unveiled the results of its survey and interviews of 310 business members and non-members of the Lao Women’s Business Association in 10 provinces at the launch of Women Owned Business Survey on August 30

The meeting was held in Vientiane Capital in presence of Minister of Industry and Commerce Mrs Khemmany Pholsena, President of the Lao Women’s Union Mrs Inlavanh Keobounphanh, and Vice President of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. Daovone Phachanthavong.

Ms Souphaphone highlighted the fact that Lao businesswomen are still facing several challenges including high-interest loans, difficulties exchanging currency, limited access to markets, insufficient useful information about the market, a lack of skilled workers, bribe offerings to officials, high excise tax payments and an inability to gain access to up-to-date technology.

Overcoming these problems will require the help of the state sector to spur the growth of women’s businesses.

The survey revealed that 83.5 percent of Lao women businesses have not had enough funding to run their businesses and that 75 percent of Lao women businesses are operated from home.

The top five businesses which are run by women include retail sales, calculating for 15.49 percent, while 11.49% are construction businesses, 11.11% involve agriculture, 9.76% are some type of industrial processing, and 9% are wholesale operations.

As a result, the Lao Women’s Business Association met with the authorities of Ministries of Planning and Investment and Industry and Commerce in Vientiane Capital yesterday to discuss the matters in order to remove the above mentioned barriers.

Source: KPL