By Tara Mastel
Yesterday I met two innovative entrepreneurs in Sapa Vietnam who are working to create enterprises that take advantage of local resources to lift the local people up. There are many challenges to overcome, but similar to successful business owners in the u.s., vision, passion and drive see them through. Similar to the u.s., these entrepreneurs rely on expert advice and guidance from support organizations that have connections and expertise to help them overcome their challenges.
Similar to my area in the u.s., resources are few, transportation is an issue and entrepreneurship is one of the few routes to higher family incomes. I was inspired by the ideas these business owners had to create a new tourism product that highlights the strengths of the area. Both of the entrepreneurs have developed a unique cooperative model to bring in local people into the project for support, financing as well as labor. This is something that I can bring back to my community to share because often, finding an idea with potential for profit is challenging and incorporating additional locals could help the idea gain traction and grow.