When Giang, 22, finally realized her lifelong dream of owning a coffee shop, critics told her it would fail – not because she wasn’t hardworking or qualified, but simply because she was a girl.
“They said: ‘I don’t think you can do it. You’re a girl. You can’t own your own business,’” says Giang, with a smile.
“I didn’t want to tell them about my plan. I didn’t need to prove myself. I figured they would see the results for themselves.”
With courage, passion and incredible determination to redefine local gender stereotypes, Giang put her plans into action, and today, she’s receiving praise as the proud owner of a successful café. But despite her achievements, Giang remains humble and believes her path would’ve been very different had Plan International not been there to help her develop the skills needed for success.
Pouring her heart into her passions
For years, Giang had aspired to become a business owner, but feared she lacked the skills and qualifications to achieve her goals.Then Giang attended a Plan International training program and learned about food handling, the hospitality industry and customer service.
After graduating, Giang began interning and getting hands-on experience at everything from posh 5-star establishments to small, independent startups.
“Experience is different [than being in a classroom]. The feeling of taking risks is worth the result,” she says. “You must have passion, ambition and enthusiasm.”
Eventually, Giang felt confident and experienced enough to take a risk and build her own café, which would also incorporate a strong marketing plan filled with creative ideas.
“When you decide to do something, you must do it to the end,” she says. “In just 3 weeks of opening of the coffee shop, I made a small profit.”
Serving up inspiration and hope to others
Now, Giang is working on improving her English skills, and growing her business in order to support her family.
Within 5 years, she hopes to integrate her coffee business with the local tourism and hospitality industry, offering trips to local coffee farms and teaching tourists about Vietnam’s rich and diverse food and drink culture.
“I just want to pursue what I am passionate about and be successful,” she says, adding that without Plan International’s support, “it would have taken me a lot longer to learn and achieve my dreams!”
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