M. van Roosmalen

"The business landscape in Lao PDR consists of a few large firms in a relatively small number of industries, with many small and micro businesses in both urban and rural areas that remain largely informal. The Government of Lao PDR (GoL) has begun a series of reforms to support growth and formalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This includes enterprises in the “missing middle”: those that have outgrown microfinance but are not yet covered by commercial bank financing. These enterprises are important for the diversification of the Lao economy, employment generation and poverty reduction. In the last few years especially, young Laotians have increasingly discovered entrepreneurship and seized opportunities for startups in Lao PDR, following the success stories they have seen throughout the region. In this context, the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) undertook a diagnostic study of the Lao PDR entrepreneurial ecosystem with a deeper evaluation of the financial offering available for SMEs."


"Vietnam has experienced a prolonged period of economic growth since its transition to a market-based economy through the Doi Moi2 reforms in the 1980s. It is now a middle-income country and one of the most dynamic emerging economies in Southeast Asia. The proportion of people in extreme poverty fell from greater than 70% in the early 1990s to about 10% in 2016, according to the World Bank.

Vietnam’s strong export sector has often been credited with this success, and indeed Vietnam is one of the most globalised countries in the region, with its exports as share of GDP at the highest of any populous country. More recently, Vietnam’s large and emerging middle-class market has attracted significant investment, and the country leapfrogged into a highly tech-enabled age. Groups of young startup entrepreneurs are aspiring to disrupt nearly all sectors of the economy with new technologies, spurred on both by televised pitching competitions like “Shark Tank” and significant government support for startups and SMEs.

In this context, the Dutch Good Growth Fund undertook a diagnostic study of the Vietnam entrepreneurial ecosystem, with a deeper evaluation of the financial offering for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)."