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World Education Laos Officially Opens the Women’s Entrepreneurial Center in Vientiane

November 22, 2017

On November 16, 2017, the Women’s Entrepreneurial Center (WEC) was officially opened by Ms. Rena Bitter, U.S. ambassador to Lao P.D.R., Ms. Valy Vetsaphong, vice president, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Ms. Colette McInerney, country director, World Education Laos.

“We are delighted that the WEC is now open to women entrepreneurs. World Education is committed to the sustainability of the center and as such is looking forward to exploring ownership structures that ensure the long-term presence and accessibility of this important space for entrepreneurs long after the project ends”, said Ms. McInerney.

This center will play an important role in driving the Lao P.D.R’s growing economy, which is essential to the Government’s plan to graduate from least-developed country status by 2020. While women play a pivotal role in driving economic development, many women in the country lack access to capital, networks, and skills-training, which are critical in starting new business ventures.

The establishment of the WEC in Vientiane will give women a space to create and sustain a business under the mentorship of experts in their field. The WEC will offer access to female business role models, equipment and resources, training in small business management, and access to information on finance.

The project, funded by the U.S. Department of State, East Asia Pacific Bureau, aims to reach 600 female entrepreneurs over a three-year period.