A Passion For Small and Medium Enterprise Development in Vietnam

Mario (65 years old) is founder of Swiss Create. He has worked for 9 years in Vietnam as a consultant for YWAM Mercy Vietnam’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development program. He was one of people who brought this program to Vietnam and he is extremely devoted to it.

Born and raised in an entrepreneurial family in Switzerland, his happy childhood was interrupted when his parents lost their business and possessions and then shortly after, his mother passed away. Despite this, his passion for business helped him rise up and find his footing again.

Nearly 30 years ago, COM, a Swiss-funded charitable organization asked Mario to start an SME development program to help enterprises to improve their business administration and to create jobs for local people in developing countries. The first programs were in Romania, Kirgizstan, and Moldova.

In 2007, the director of YWAM Mercy Vietnam, Roslyn Jackson, visited the first SME development program in Romania. She asked to bring the same program to Vietnam. One year later, COM invited Mario to train and consult for YWAM Mercy Vietnam’s SME development project.

At first, Mario didn’t know how or if the project would help local businesses in Vietnam. He faced many challenges and difficulties, such as cultural differences and strenuous travel. The pace of business and change in Vietnam was so fast.

But there was one thing that made him feel hopeful about the future of this project: Vietnamese business owners never expected solutions from him. Using the success stories and principles Mario shared, and 1.5 kg of their brains, they found solutions by themselves. Each of the training participants realized positive changes on different levels, but the most marked change was in their mindset for grasping new business opportunities.

Mario puts tremendous effort and passion into this development work in Vietnam and other countries. Every year, he goes to various countries and does dozens of trainings. In the 9 years working in Vietnam, Mario has had over 1,000 students who love and revere him as a teacher.

The Vietnamese business environment is in a fast development phase with hardships and challenges, but Mario continues to partner with Vietnamese entrepreneurs because he realizes that success requires cooperation. Mario desires that the project will be replicated elsewhere in Vietnam, and he continues to start new activities in new countries, where there is poverty and need for business development.

Story Credit: Tran Thanh Nga


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