International Business Project in Vietnam
- Placement locations: Mai Chau in Hoa Binh province
- Role: To assist with the marketing and production of traditional hand-made products
Requirements: Volunteers must be at least 20 years old
Volunteers must have a basic level of English
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Interning with Projects Abroad on the Business Project in Vietnam is a chance for you to gain practical experience in the field of marketing and participate in the local craft industry. Based in the tranquil village of Mai Chau in Hoa Binh province, you can become directly involved in the local community and culture as part of a gap year, volunteer vacation, or career break.
The goal of the project is to support the disadvantaged and disabled artisans in Hoa Binh and help them turn their skills of traditional weaving, tailoring, and embroidering into a sustainable income by selling products like embroidered bags, wall hangings, scarves, and pillow covers. These artisans are the only ones in the Mai Chau area that provide hand-made, authentic woven and embroidered products.
Your role on the Business Internship in Vietnam with Projects Abroad
You will take part in the following activities while on your internship:
- Give artisans advice on how to market their products locally and internationally
- Help artisans develop their presence on social media
- Help artisans improve their websites
- Set up and arrange a retail store established to sell the products to visitors
- Assist artisans with improving the homestays they offer for tourists
- Talk to artisans about how they can appeal to tourists and meet their needs
You have the option of teaching English to local artisans and entrepreneurs in the evenings as well. Additionally, if you are interested in traditional hand-made products and are on the project for several weeks, you may have the opportunity to learn the weaving and embroidery skills from the artisans and help produce simple items yourself.
We encourage you to think of new creative ways to contribute to this project. Our project partners are eager to hear any new ideas you have, and welcome out-the-box thinking. You can draw inspiration from some of the work our volunteers have done previously. Some of their activities included:
- Creating a video to promote the artisans and their products
- Improving the structure of the tours offered for tourists and advertise them on the website and in the retail store
- Creating a Facebook account for the business
- Designing new signs for the retail store
- Setting up a plan for the homestay, and discussing ways to make it more attractive to tourists
Volunteers do not need any experience to join this project, but if you have a background in business, marketing, or textiles, this project would be ideal for you.
The structure of this project is quite different to the other business projects we offer. You will not work in a traditional business environment and will not have atypical 9-5 working day. Your working hours can vary from day to day depending on what you would like to do. The tasks that volunteers on this project get involved with are always different, as they depend on the needs of the placement. To get the most out of the project, we strongly recommend that you are proactive and independent.
This program is still growing and at the moment, the focus is largely on improving the store and its online presence. If you would like to focus on more complex issues such as finance and expansion, we would recommend looking at one of our other Business Projects.
Interning in Business in Vietnam with Projects Abroad
Mai Chau is home to the Thai people, one of 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam and not to be confused with Thai people from Thailand. Traditional village life is communal and friendly. Family homes are open to their neighbors, and the villagers live and work together.
The villagers live in stilt houses with basic amenities. The village’s location makes it one of many tourist attractions close to Hanoi. Most people visit the village on the weekends, so lots of the traditional activities such as fireworks, dancing with bamboo, and traditional music shows take place on the weekends.
During your time on this project, you will live with a local host family in the village. The mother of the host family is also a director of the project and will ensure that you soon feel at home and integrated into community life. You will live in the local, traditional manner, eating what the family eats and be immersed in their daily lives.
In your free time you can learn how to cook traditional foods, study the local language, or explore some of the nearby sites, such as the natural stream, a cave in the middle of a mountain, or bicycle around the area to enjoy the views of huge green rice fields and the majestic mountains.
The project is based about 4 hours’ drive from the busy capital Hanoi. You should have a mature attitude and be able to work independently, as there may be less contact with other volunteers during the week. You will normally have the opportunity to meet up with other volunteers on the weekends should you wish to travel.
The Business Project in Vietnam is available for less than a month if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.