Last August, Tan Thi Shu walked onto the stage of the Hanoi Opera House and told her story. Part of Vietnam’s minority Hmong tribe, she’s the founder of Sapa O’Chau: a trekking company that offers tours of the beautiful Sapa region. After initially struggling to find people interested in her service, Shu took Google’s Digital 4.0 training, moved her venture online, and saw business increase, creating income for her local community. Now she’s a trainer herself, passing on the lessons she’s learned to other female entrepreneurs. As Shu says: “One person gives only one result, but if I take someone with me, much more happens."
Shu isn’t just inspiring her fellow Vietnamese entrepreneurs. She’s one of five equally remarkable women whose stories are being shared globally by TED and Women Will, a Grow with Google program that trains women in 48 countries.
Along with Shu Tan, TED’s Far Flung podcast will showcase:
Jenny Doan from the United States, who found an online audience for her quilting tutorials, helping expand her business and the jobs it supports.
Renata Alexandra from Brazil, who became the first Krav Maga women instructor in the northeast of the country, and now teaches personal defense to other women.
- Hatoon Kadi, from Saudi Arabia, who launched a comedy video series called Noon Al Niswa, addressing social issues and encouraging other Arab women to share their stories and experiences.
Supporting women affected by COVID-19
Since its formation in 2014, Women Will and its partners have advocated for more flexible and gender-balanced workplaces and reached more than 36 million women with training.
Today, we’re making Women Will’s programs part of Google’s broader response to COVID-19—moving much of our training online. We’re offering mentoring to small businesses in Brazil, using the internet saathi (or trainer) network to get health information to women in rural India, and expanding our online entrepreneurship and leadership courses.
We know many women will be disproportionately affected by the impact of the virus, and we want to help them adapt with digital skills and tools. We’ll keep building on these programs in the months ahead, through the recovery from COVID-19 and beyond—so more women like Shu, Hatoon, Renata, Temie and Jenny can thrive, share their experiences, and widen the path for others.