Startups in the last three years have attracted a large number of students, but few of their businesses have achieved genuine success.
Nguyễn Hoài Thi, chairman of Việt An Group, said that before starting their own business, students should select one or two subjects and learn those well.
Thi spoke at a seminar on student startups held on Monday at the HCM City University of Food Industry.
To learn skills and gain experience, students should also attend contests organised by their universities, such as the HUFI Young Leader of the HCM City University of Food Industry.
“Contests teach us what we are bad at and what we can do better. If we experience failure, it doesn’t matter. Failure will teach us the way to achieve success,” Thi said.
He said that English classes should be taken at university because students will have little time to study English while working.
The first two years after graduation is the best time for graduates to learn new skills.
Students should try to apply for jobs in a company related to their university major to see if they are suited for the job.
“When they feel confident and have enough skills, then they can start their own business,” he added.
Last year, the country had 126,000 new enterprises, the highest figure in the last seven years.
Dương An Giang, accounting and administration general manager at Bridgestone VietNam Tire Sales LLC, said that young people should have a “startup mindset” first and do their job well even though they are working at a company.
“They should take advantage of internships in companies when they are in their third or fourth year at university,” Giang said.
Trần Văn Sơn, general director of Gia Bảo Cashew Nuts Joint Stock Company, said that students should set goals and identify ways to reach them. He described the ways he approached his business and increased cashew exports.
The seminar was organised by the Việt Nam Entrepreneur Development Centre, Việt Nam Startup Network, the University of Food Industry, and CPViệt Nam Corporation.
On the same day, the Việt Nam Startup Network kicked off the programme Startup Journey to help young people connect with startups in the country to learn from their experiences.
Đinh Thị Phượng, director of the Việt Nam Entrepreneur Development Centre, said that more than 900 startup projects with 300 products received investment funds in 2016 and 2017.