13.07.2021, 18:47

Expat turned to crowdfunding during COVID-19

Expat turned to crowdfunding during COVID-19

On average, 11,700 businesses withdrew from the market every month, according to the General Statistics Office. After a year of struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have been exhausted, which also caused the increase of expats’ unemployment in Vietnam. 


Kenn Smith, the couturier and co-founder at Kingsmith has raised crowdfunding since June to help small businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions through planning, training, and offering some financial support. 

He called the program Remote Tailor to show the ability of his team to take overseas orders and create the perfect fit. Kenn has seen his customers leaving Vietnam since spring of 2020, when COVID-19 landed in Vietnam. It was four months after the birth of his son, Vietnam went into a series of lockdowns.

“My industry has been devastated and the workers are suffering from the lost work due to lack of tourists from covid and other factors.  My business is tailoring and shoes… we’re down 70%. I discovered that a large number of my customers who tend to be foreigners had left Vietnam. I had three wedding parties that I was supposed to do orders overseas last year. All were cancelled, because of lockdowns in those countries and the fact that the customers couldn’t come to Vietnam to discuss the designs and place the orders.”, said Kenn.

Therefore, he started  Kenn Smith Business Covid Relief in Vietnam on the Goget Fund site to: “help the small guys in the industry, promoting their talent, services, and value.”

In the fundraising campaign, he is asking that for each US$500, he will create for the donor a men’s bespoke suit from Carlos Barbera fabric collection. He said that was a quarter of the cost for a comparable suit in the U.S. or Europe. 

The fund will allow him to help others and to take care of the people who have worked with me for many years and his extended family.

The extra funding generated will go to pay local university students to do filming and editing, for promoting key businesses within the community on social media and for saving the businesses’ features.

There has been a rising trend of expats in Vietnam who turned to the internet for financial help during the pandemic. As of July 13, 2021, HCMC had 16,027  confirmed cases of COVID-19, followed by 5,722 cases in Bac Giang. There were 30,085 cumulative confirmed cases of coronavirus in Vietnam. The country is currently responding to a new COVID-19 variant with aggressive contact tracing and mass testing.  Many residential areas were put under lockdown.

In 2021, transaction value in the Crowdfunding segment is projected to reach US$2.1 million in Vietnam. The average funding per campaign in the crowdfunding segment amounts to US$728 in 2021. Most of the personal crowdfunding campaigns that have started since the first half of 2020 cited COVID-19. However, the success cases were low or did not reach their stated goal. 

Expats have turned to crowdfunding trends since the early months of the pandemic to their coming home project. Zyldre Nicci Rossouw has raised 4 thousand  Brazil reals for her, the 10-month-old son and her husband to go back  home, South Africa since May 2021. 

“The first lockdown started, and so the second one followed, and then the third… During the first lockdown we got the best news we could ever ask for. We were blessed with the news of our beautiful baby boy being on the way. Now we have a 4th wave of covid upon us and so a 4th lockdown as well. Due to having to survive through 3 lockdowns in the past, each one without income, we are now facing even bigger problems.”, Zyldre said. They will have to leave the country as soon as possible but they have received only half of the asked amount.

According to the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, as of early April 2021, there were 101,550 foreign workers working in Vietnam. However, in the first 6 months of this year, 70,200 enterprises suspended business, an increase of 24.9% over the same period of 2020. On average, 11,700 businesses withdrew from the market every month, according to the General Statistics Office. After a year of struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have been exhausted, which also caused the increase of expats’ unemployment in Vietnam. 

In addition, the surge of illegal immigrants and illegal immigrants workers throughout the country while Covid-19 is still evolving. Therefore, on May 14, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs strengthened the management of foreign workers working in Vietnam. Accordingly, Vietnam has inspected all businesses employing foreigners in such categories to prevent ongoing violations.


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