Making your own (safety) net in Danang

Roy Nirschel -My Seasons In Saigon

Vietnam ranks near the top in countries where citizens are “self-employed”; topping 40 percent.

The term can have many connotations, ranging from the entrepreneurial CEO who has created the rare non-government connected business to the woman with a small griddle making ban xeo or your local pho salesperson or shoe shine boy.

No one can fault the Vietnamese spirit for entrepreneurship or their work ethic, putting in long hours, attracting customers, ordering supplies, and dealing with the myriad waiting hands that permeate officaldom in the country.

There is a double edged sword, of course, to this spirit of self-employment.  The country lacks any social safety network.  No retirement funds, social security or much else in security other than what you earn, save, invest and the age-old support of family and loved ones.

Not benefiting from insider deals, inherited wealth, or other advantages, many Vietnamese work hard, owning the little shops…

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About Dr. Roy Nirschel

Thirty years experience as an educator; international traveler, occasional writer, on a personal journey. Author of My Seasons in Saigon (available at Upon the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States I promised to go to Mexico; I did! Carol and I are here now. In the spirit of full disclosure, I promised to go to Mexico if Hillary Clinton was elected president too. The Seasons in Saigon are over; I am uncertain about Vietnam for many reasons despite my love for the country. Now it is Mexico time.

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