12 June FB Live: Hello From Saigon w/ Kelly Vo

We had a great conversation with Vietnamese entrepreneur and podcaster, Kelly Vo, from Saigon. I got to know of Kelly through a friend named Tran and Tran thought that Kelly and I would hit it off as we’re both podcasters and hosts of our own shows. (In case you didn’t know, my podcast is Womenpreneur Asia and it’s been up and running since October last year.)

Kelly hosts her own podcast “Dear Our Community” in Vietnam that talks about social impact, especially among young people. She also contributes to the Women’s Empowerment Club Vietnam as a mentor.

In her day job, she is the Head of the Philanthropy Services department at LIN Center for Community Development, a Vietnamese non-governmental organization established in 2009. LIN’s mission is to help local nonprofits, skilled volunteers, and donors to fulfil their potential as vehicles for citizen participation and sustainable development in Vietnam. Kelly is also an alumnus of the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program cohort 2020.

She told me that she came from a tough and harsh part of Saigon where she saw gambling around her. She was the only girl among four siblings and her parents – a bus driver dad and a mum who sold food – worked hard to bring them up in Saigon but she attributes this tough life to becoming the independent woman that she is now. She is also the only one in her family who went to college.

Through her podcast, she aims to create a content platform for young Vietnamese to tell their stories and learn from others too. She believes that listeners should focus on their abilities and use their potential to create change in their own lives and in the lives of other Vietnamese.

Her entrepreneurial journey begun when she teamed up with two friends (who are also her co-founders) to produce the podcast in October last year.

Most of her episodes are in Vietnamese but she recently aired an episode where she featured Emily Hamblin, the British Consul General in Vietnam. You can watch her recording below where she asks Emily questions about how Emily found her own career as a diplomat and what drove this pursuit.

Kelly wants to offer more insights into how the world works through her podcast and at the same time, help young Vietnamese answer the perennial question of who they are and what their life purpose is and use their answers to propel more social impact in the country.

Because these were the questions she asked herself and that is how she got to where she was.

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