Fri, Aug 03, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Vietnamese doctoral student helps set up business to import family’s coffee

STRONG MOTIVATION:Nguyen Thi Kim Lien, a doctoral candidate, said she would continue her studies while taking part in a school-industry project to create student start-ups

Staff writer, with CNA

Nguyen Thi Kim Lien, a Vietnamese doctoral student of business administration in Taiwan, on Tuesday said that she would like to import coffee beans from her hometown, roast them here and sell them locally.

Nguyen, of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), is part of a cross-school team organized by the university’s “Koo-idea Campus” platform to help small farmers in Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos market their products in Taiwan.

The platform seeks to benefit farmers, students and consumers through integrated curricula of microentrepreneurship, community marketing, factory implementation and store internships — skills that Nguyen said she would love to learn, as her reason to study in Taiwan is to “gain knowledge at school and apply it in the real world.”

Nguyen is from Dak Lak Province in central Vietnam, one of the biggest coffee-producing areas in the country. The province has 203,737 hectares of coffee plantations, with 180,500 small coffee farmers.

Nguyen’s parents have 30 years of experience growing coffee, but little experience marketing their produce, she said, adding that NTUST’s coffee project meets her interest in helping her family in Vietnam, so she would like to play a role in the student start-up program.

“I prefer the title of this platform’s ideas: A Vietnamese Girl Student Starts Up Coffee Business in Taiwan,” she told reporters.

She said she plans to import green coffee beans from her family, then roast them in Taiwan for a better flavor.

A coffee expert “is teaching me everything about coffee,” Nguyen said, adding that her products would have “special flavors,” different from other Vietnamese coffee products on the Taiwanese market.

“Without the support of my friends and my teachers, I could not do this project,” Nguyen said. “Now I have some good friends who are supporting me, including Taiwanese friends and Vietnamese friends, and in the future they will keep supporting me, so we will share the tasks. That is why I can continue studying while doing my coffee business.”

“I expect to have my own business related to agricultural products,” Nguyen said, such as black pepper, durian and avocadoes, which are also grown in her hometown.

“When I graduate, I will put all of my efforts into making the business bigger and stronger. Of course if I still have the chance, I will be happy to help with the school-industry project,” she added.

Nguyen chose to work and study in Taiwan “because Taiwan has economic development, with a very rich, deep-rooted culture,” she said.

“Studying in Taiwan, I have a good opportunity not only to get better knowledge about economics, but also to improve my language ability, as well as to mix and work together with other international students to enrich my life,” she said.

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