- Leap into life as an entrepreneur – follow your dream before it is too late
- Believe in yourself and what you are good at. Only you can influence your future
- Consider which skills you have and start your business based on these
- Denmark is a good country to start a business in, since it is free of charge – you can get a CVR-number today and start your business tomorrow
- Make use of all the free counselling and guidance that you can get through your municipality
Journey between Vietnam and Denmark
When Giang Nguyen Jensen moved to Denmark in 2001, she wanted to stay in touch with her home country Vietnam and show people that she was able to take care of herself. Therefore, she and her husband started the travel agency Vietnam Travels which has been very successful since it was established in 2004.
“When I came to Denmark, it was fairly easy for me to get a job. But I felt that people at the bakery, at the post office and in the super market looked down on me, because I didn’t speak Danish,” Giang says.
“The first time in Denmark was difficult, but I immediately decided that I wanted to learn the language. Furthermore, I wanted to start my own business and show people that I have special qualifications and that I’m good at what I do. It was also important for me and my husband to stay in touch with Vietnam. By starting a travel agency we could draw on my experience with planning and administration and my husband’s experience with sales, marketing and his competences as a guide.”
Love flourished in Vietnam
Giang and her husband, Flemming Bo Jensen, met in Vietnam through a charity where they both volunteered and organised trips to different places in the country for other volunteers who helped handicapped and orphans. Apart from working as a volunteer, Giang had a good job within administration, but because of the love between her and her husband, she chose to move to Denmark where Flemming could finish his studies.
“We didn’t want to be separated until he finished his studies at home, which he had taken a break from, so I chose to go with him to Denmark. It was difficult in the beginning, but now I am really happy here, and I love my life and my company.”
Vietnamese roots is an advantage
Giang thinks it is a great advantage for the company that she has roots in Vietnam. The customers feel safe when they order trips through Vietnam Travels and ask Giang for her advice because they know that she is competent and knows a lot about Vietnam and the Vietnamese culture.
“The customers feel that I know what I’m talking about when I help them planning their trips,” Giang says.
Giang and Flemming do not have any employees, but they use Danish freelance guides and they cooperate with a local Vietnamese travel agency that handles the practical details such as booking of hotels and flights. However, it is Vietnam Travels that tailor the trips and find the tourist attractions, and the best hotels and restaurants which they visit themselves every year and approve.
“We don’t have a lot of expenses because we are only two people who need a regular salary. The rest of the expenses follow the sales of trips, since we only have expenses to our guides and partners,” Giang says. Together with Flemming she has her office in her private home in Sabro near Aarhus.
The freedom and the results make the difference
Giang and Flemming have two children on the age of two and five, and according to Giang it is possible to reconcile business with family life. “It is all about structuring and planning our life,” she says and adds that they often can choose themselves which time of they day they want to work.
“If we want to work at night, we’ll do that, but if we are too tired and not that busy, we relax. Of course there are times at which we work a lot – especially in the peak season from November to February. But if our children for example are sick, one of us can easier take time off than if we had ordinary jobs. Then the other one can take charge and work more than normally,” Giang says.
It is important for Giang, that you as an entrepreneur is able to make results based on your own decisions. You plan your own future and watch something become a success based on the right decisions. However, the risk of failing also exists. and Giang has also thought about that:
“It is important to consider: What is the worst thing that can happen? I know that I can get an ordinary job, if we fail, and that puts my mind at rest. If we win, it is really great, but if we don’t win, we also need to be prepared for that,” Giang says.