Virginia is home to about 450,000 people of Asian descent and roughly 45,000 Asian-American businesses.
“That means one out of every 10 Asian- and Pacific-American in Virginia is an entrepreneur,” said Tinh D. Phan, the chairman of the Ashland-based Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce. “By their culture, they are excellent entrepreneurs.”
On Wednesday in Richmond, the chamber designated May as “Asian Entrepreneurship Celebration Month.”
Phan said it is critical for traditionally reticent Asian-American business owners to become more involved in promoting their interests, if not through the Virginia Asian Chamber, then through other business organizations.
“The oldtime, self-sustaining approach won’t work in this society,” he said.
At Wednesday’s event, a variety of state, local and corporate officials praised the chamber for its support of entrepreneurship and the role it is playing in the mainstream business community.
The Virginia Asian Chamber, formed in 2004, has 300 registered members but attracts hundreds more to the dozens of the business events and workshops it sponsors each year.
The chamber, for example, has five events in May, including a luncheon featuring Gov. Bob McDonnell on May 15 in Chesterfield County.
The organization has chapters in Central Virginia, Fairfax County, Charlottesville and Hampton Roads