Empowering Cambodian Women Entrepreneurs To Succeed

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1991

The Cambodia Women’s Entrepreneur Association (CWEA) is a not-for-profit professional association with its mission to encourage and support women entrepreneurs in Cambodia through collective efforts, business services, networking and building on a single voice to relevant stakeholders on issues of common interest. It has been in operation for the past couple of years and at the helm of the Association is President Mrs. Seng Takakneary.

The only association of its kind developed by women for women; its vision is to help Cambodian women entrepreneurs to start, grow and sustain themselves in business, and succeed in their respectful industry. They hope to empower women to meaningfully impact the economic development of Cambodia.

CWEA provides a platform for Cambodian and foreign women entrepreneurs to have a voice in the business sector and to bring this to the attention of the government. Takaneary states that this is achieved by gathering business members of each sector to discuss what kinds of critical issues they are having. Then these issues are taken to regular meetings with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, of which Takaneary sits on a working group.

“CWEA is willing to help other business women, through being role models to show them that having more confidence is okay. CWEA accepts them and raise issues for them”.

CWEA provides a mentorship program to its 200 plus members from both Cambodia and abroad, selecting 10 very successful businesswomen each year to team up with women starting up businesses or running micro businesses.  “The mentor completes a SWAT analysis and report advising recommendations for improvement and growth to the mentee”, Takakneary explains. They then offer consultancy support as required.

Takaneary plans to build a strong secretariat of CWEA so that association’s member issues can be promoted to the national level. She aims to sustain and serve members in each industry by appointing one  representative head of each sector reaching far into the grass roots level, penetrating women at the provincial level.

Through advocacy and lobbying activities, CWEA’s main priority is to bring the voice of women entrepreneurs to the government, media and stakeholders. Training and capacity building is another goal used by the association to generate empowerment as is business networking opportunities provided through regular networking events.

CWEA promotes members’ goods and services through various marketing activities such as trade missions to the United States and participating in a trade exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany. ” These allow for our members to show their products especially in the silk sector and promote Khmer identification, thus preserving our culture”, Takakneary adds.

For further information see: www.cweacambodia.com

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