WiBKH encouraging Cambodian female entrepreneurs to break corporate barriers

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Women in Business Cambodia has been hosting networking and enrichment programmes for female entrepreneurs in the Kingdom.

Cambodian women in business is getting all the support they need from Women in Business Cambodia (WiBKH), a not-for-profit initiative jointly run by three chambers of commerce.

Started in 2017 with involvement from Australian Chamber of Commerce (Auscham), British Chamber of Commerce (Britcham) and Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Cancham), WiBKH was established to raise the profiles of successful women entrepreneurs, empower small business owners, and assisting female-powered start-ups.

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Nazrin says businesswomen in Cambodia needs help in branding.

“We provide a platform for Cambodians and Cambodia-based individuals [foreigners] to inspire each other and provide support to all female organisations.

“The focus is on Cambodian and expats [expatriates] based in Cambodia.

“Our activities provide a platform for females in Phnom Penh to build and strengthen their network,” said Julie Littlejohn, executive director of Auscham.

WiBKH held their first event back in 2017 and one of its recent events was a networking workshop on August 20, held in collaboration with The Capacity Specialists (TCS), a leading innovative learning and development service provider in Cambodia.

“TCS served as an in-kind sponsor to Women In Business. Instead of a cash sponsorship, we conducted a short workshop on creating an identity statement that connects, informs and convinces an audience,” said Mohd Nazrin Wahab, learning and development specialist of TCS.

Nazrin, who was the speaker at the event, shared useful tips to the women attendees on how to create an identity for the purpose of self-introduction when networking with their business associates and potential customers.

“Since this is the first time TCS is working with Women In Business, we haven’t done much beyond the short workshop you witnessed.

“However, we are looking forward to further collaborations with them,” he told The Post.

According to Nazrin, the most pressing need of businesswomen in Cambodia is branding and networking.

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Attendees listen tentatively to the speaker.

“They need more insights on creating and building a business image and establishing relationships with other businesses, vendors, suppliers and the general public.

“Women have a principle of working for a noble purpose beyond profit.

“There are too many profit-only-oriented businesses in this world. Having women sit out on business doesn’t provide the inclusive perspective that we so desperately need,” he added.

Nazrin pointed out an important fact that women are able to contribute positively to the healthy development of business, which will help to grow a country’s economy sustainably.

However, women in Cambodia are facing many challenges when doing business.

Among the many challenges they face is getting capital to start a business or securing funding for business expansion.

According to a recently released report by The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, Cambodian women entrepreneurs are still struggling with limited access to financial loans for business expansions.

In the report, the IFC claimed that the prevalent belief that women entrepreneurs in Cambodia are less outgoing and have a lack of leadership skills, and the required initiative to run a business is a misconception. ​

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Local female entrepreneurs face the challenge of funding.

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Increasing number of women are entering the business sector.