we’re here to enable women-led msme’s recover and rebuild from covid-19
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the world, and Cambodia is set to enter a severe economic recession in 2020.
In May 2020, 130,000+ garment workers had lost their jobs, and with around 25% of Cambodia’s economy dependent on tourism and travel, the economic impact is likely to be devastating. Cambodia is an export-driven and tourism-reliant economy, and the 6.6 million+ tourists that visited last year and who will not be visiting in 2020 is destroying the economy, along with the halt in exports. The expected “economic shock” coming later in 2020 will significantly impact micro and small businesses and households.
61% of all businesses are led by women, with the majority being micro-sized and informal. SHE’s work is specifically focused on enabling women-led MSMEs to scale and enter the formal economy. This target market now needs support to survive, recover and rebuild after COVID-19 more than ever, and they will play a vital role in the economic resilience of Cambodia.
The number of people already in debt in Cambodia is massive, and hundreds of thousands of people are already defaulting on loans. The roll-on effect of people being unable to pay loans is likely to continue to impact individuals, families and businesses, and SHE directly focuses on this by providing financial literacy training – including understanding and managing debt – throughout all of our programs.
All of SHE’s programming has been modified to be delivered online during the immediate COVID-19 period between March – June (gradually moving back to in-person in June-July 2020), and we have realised a need for women to have increased Digital Literacy, as well as access to digital resources. During the initial Crisis Period, we focused on Crisis Management; now, we’re transitioning to improving longer-term digital literacy skills and business resilience, as well as setting up structures for MSMEs to be able to access digital tools now and in the future.
What we’re doing
We’re addressing the economic impact and recovery efforts of COVID-19 with our partners, to ensure women micro-small entrepreneurs in Cambodia have access to digital resources, training and support designed specifically for them, to give them the greatest chance of survival and success. We know that when businesses keep lights on, people remain employed, and women retain agency over financial decision-making; supporting women-led MSMEs is more important now than ever.
Sreypov’s story of resilience and recovery during COVID-19, and the impact of our SHE Digital Literacy Program for women entrepreneurs affected by COVID
Our programs are responsive to COVID; we’ve transitioned much of our work to improving online delivery, and as we move back to in-person programs, our curriculum has adapted to ensure women have access to the support they need.
We’re working with Khmer Enterprise (Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance), UN ESCAP and UNCDF to create innovative digital tools and resources for Cambodian MSMEs to access now and into the future.
We’re partnering with Youth Business International, supported by Google.org, as part of their global Rapid Response Recovery Programme, to support struggling women-led MSME’s to survive and adapt in the wake of COVID-19.