Entrepreneur of the Month – August 2017
Yern Chantou, Owner Tevada Coconut Oil
Alumni, SHE Incubator Program 2016
Yern Chantou has been operating her business, Tevada Coconut Oil, for 14 months now. In 2015, Chantou joined the SHE Conference, where she pitched her business idea. Knowing how beneficial coconut oil was for health, Chantou wanted to sell pure virgin coconut oil as a way to promote healthy living in Cambodia. Inspired by the incredible women entrepreneurs at the SHE Conference, Chantou spoke publically for the first time about her business idea. Over the next year, Chantou joined the SHE Incubator Program and received the support and encouragement she needed to kick-start her business. Today, she is well on her way of fulfilling her dreams by growing her business. Eventually, she wants to open her own shop and employ other Cambodian women who have face similar life struggles as her.
The following interview was conducted by SHE team 12 months after Chantou graduated from SHE Incubator Program.
How did you hear about SHE?
I heard about the program through a friend and the website.
Why did you decide to join?
I thought it was a great opportunity and would be very useful for me to develop my skills.
Tell us about a challenge that you faced and how you overcame that challenge?
I used to live with a housemate so it was hard to make my products in the house. I didn’t have enough capital to get my own place or start my business. I also lacked confidence and didn’t know a lot about managing a business.
What are some of the changes in your business since you graduated from SHE’s program?
I am a lot stronger now. I run my own business, I can afford to live by myself because I earn enough to support myself and also save some money. I am also more outgoing and confident now.
What would be your advise to women who want to start their own businesses?
I want the Cambodian women to go join a business training course because it is really important to start a business and to learn how to plan your business, how to manage your business and how to develop personally. My advise would be to believe in yourself, because in the business world you will most likely face a challenge, so you have to be strong and fight for your dreams, and you will succeed.
In three words, what did the program bring you?
Happiness, strength and encouragement.
Would you recommend SHE’s program to others?
Thank you Chanthou for sharing your story with us today. We are proud to support women like you to scale their business and create a positive impact in their community.