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Gala dinner honours women entrepreneurs

Women-owned businesses will soon get a boost in Cambodia, with the founding of a new organisation set to nurture female entrepreneurs.

The Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA) will officially launch on March 17, just one week after the 101st International Women’s Rights Day, under the patronage of the Minister of Women’s Affairs at Raffles Hotel le Royal, Phnom Penh.

Seng Katakneary, managing director of Sentosa Silk and the newly appointed president of CWEA, said that the group has been two years in the making.  

“Cambodia’s investment conditions are not easy for any entrepreneur, whether male or female, but it is even more difficult for women because of their traditional role. Moreover, staying at home is also requirement for women in Khmer society,” she said.

The association will provide support to women business owners through the provision of business services, networking, and representing women’s common interests to relevant stakeholders, she said.

Saturday’s inaugaral Gala Dinner will also serve as a fundraiser for the new organisation. Over 200 invitations have been sent, and among those invited are representatives of various government ministries, foreign embassies, and international non-government organisations, according to Katakneary.

Tickets to the event are available to the public for US$45 per person. The organisation is also seeking large-scale sponsors who can contribute between $1000 to $3000.

Katakneary said the event is open to all women entrepreneurs operating in Cambodia who are interested in learning more about CWEA’s services, and will include food and a products exhibition, as well as a performance by Cambodian Soprano Bosba Pahn and opera singer Khuon Sethisak.

Panh Meng Heang, Bosba Panh’s father, said that for the occasion, the soprano will be performing several  Cambodian and foreign songs with her teacher, Khuon Sethisak.

“There will also be a song which describes the poor living standard of fishermen in Bak Prea village in Battambang,” said Panh Meng Heang, adding that his daughter has been involved in other charitable endeavours such as raising money to support clean water supply and the purchase of  mosquito nets for 300 families in Bak Prea village.

Panh Meng Heang noted that Bosba’s performance at the CWEA launch event will serve to highlight the diversity of Cambodian women, and encourage girls to participate in social activities.

CWEA’s Gala Dinner will take place this Saturday, March 17th at 6pm in the ballroom of the Raffles Hotel le Royal in Phnom Penh.

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