Cambodia's first association for expanding business opportunities and financing for women was launched on Saturday.
The Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association would seek to enhance the competitiveness of businesswomen in the growing ASEAN market, which was set to integrate by 2015, Seng Takakneary, president of the new organisation, said.
“CWEA’s goal is to provide legal paperwork, support and a forum discussion to women, as well as access to information, new skills and, lastly, a means of reaching the market,” she said at the launch event, held at Phnom Penh’s Raffles Hotel le Royal.
Female entrepreneurs in Cambodia outnumbered their male counterparts in 2011, according to the Economic Census of Cambodia, which was completed last week by the National Institute of Statistics, the Ministry of Planning and the Japanese government.
The census showed women operated 61 per cent of the Kingdom’s businesses.
About 80 per cent of Cambodia’s businesses are one- or two-person operations.
Cambodian women still faced challenges when doing business, Bun Sonia, a CWEA board member, said.
Traditional norms still assign women more than men to family and household responsibilities, she said.
CWEA would give women a unified voice, especially when looking for finance, Bun Sonia said.
“We are joining together to have single voice, which will enable us to get recognition from institutions.”
The association hoped to attract at least 100 members by the end of this year, Seng Takakneary said.