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Financial literacy videos premier in Cambodia

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A woman counts her US dollar banknotes. Hong Menea

Financial literacy videos premier in Cambodia

A series of nine financial literacy videos in the Khmer language funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and sponsored by several Cambodian institutions and NGOs – with the Cambodian general public and particularly young women entrepreneurs as their intended audience – premiered in the Kingdom late last month.

In a press release on October 3, assistant governor and director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) Chea Serey said this financial literacy and financial pathways guides will provide guidance to the public and to Cambodian users of financial services to allow them to fully understand how to access and make the most of modern, efficient and intelligent financial services.

Sabine Joukes, Pact Cambodia’s country director who has often worked with young female entrepreneurs, said these financial guides aimed to address many of the issues surrounding access to financing for young women entrepreneurs.

Joukes added that there were already solutions available in some cases for these entrepreneurs but awareness of them remained low, so increasing these businesswomen’s knowledge, understanding and real access to finance would open doors for them.

"We will make these materials available to financial partners and other stakeholders," she said.

According to Joukes, more than 200 participants representing key stakeholders attended the event including representatives from the US embassy; NBC; Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC); Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA); Wing Bank (Cambodia) Plc; Bush Capital; SHE Investment Co Ltd; Women's Savings Group as well as other development partners, NGOs, financial and educational establishments, state institutions and many young women entrepreneurs themselves.

Wing CEO Manu Rajan said women play a fundamental role in every economy today, including Cambodia’s. They manage small businesses and are usually responsible for the cash flow for their families. Financial literacy is an important tool for women entrepreneurs because it gives them important knowledge that allows them to manage their budgets for home and small businesses with efficiency and effectiveness.

He said the financial pathways guides are a map to help young women entrepreneurs make effective decisions before concluding that they need finance and determine the type of finance that suits their conditions, including business size and the level of business.

Ceila Boyd, co-founder and director of SHE Investment, said the project would truly highlight public-private partnerships, focusing on young women entrepreneurs and their voices.

"We are proud and pleased to have contributed so far and look forward to seeing these resources help women make informed financial decisions in the future," she said.

She said the nine videos will raise awareness and increase financial literacy for all young entrepreneurs in Cambodia to strengthen their businesses. Viewers learn about financial access issues and safe financing options for both men and women entrepreneurs to expand their businesses.

Kea Boran, ABC representative and chairman of the Board of the CMA, said the nine videos accompanying the financial pathways guides are key to helping Cambodian entrepreneurs, especially women, to manage their business’s financial aspects, particularly in the context of Covid-19.

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