A café for aspiring entrepreneurs

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A bookshelf in the President Inspiring Library Café. Heng Chivoan

A café for aspiring entrepreneurs

Twenty-seven-year-old Eu Pech saw his own failures as an opportunity. Eu dropped out of high school during Grade 11 after a traffic accident. Since then, he has started a clothing store and a coffee shop, but didn’t find success in either.

To educate ambitious entrepreneurs like himself, he has opened a new café providing young Cambodians a place to study business tactics.

President Inspiring Library Café, located at the corner of Norodom Bouelevard and Street 136, opened last December. It’s a comfortable and cosy spot for readers and a potential place for networking. Its library has over 400 books related to entrepreneurship.

“When we think of Phnom Penh, we will think of businesses and opportunities,” said Eu. “The main purpose [of the café] is to instill and improve the reading culture in Cambodia as well as to help reduce poverty in the country.

“We can do this by offering potential entrepreneurs a place to learn how to start up their businesses,” he says.

As far as Ouk Sreynich, who works at the café, knows, this is the first library café in a town where not many people take an interest in reading.

Still, she sees the café as part of Pech’s mission to provide people a space “to develop themselves, their younger generation and their country”.

Eng Sovansuchhing patronised the café recently. The 19-year-old student says: “I like reading these kinds of books because I can learn from the success and failure of others.

“I believe what I can learn from the books here can help me avoid some of the pitfalls that others have experienced . . . I can prevent myself making the same mistake,” she said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The interior of the President Inspiring Library Café. Heng Chivoan

Another young student, 17-year-old Kim Sodalin, was on her laptop doing schoolwork at the café. She also patronises the place to read books for motivation as she intends to run her own business in the future.

Book lovers can spend as much time as they like reading at the café, with coffee and other snacks on offer at modest prices. They can also buy books or order specific ones through the store. Pech insists that they do not mark up the book prices, nor sell them as second-hand ones.

In addition to running the café, Pech also arranges a monthly trip to the Coconut School, founded by one Ouk Vandy who teaches English and computer skills. He also sells recycled items to poor children in Koh Dach and Kirirom.

He uses the shop’s profit to cover the food and transportation costs for participants who can be anyone interested in helping the school.

Above all, Pech hopes that soon, he will be able to expand, both the physical location and the book collection to benefit more readers.

“In the future I want to transform the café into one of the biggest private libraries in Phnom Penh.

“I am keen to focus mainly on entrepreneurship by helping individuals who wish to improve their leadership abilities regardless of age,” he said.

President Inspiring Library Café is located on Street 136. It is open every day from 7am until 8pm.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh