Building Back Stronger from the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Published: Jun 27, 2023 Reading time: 4 minutes
Building Back Stronger from the COVID-19 Pandemic 
© Foto: PIN Cambodia

The Urban Resilience project, funded by the European Union and implemented by People in Need with local partners, covers a range of sectors, such as WASH, gender-based violence prevention and children's protection, livelihoods, social protection, housing rights, financial literacy, and business resiliency/recovery from COVID-19.

With COVID-19 no longer a global health emergency, local businesses are slowly trying to adapt to the current socio-economic situation and ensure healthy business operations. The project directly supports local small businesses who were affected by the pandemic in the poor urban areas of Phnom Penh. The project has been providing financial literacy training, business consultation opportunities with field experts, and a small grant for small business owners to help them grow their business.

Ms. Chhoeun Putheary is one of the business owners the project has had the opportunity to support. She owns a small shop that crafts and sells souvenirs of Cambodia. Ms. Putheary has had the opportunity to participate in training courses focusing on revenue and debt management and the basics of digital marketing.

It was a challenging time for Ms. Putheary during the outbreak of COVID-19. She experienced the difficulty of accessing financial resources to keep her business afloat, as well as to be able to compete in the market due to the pandemic. Ms. Putheary’s business usually caters to tourists, however, during the pandemic, there were not many tourists in Cambodia due to travel restrictions imposed on most countries at the time. With less people purchasing souvenirs during the pandemic, her business struggled to keep the doors opened. Additionally, with the pandemic triggering a global economic downturn, financial access and stability became challenging for business owners may it be small or medium sized.

After receiving the relevant trainings provided by the project, Ms. Putheary received a small grant to support her purchase of necessary materials and products for her business. She has become more confident in preparing a business plan and how to spend money more effectively. By attending events and workshops organized by PIN, Ms. Putheary and other small business owners are able to build professional relationships, expand their personal network, and gain access to valuable resources by learning from others.  

These events provide her the opportunities to meet other professionals, share ideas, and learn about the latest trends and business techniques.

Ms. Putheary said, "Since I joined a lot of training and workshops, I can meet a lot of people, reach more customers, and promote my products more strategically."

The trainings, workshops, and grant opportunities supported by the project aim to plant the seed and educate business owners on how to nurture and sustain their business. Strengthened capacities and resilience to economic challenges for business owners are key achievements for the project.

“I am so grateful for PIN’s support of my small business with the knowledge and a small grant. Thank you for helping me to make my business become bigger. Your support had been instrumental in my success and I couldn't have done it without PIN. In the future, I would like to have more branches because I think now we have a high demand for premium gifts and I also want Cambodians to know more about copper. Plus, I can have a better livelihood and higher income/profit to support my family” Ms. Phutheary shared.

At People in Need, we are committed to support local businesses to recover from the socio-economic challenges caused by COVID-19. Strengthened livelihoods and economic empowerment is one of our mission’s pillars and we will continue to work with the government and relevant partners to achieve this and contribute towards sustainable development for Cambodia.

The “Integrated Response for COVID-19 in Poor Urban Settings in Phnom Penh”/ Urban Resilience project is funded by the European Union and implemented by People in Need with local partners. The contents of this short story are the sole responsibility of People in Need and local partners and does not reflect the views of the European Union.

Autor: Senghorng Sem, Communication Officer, Cambodia

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