The program, led by Youth Business International (YBI) and funded by Google.org will support micro, small and medium businesses to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
SHE Investments has been confirmed as YBI’s delivery partner for Cambodia, and over the next 5 months will work with a project team to develop and deliver digital literacy training and support for Khmer women entrepreneurs struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The global economy is suffering from an unprecedented shock as a result of COVID-19, and Cambodia is already struggling with a significant loss in exports and tourism, which contributes to around 25% of the country’s economy.
61% of businesses in Cambodia are owned and run by women, with the majority being in the micro and informal sector; many of whom will suffer significant losses in 2020 as a result of the economic impact on businesses.
Throughout the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, SHE continued to deliver programs and coaching to women entrepreneurs using online tools, and in doing so realized that there was a significant lack of digital skills amongst many women running enterprises.
“Businesses now need to focus on recovering and rebuilding from this initial economic shock”, says Celia Boyd, co-founder and Managing Director of SHE Investments, Cambodia’s business incubator and accelerator for women in Khmer language, by Khmer women.
“There is a significant gap in digital literacy skills in Cambodia, and those of us supporting entrepreneurs need to re-focus our efforts on building the skills which will enable business owners to adapt their business models, and to be able to access online resources. During COVID we realized that many of the women in our network needed support with digital tools including using computers, smartphones, and ICT tools such as Zoom effectively, and many expressed a wish to improve knowledge and skills in areas such as developing websites, using online functions, and reaching their customers using social media. They also needed additional support to understand managing their finances during and after the crisis, and in adapting to a new economic environment,” she added.
SHE’s Digital Literacy program will be delivered in 2 parts:
1) An intensive Digital Literacy Skills training program for 40 selected women with MSMEs affected by COVID-19. This program will cover topics including Crisis Management, Social Media, Financial Management and Forecasting, Using Smartphones Effectively, and Online search Tools such as Google and free website builders. Participants in this selected program will also receive a free laptop from KOOMPI, Cambodia’s locally made laptop.
2) Video tutorials available for the public, on a range of Digital Literacy topics, designed to help entrepreneurs across Cambodia improve skills in areas such as social media. All videos will be in Khmer language, and developed with a team of local experts.
SHE is excited to build a project team consisting of Khmer entrepreneurs, several of which are SHE graduates themselves. The team includes KOOMPI as the provider of laptops for program participants; Sokneang Nodzak (founder and CEO of Kokopon), Sotheavy AT (founder of “Think Plastic” and “Stay Home”, and social media expert in Cambodia), and 606 Media, a female-founded team of video producers, along with the SHE Investments team. Google employees will also volunteer time to share knowledge and expertise, helping business owners.
Applications for the intensive Digital Literacy Training Program, beginning mid-July 2020, were launched on Friday 12 th June. Applications are open until June 24 th , and women who have been running businesses for more than 6 months (pre-COVID) and who have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply here: