Nine women entrepreneurs from different sectors were selected to represent Cambodia in the 6th Asean Outstanding Women Entrepreneur Award, which this year boasted a theme of ‘Globalisation 4.0 and Beyond’, and was held in Bangkok, Thailand last week.
The Asean Women Entrepreneur Network in Phnom Penh reviewed and selected the nine women, who were awarded at the Asean Women’s Business Conference and Award Ceremony, titled ‘Advancing Women Economic Empowerment through Action and Impact’, that was held in the Cambodian capital earlier this month prior to the event in Bangkok.
Oknha Sreat Mom Sophear, AWEN lead focal person and current vice president of the Cambodia Women Entrepreneur Association, said the women were selected based on a list of criteria set by AWEN.
She noted that AWEN is a platform that seeks to promote economic empowerment for women, as well as recognise achievements and contributions of ASEAN women entrepreneurs. The network aims to achieve its objectives by exchanging knowledge and experiences through various channels, including its recently-held conference and award ceremony in Phnom Penh, she added.
Ms Sophear said awardees had to be at least 30 years old and has a registered business for at least five years that regularly contributed taxes.
“The third criteria, awardees have to own a business with women employees that make up more than 50 percent of the work force,” Ms Sophear said. “Moreover, the owner should always share experiences, including sharing skills and education with the public so that we can say they are a role model.”
“Awardees must fulfill all the criteria,” she added.
Among the awardees, two women also spoke at the event in Bangkok, namely Aphivath Keat, who was a panelist at a discussion titled ‘Re-skilling MSMEs, Women Entrepreneurs’, and Elida Kim Srun, who spoke at a discussion titled ‘Addressing the environmental issues and resilience to climate change’.
Soth Sithon, a senior official from the Ministry of Women Affairs, which works together with AWEN, said since 2012, the ministry has strengthened efforts to help women entrepreneurs.
“We recognise that women can be leaders,” Ms Sithon said. “Entrepreneurs and businesspeople can gather and share experiences and skills, including on how to run a business and register it with the ministry.”
Ms Sithon said that women associations are growing each year, noting that the platform also help women to find jobs.