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Small Businesses Help Cambodia’s Growth, Entrepreneur Says


Luon Anchamnes with his employees in front of his Palmboo restaurant in Siem Reap. (Courtesy Photo)

Luon Anchamnes with his employees in front of his Palmboo restaurant in Siem Reap. (Courtesy Photo)

As of 2011, there are estimated 530,000 SMEs in Cambodia, but many lack access to capital to build strong and innovative businesses.

In recent years, Cambodia has seen a surging number of small and medium-sized businesses, driven by young entrepreneurs.

Luon Anchemnes, 26, is one such investor. He owns two restaurants, two boutique hotels and a café bookstore in Siem Reap, near the famed temples of Angkor Wat. He says he’s less interested in making money than in providing opportunities and skills development of other Cambodians.

“My ultimate goal is to create as much employment as possible,” he told VOA Khmer. That will contribute to the growth of the country, he said.

Currently, Luon Anchemnes’ businesses create about 200 jobs, and his business model depends on building leadership skills in his employees, by providing training in English and computers.

“My business partners and I created English and computer classes, where our employees acquire basic skills that help them to easily access different employment if they decide to seek new jobs,” he said.

Luon Anchemnes’ first partnership business failed in 2010, but he learned valuable lessons from it. “We were enthusiastic, but lacked leadership, marketing, and management skills, and as a result our business failed,” he said.

As of 2011, there are estimated 530,000 SMEs in Cambodia, but many lack access to capital to build strong and innovative businesses.

Capital is important, but without the right leadership model, the business faces a risk of failure, Loun Anchamnes said. “Within limited resources, we implement resource leverage models in a way to multiply time, capital, and skills, by hiring people with the right skills to do the work.”

With increasing support in technical assistance and training from the government and private businesses, Loun Anchamnes said, the country will grow socially and economically, as long as enterprises keep growing.

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