Dai Khmer – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I learned about Dai Khmer from a co-worker of mine who blessed me with some soap in honor of International Women’s Day.  As we all know, I love soap so I was excited to learn more about this social enterprise.  Focused on empowering women in Cambodia through handmade health and wellbeing products using 100% natural  materials.  Dai Khmer stands for ‘Khmer Hands’ and represents the care and compassion of the people who envision a happier and abundant world.         

Dai Khmer strongly believes that we all have the capability to change someone’s world though small acts of care and love. Dai Khmer started with a mission to create a a tribe of change makers who can support each other by sharing the skills and resources to start a ripple effect of social change in rural Cambodia.  It is all about connecting the passionate people who want to create the happier and sustainable communities, with the resources they need to build a social business that can accelerate the economic development at the grassroots level.

The idea was inspired by the discussion amongst few friends about the social issues and what they could do to address it during Vichka’s visit to the Cambodian Weaving Village (CWV) in Takeo, Cambodia. They decided to replicate that CWV business model to create employment for the rural women by producing hand made natural health and beauty products using age old techniques that have been disappearing. Vichka wanted to inspire Khmer women by becoming the role model of change and breaking through the barriers that the women in rural Cambodia have been facing for decades.

According to a study by the World Bank, the growing body of evidence proves the linkages between empowerment and effectiveness of the development on the society and personal grassroots level.  Personal empowerment is  “…a process in which a person who lacks power sets a personally meaningful goal oriented toward increasing power, takes action toward that goal, and observes and reflects on the impact of this action, drawing on his or her evolving self-efficacy, knowledge, and competence related to the goal.”

How Dai Khmer does it:

  1. The Dai Khmer team who work on the ground, find the women living in poverty who want to become financially independent.
  2. They train and equip the women with the skills they need. They become artisans!
  3. They connect them to the resources.
  4. They connect them to the market (you)!
  5. The women begin to generate income to support their everyday living.
  6. They inspire others in their community, causing a multiplier effect.
  7. Remaining profits are reinvested back into the business to scale the impact.

Ever been to Cambodia?  What is your favorite social good business?

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