Small Businesses

"Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he will never grow hungry."

With primary needs ensured through water access and agriculture, and a healthy community eager to learn new skills, many villagers want to act upon their hope for a better future for themselves and their families.

With two thirds of the Cambodian population under age 25, and 80%  living in rural areas where access to education is limited, marketable skills become an essential tool to provide for one’s family.

While subsistence agriculture will help a family survive, a job will help it thrive. Through training and direct investments in the villages, Community First supports the creation of small businesses and rural ventures. In 2009, a sewing center manufacturing up to 2,000 mosquito nets a month was inaugurated in the village of Smach. The center can employ up to 15 seamstresses when at full capacity, and can also serve as a training site for many villagers eager to change their lives through a new trade as a tailor.

The community self-help groups provide the alternative financial lending resource that villagers need. It is sustained by regular investments from other villagers and can be borrowed against, collateral- and interest-free.

With access to capital and training, villagers can bring the two together in order to create their own sewing businesses and work from home, close to their families.