2. 2020 has been a business-disruptive year due to COVID-19. What are your plans for 2021 to further this commitment to empower women in business?
Even though women own 61% of all businesses in Cambodia, they are largely focused at the microlevel of the wholesale and retail trade services sector.
Despite strong progress in recent years, women still take a backseat to their male counterparts in areas of business growth, particularly due to socio-cultural constraints, inadequate knowledge, and limited access to formal financial services.
To bridge the gap for women entrepreneurs to strive in this competitive environment, Amret is actively working with various stakeholders to conduct vocational trainings and financial education programs as part of our Empowering Women in Business Campaign (EWIB) with a primary focus on crop maximization (in particular, mangos and cassavas) and digital literacy programs.
Despite some related setbacks in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected our long-term plans to support women entrepreneurs.
We recognize that there is a significant gap in digital literacy knowledge in Cambodia and this plays a crucial role for businesses in the digital era, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, we are integrating the Agricultural Crop Maximization Training into our Client Capacity Building Program. Through strategic collaboration with international and local partners, we will introduce cassava and mango crop maximization programs in 2021 to help farmers maximize their crop productivity and thereby increase their income.
Amret is also looking to strengthen our support to women business owners and meet their evolving demands with the launch of our innovative Women Entrepreneur Loan in the second half of 2021. It is a financial solution tailor-made for women only.