Chen Sopheap, Founder of Keiy Tambanh Khmer Association: From 350 US dollars to tens of thousands dollars in Khmer textile business​

Owning and managing a business that you love and enjoy are the desire of most people. At the same time, one needs to have sufficient capital to start it. But the question is whether starting a business really requires tens of thousands of dollars in capital?

Chen Sopheap, president of the Keiy Tambanh Khmer Association, said that her first startup in the Khmer textile business was at a cost of $350 and in just three years, she could expand its market capitalization up to tens of thousands of dollars. 

Mrs. Sopheap told Bizkh Asai that, "my business was first founded in 2015, and my business focused on Khmer traditional textile products where the price of these ranges from 60,000 riel to 12,000 riel and 130,000 riel. So, $350 was enough to run the business.

She said her business started out with less capital, but she was confident in running it. She had a clear business plan in hand, and she had a thorough study of the market. She realized that it is not true that Cambodians do not support this Cambodian traditional products, but because we were not enough of these products in the market and no new innovation and designs. Therefore, she started a group consisting of 10 families to get the market going. 

Even if we started out small, if we continued to sell and increased our profit, getting both the cost and revenue to circulate fast, we will be able to grow,” she said. For example, if we had $350, about 1 million 400,000 riels, we can turn that into 1 million 600,000 KHR and the 1 million 800,000 riels. So we try to sell the products quickly and not touch the cash, but instead use it to buy more products to add to the stocks. This is another approach that can help our business grow in capital.

She added that she was overwhelmed to see more than 90% Khmer textiles were left off during the rainy season and most people migrated. So because of the love of Khmer products and the desire to help the people, she founded the Association. Through the Weaving Association, she has helped provide employment for about 200 Cambodian women. Chen Sopheap: "I'm not doing business so people can be indebted to me. My product, if you don't buy it, you'll regret it." 

By: Tann Somphors