We apologize to our readers for this long period of silence! The last few months have been rather busy here at the DEVI House, in a very good way!
DEVI Micro-Business, the micro-franchise side of the DEVI organization has been doing very well these last few months. The team has been working very hard on the organization and expansion of DEVI. We have applied for further funding for the training of the women and general support and development of DEVI. Kim, our business manager, assisted by Victoria, our project manager, have been working forcefully on promoting the expansion of DEVI products all over Phnom Penh as well as Kampot and Battambang. Kim has also been working very closely with the women sellers on their training, understanding the barriers they face and finding solutions together. For example, the women were being prohibited from selling at certain market selling points by the local police. Kim helped them in finding and bringing their carts to other markets.
In terms of organization, the DEVI business model now consists of two branches, set up in Phnom Penh, with the prospect of expanding to other cities and provinces including Kampot and Battambang. The micro-franchise organization helps Cambodian women set up their own food cart businesses, mainly in markets around the city. The second branch of the DEVI Micro-Business focuses on distributing all Kampot food and textile products to different channels.
In terms of expansion, DEVI Micro-Business offers cookies and fruit chips made from local and organic ingredients. Customers can now choose Banana and Potato (sweet and savoury) chips and between different 8 cookie flavors including Coconut, Ginger, Coffee and Chocolate. And the team continues to experiment with other local ingredients, working with the women cooks in Kampot. Savory flavors are also being added to the range. The cookies are now offered in redesigned (by Megan, our graphic designer) simple plastic packaging or a DEVI designed box with information about the organization and the ingredients used. After only 3 months of reorganization, DEVI business is already making some good profits and has a very large and diversified number of customers all over Phnom Penh. Customers include cafés, restaurants, supermarkets, NGOs and petrol stations, all of which have a high sales turn-over, ideal for the 2-month shelf life of DEVI food products.