Cambodian women workers have been under increasing financial constraints due to the global financial crisis and more local crises, including the lack of education and training, the loss of their income due to family breakdowns, as well as the loss of their land due to land conflicts.
Street vending is currently a source of income for women in the informal economy. However, this business remains still underdeveloped in Cambodia and current street food hygiene standards low. This created the opportunity for DEVI to offer well-branded, reasonably priced and quality food from clean and attractive carts, prepared with special attention to food safety, cleanliness and hygiene.
DEVI Micro-Business for Women is a micro-franchise organization promoting food, agricultural products, and handmade crafts made by women farmers and textile workers in Kampot Province. It focuses on employing and training female workers. The business model consists of two branches, set up in the city of Phnom Penh, with high marketing opportunities, but 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, including cafés, restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations.
Additionally, the food cart and direct sale businesses are the perfect way to help women out of poverty, since they require few skills and very limited capital. Moreover, they can be scaled up quickly.
DEVI is a project of the umbrella organization Strey Khmer.