The Best Cambodian Social Enterprises to Support
When you visit Cambodia you are bound to come across many Cambodian social enterprises. These social enterprises usually support the work of an NGO (non-government organisation), or simply just care about fair wages and conditions for their workers.
Unless you are staying for an extended period of time, I doubt you will be able to visit every Cambodian social enterprise that exists, as much as you may want to! To help you to shop and dine responsibly, I have composed this short-list of Cambodian social enterprises.
Bonhomie | Siem Reap
Bonhomie is a boutique fashion and accessories brand in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This Cambodian social enterprise supports the work of Life Project Cambodia, a local NGO that empowers disadvantaged Cambodian children and youth to create their own solutions to poverty.
Their bracelets are made by the parents of Life Project Cambodia’s students, thus directly providing the families with regular income and reducing the reliance on aid and assistance. Their other boutique fashion items and accessories are handmade by the sewing graduates at Human & Hope Association in Siem Reap.
Source: Cambodia Knits
Cambodia Knits | Phnom Penh
Cambodia Knits is a social enterprise working with marginalized communities in and near Phnom Penh. Their goal is to produce beautiful, high quality and unique hand-made products while providing fair and flexible employment opportunities.
Cambodia Knits has a gorgeous range of products, with my favourite being the Sleepy Snogus. You can purchase Cambodia Knit’s products at their store in Phnom Penh, Cambodian Creations. If you aren’t heading to Phnom Penh, you can also purchase their hand-knitted crafts through their stockists in Kampot and Siem Reap, too!
Source: Eco-Soap Bank
Eco-Soap Bank | Siem Reap
Eco-Soap Bank is a non-profit organization working to save, sanitize, and supply recycled soap to the developing world. They collect gently used soap bars from hotels and guesthouses in Cambodia then have their local staff sanitise and reprocess the soap into new bars. Once the bars are ready, Eco-Soap Bank donates them to NGO’s, hospitals schools and communities whilst paired with hygiene training. The overall goal of this Cambodian social enterprise is to impart the tools and skills to keep people healthy for generations.
You can have the opportunity to explore Eco-Soap Bank’s Siem Reap recycling facility and make your own recycled soap by booking one of their tours. 100% of this revenue is invested back into the local community
Source: Footprint Cafes
Footprint Cafes | Siem Reap
Footprint Cafes is the newest Cambodian social enterprise on this list. Located in a quiet road in Siem Reap, Footprints Cafe offers an excellent selection of both Khmer and Western food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
They put people first, and provide training and career progression for their staff, living wages, paid parental leave and health insurance. Not only that, they donate 100% of their net profits as educational grants back to the local community.
There are thousands of books in the cafe, so if you were looking for a relaxing day this is the place to be!