CWB Entrepreneurs NEWS

Starting Own Business

After graduating from the university, I worked for in terms of community, education, culture, and so on; while most of my friends decided to work for big design companies and run their own business. I Sometimes wonder myself “why I choose this way”. Honestly, this is just what I would like to try, not wish working on it forever; and I’m going to change that after gaining enough experience. It was what I had thought.  I have mainly worked with youth and teenagers, with some of them becoming adult during my work time.

Eight years has passed through lots of memories, happiness, sadness, hope, being disappointed, success and failure. It’s a perfect present I got from this work, and it’s a part of life and why I’m different.  In fact, this is a suitable way for me because it’s what I like to do to see people smiling during they are staying at home with their family, to see students with hopes and dreams and they wish for. To guide them to reach that is my happiness in spite of sometimes dreaming for their future while they are not.

Every single day and year I see them growing up physically and mentally, I really appreciate teaching them to be a good youth for their community. They are coming from different regions; so their thinking is​ based on where they were and are. Not all of them will graduate and be entrepreneurs, and I’m so sure that some of them will be not familiar with the ways of our teaching. They left finally, because some of youth are in troubles with their family economy, so they must give up their dream in order to help solving family’s issues. This is not what I wish to see.

Many people start their own business because they would like to be independent, earn more money and build a good future as well as get whatever they want. Anyways, I’m not a part of those. I’m starting a business with a clear goal, supporting youth, creating jobs for them and helping them realize their dream. My professor constantly used to say that how my business ability will be. He was doubtful of that, and that’s correct. I could understand well about the business concepts of him, but it is hard for me as practicing. I only have senses of social work such as teaching, supporting others, but doing business is not really. ​ That doesn’t mean he is interrupting me; instead, it is like my reminder of my tasks. I absolutely appreciate his helps and cares towards me.  I’m going to show him I can do from what I have learnt, experienced, seen, and touched.

When some of youth were forced to leave their family, I always thought that what I could do for them and questioned myself if I should stay as a teacher just only for teaching them or helping them to be a good youth for their community. No, I’m not, I must do something. I am not pretending to be a hero, father or brother of them. But as a human living in the same society, we must help each other and hope to be a good model for youth to support their community.

Finally, I’m starting my own business. There are 3 students living with me and I need to support them for school, food, transportation, and so forth. That’s not so easy for me. I am living with some youth leaving our group before too. Sometimes I let them work together and pay them so that they could fulfill their needs or demands such as rice with appropriate price compare with middle men. I’m glad to start a corporation with them again. And to be sustainable, I must succeed in my business.

Even though I’m not a successful businessman yet or knowledgeable of business world, but what I know is that it’s time to start challenging whatever I face up. It is just a good starting. Just within 3 months, I have got countless troubles; I’m strong enough to stand up with this hard situation. I believe, this business is growing up and expresses who I am to accomplish my goal. From next year, after school vacation, there will be other young guys coming, staying, working, and studying with me. So, I’m feeling pressured of course. It’s very necessary to be well prepared for their coming.

 I’m now staying in SCY field and doing business without fee of lending land because this is a support from my professor. I’m starting to put 6 cows in the field, plant grass and raise up country chickens to supply local markets as well as producing rice for my brother’s small restaurant. I don’t just want to do business for only money, I’d like to be a model for villagers too.

Growing grass for cows is a simple business in the world but it’s strange in this village anyways. Huge grass fields in surrounding village are still available. But why planting grass is a waste of time and money! This is what they thought. I’m not going to explain the reason until they see my success. There is a boy or girl taking care of two or three cows. Bring them to grass field and following up cows makes me feel so sorry for the kid. They miss their school, opportunity to develop their knowledge and skill. I want to change that in deed.

Village chickens usually die of diseases due to any annual season. Villagers largely don’t know how to prevent that from happening. Most of restaurants near Sambor Prei Kuk monument are hard to find supplier during holiday season, and I would like to be a part who can support them.

Everywhere in Cambodia, there’s often trouble over rice trading between farmers, middlemen and producers. The price goes down when much rice harvesting comes and low as less harvesting does. But the rice price in restaurants rarely changes. A middleman who doesn’t work hard get more benefit than farmers who work so hard. Sometimes, there is no much benefit for farmers when they detail about cost. Now what I can do is just to buy rice after harvest in which I need from my network and I’m spreading out to others when I’ve got more buyers.

This business is small, but I’m satisfied with my involving in social matter. As I need to support others, that’s why I had better work very hard to achieve my goal. I have to start struggling with something impossible and facing countless matters from now on by myself.

Kompong Thom, Cambodia.

Chhim Chhouden

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