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Our3Q – AngkorHUB, Cambodia

Jeff – owner of AngkorHUB, co-working and co-living space designed especially for social entrepreneurs, changemakers and digital nomads.


Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?

One thing can be Eco Warriors, an event during which I tried to unite businesses in Siem Reap so they can buy together friendly packaging and do other environmentally friendly actions. And now they are united. They got in touch and they started to work together. As a result many things happen. For example there is way less plastic straws in circulation thanks to one of the initiative. We talked to different companies and as soon as they have some output also from the clients they start to think: maybe I save money by not putting straws in drinks and I will be environmentally friendly so I can even make marketing on it. Last summer we had a 5-days training event for young Khmer entrepreneurs and I’m really happy about that, they are big friends till today and it was a great success. And the last thing I’m proud and happy about is that I will never come back to my previous 9-to-5 life.


Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?

The business part of a social business. I’m here for my passion, for what I believe, really engaged in causes and ideas. In a country like Cambodia there are so many things to do. Sometimes you want to shake people and say: hey, wake up. What I’m looking for, and what’s the most challenging, is business sustainability, generating revenue, but I have to take into consideration that a co-working space is a new concept here. What is more, sometimes I spend so much time on causes… that’s the reason I’m here. If I do just business, business for money, I should give it up and come back to my 9-to-5 job or do freelancing. It would be a lot easier, just be a digital nomad making money from my actual clients and finding new one, making different kind of things online. But I don’t want that. So I always struggle and try to find a balance between making a living and working for a cause and things that matters. And here there are so many opportunities to work for causes that it’s really hard to focus on business. So summarizing, my biggest challenge is to fully operate as a business and try to make profit on uncertain market when I don’t focus 100% on the business side of it.


Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?

A bigger community, more resources of course. And be able to take small holiday, just go somewhere even for a weekend. To achieve that… I need to look for more Cambodians to join me. I know some, I have to approach them and explain more my business. Relay maybe more on volunteers, keep the place open for them. Community management and promotion.


Would you like to add somehing more?

Sometimes people ask me why I do that, it will be so much easier to concentrate on a normal business. But I think nowadays there is no other way. The only logical thing is to try to help and change things in the world. It’s so obvious we all need to make a difference. How to do it? Follow your feeling. You don’t need to quit everything and go to another side of the world as I did. Maybe just around there is some organization you can help. Be a part of something, don’t just work and participate in rat races. You can still keep your job, but after or before do something, use your skills, make a difference.


The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.


Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 8th  December, 2015

ID: 022/100

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