Alice – main manager of PSE, a sewing workshop hires 25 women from the poorest background to prepare uniforms and handicraft products.
Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?
That we are able to meet the demand of producing 14.000 good quality uniforms per year for PSE school and still have time to answer other external orders. And the way we treat our tailors. They have one year contract here but we renew it as long as they want. They have health insurance, annual and sick leaves, which is not so obvious in Cambodia. They don’t work during the weekend. In a standard day they start at 7AM in the morning, at 10 they have stretching. They finish at 4.30PM, so they can take their children from PSE school, all of them have children there, and go back home with them. They have 145$ salary, which is higher than in a lot of other factories, and 5$ motivation bonus.
Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?
To find out what is the best business model for this workshop. Should we keep going inside PSE or become more independent? How to build an adaptable business model that can answer our social goal to improve skills and hire more women in a sustainable way?
Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?
We want to try more with home production. For now we have most of women working here, in the production house, only few of them who have to take care about children or elder work from home. But we don’t have more space here, so we need to turn to the home production model if we want to hire more women. We also look for more external clients.
Would you like to add something more?
This workshop at the beginning was just a training place where women learnt how to sew. Now we have only skilled women. We are producing here all PSE uniforms, 7.000 children, so it’s 14.000 uniforms per year. We are also doing products for boutiques and other external orders: uniforms for hotels and restaurants, some handicrafts, leather bags which we have learnt to do recently. One of our main goals is to increase the skills of our workers, it comes with trainings and new things to do.
The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.