Veasna – founder of Women for women – asocial enterprise which delivers handicraft products prepared by women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?
For providing jobs to 35 women, some of them with disabilities, without possibility to work in any different place.
Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?
The most difficult is to find the market to sell products. If I can sell more products, we can have more jobs for women in need. When we have a lot of jobs they work overtime, till midnight, they really need money to support the family. Sometimes they have 8 brothers and sisters, they need to send money to the family. That’s why they try to work as long as possible. When I was young, I didn’t know my country is like that. Only at school I started to realize it, I had one poor friend, I shared food with her. I visited her house and sent some food there as well. They lived in a very small cottage, not even a proper house. I felt I’m lucky to go to school, to have food.When I go abroad and I see people in another countries throwing food away… it feels so bad. I cannot stay too long in another countries.
Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?
It would be good to open also other places. Women who work with us need to be around and a lot of them come from different parts of the country. Often they have to quit the job and go back to care about children or elder. We need to have more money to support more women, to expand.
Would you like to add something more?
I think we need to change the market strategy. Now I’ve learned more about it, I understand it better. We are exporting our products to the USA, now we want also to send them to Europe. The problem is that we can’t do big quantity, we don’t have enough capacity. We need to develop more. Before I didn’t really want to open the business. I’m a designer, I could support myself with freelancing. But if I don’t develop my business skills, I won’t find the market, I won’t help women.
The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.