Give a Day 21: Unveiling the Key Findings on Gender Lens Investing Landscape Study in Cambodia

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Phnom Penh, March 6th, 2024, the 21st  edition of Give a Day was successfully organized by Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact in collaboration with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) to share the key findings of the Cambodia Gender Lens Investing (GLI) Landscape Study conducted in 2023 and published in 2024. This workshop served as a crucial event for advancing gender equality and sustainable development through inclusive investment practices in Cambodia. 
"Khmer Enterprise is immensely proud of Give a Day's growth from 2021 to the present. Give a Day embodies the spirit of mutual support and the belief in the untapped potential that aligns with Khmer Enterprise’s strategy to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and collaboration. The ecosystem is broad, and Gender Lens Investing (GLI) is one of the focuses this month that highlights the commitment to fostering inclusive growth. By incorporating gender perspectives into the strategies, the ecosystem will not just generate social impact but also unlock new opportunities for sustainable development. Khmer Enterprise looks forward to the impact of Give a Day and creating additional networks for collaborations and funding."
Said H.E. Dr. Chhieng Vanmunin, CEO of Khmer Enterprise.

Gender Lens Investing (GLI) involves investing in women-owned or women-led enterprises, enterprises promoting workplace equity and policy, and those offering products or services that substantially benefit women and girls. It is a process that requires investment firms to internally assess their capacity to invest with a gender lens and promote gender diversity within their workforce, while externally applying a gender lens to investment decision-making.

"The World of entrepreneurship still faces gender disparities. Unconscious biases among investors, Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs), and entrepreneurs themselves impede the realization of their full potential. Our study uncovered that 18% of ESOs we interviewed intentionally apply a gender lens to their programs, and women-owned businesses financial needs amount to $6.4 to $4.1 billion for male-owned businesses. On the other hand, Asia is the second largest GLI region due to the growing number of private market funds in the last couple of years. There is great potential for Cambodia to attract this capital, and our collaboration with Swisscontact on this GLI landscape study is a key step forward in advancing GLI in Cambodia. We sincerely hope the report will contribute to creating a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem where every entrepreneur can fulfill their potential, thereby contributing to Cambodia's economic growth and the creation of an equitable and prosperous society."
Said Mr. Itsu Adachi, Executive Director, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

The study, a collaborative effort between SPF and Swisscontact, delved into the trends, challenges, and opportunities in integrating gender considerations into investment practices. It sought to contribute significantly to Women’s Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis including literature review, surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and consultations, the study explored various aspects, including the financial and non-financial needs of enterprises providing key insights into Cambodia's GLI landscape.

Key findings underscore the necessity to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities in gender-inclusive investment practices. Recommendations provided aim to mobilize stakeholders and drive initiatives for a more equitable and inclusive investment landscape, thereby offering a strategic roadmap for advancing gender equality and sustainable development in Cambodia.

The dissemination workshop on Gender Lens Investing Landscape Study signified a critical step towards promoting a vibrant GLI ecosystem in Cambodia. Around 100 stakeholders from various sectors participated and contributed to shaping a more equitable and prosperous future.

Give a Day is organized monthly meetings to provide a platform for ESOs in the Cambodian entrepreneurial ecosystem to explore critical issues and foster peer-to-peer learning. Give a Day is co-funded by Khmer Enterprise, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency and co-implemented by Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact. 

The event was covered by the following media:

  • Give a Day 21: Unveiling the Key Findings on Gender Lens Investing Landscape Study in Cambodia | Cambodia Investment Review
  • Give a Day 21: Unveiling the Key Findings on Gender Lens Investing Landscape Study in Cambodia | Fresh News
  • 21st Give A Day: Gender Lens Investing Study Findings In Cambodia | B2B Cambodia
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investments (3Ei)
The overall goal of the 3Ei is for the private sector to actively contribute to the Cambodia's socio-economic development and attaining the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The achievement of this overall goal will be driven by two outcomes: enhanced coordination, and collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem; and increased business performance and investments in the ecosystem.