Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE credits
Civil wars have turned many aspects of Cambodia upside down: traditional norms and beliefs of a post-conflict society are at the forefront of the citizens of Cambodia’s mind, ahead of all current regulations and laws. The value of women has been reduced to traditional values in the current society. It is traditionally believed that women are second class citizens, even though females and males are legally viewed as equals in all issues based on the Royal Institution of Cambodia. This phenomenon, the treatment of women as second class citizens, is recognized as a major social issue that needs to be addressed. The Cambodian government and various non governmental organizations (NGOs) strive for the improvement of women’s social status by addressing the issue in the National Strategy Development Plan 2006-2010 (NSDP, 2005). The plan focuses on enhancing the quality of education and fostering gender equality through women empowerment projects.
The subject study of entrepreneurship has entered into a new era social development. A growing number of case studies have increased the awareness of female entrepreneurship. Researchers around the world are now interested in the link between gender and entrepreneurship development. The topic of female entrepreneurship is a hot topic addressed in recent world economic discussion forums to find the solution for world economic crisis; thus, it is significant to investigate and observe how this new approach integrates in to the social development process though empowerment projects.
Thus, this research will be based on following main research questions:
- How does “Women Empowerment projects” promote Female Entrepreneurship? And
- How does the female entrepreneurship contribute to provide a better living condition to Cambodian citizen?
The aim of this research is to discover the impact of social development projects and women empowerment projects using entrepreneurship as the foundation for social change.
In line with this, the findings will uncover the impact of specific social development projects, i.e. women empowerment, and how they contribute to the creation of female entrepreneurs and its affects on individual family’s finances within small communities. This shall be accomplished through the study of gender issues in Cambodia, as well as the impact of the women empowerment program “self-Worth”, which is a social development project created by NGOs with the aim of aiding and developing female entrepreneurs.
The secondary objectives of this study is to bring awareness of the potential financial value women can contribute to the household, which is the capital for improving family economy; as well as leading to advancing the quality of living condition through the concept of entrepreneurship.
This paper would benefit various areas of to academia, especially areas focused on entrepreneurship, social development, and gender studies. The presentation will be made to Industrial Management Students in Mälardalen University, with its focus on delivering the female entrepreneurship concept and sharing the personal experiences of the impact the social development projects had on the individuals who have participated. In addition, the adolescents in the Cambodia community high schools, universities and group of staff in Pact-Cambodia Organization are selected as additional key audiences for future workshops according to their availability.
The design of this research thesis is neither purely qualitative nor quantitative. It is hybrid of both research strategies. This case study is also based on primary and secondary data. The bulk of the information came from three sources: documents, interviews, and direct observations. The evidence, data, and literature review are focused on female and male entrepreneurship, gender study, and female empowerment. All of the data presented are aimed at addressing the research objectives.
The national strategy development plan (NSDP), Pact-Cambodia activities, and self-WORTH women empowerment program are designed to foster female entrepreneurship through the education of literacy, basic mathematic, leadership skills, and advocacy. Microfinance is a powerful tool to fight poverty and transform lives. After the establishment and implementation of empowerment projects participation are able to access to more information and increase their cooperation network more than ever before. The programs permit thousands of Cambodian women to recognize opportunities. They learned how turn their creativities in to profits, and advance their family’s social status via their knowledge, skill and ability through social networking. This scope is the result of entrepreneurship creation which leads the improvement of family economy growth while more than one members of the family have ability to increase the income. This could be recognized as an innovative sustainability growth of living condition. Poor households use microfinance to move from daily basic survival to a better nutrition, housing, health, and education. The impact of social development programs has led to less gender discrimination in Cambodian society, and has aided with the poverty reduction of national strategy.
Cambodia; Change; Development; Empowerment Project; Female (/women) Entrepreneurship; Gender; Standard of Living.