Remarks by Ms. Hanh Nguyen, Deputy Mission Director, USAID/Cambodia, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Forum on “Access to Finance for Women Entrepreneurs in the COVID-19 Era”

Speeches Shim

Thursday, February 4, 2021

(as prepared for delivery)


  • Your Excellency Rath Sovannorak (ROT SO-VAN-RACK), Director General of Banking Supervision, National Bank of Cambodia
  • Colleagues at the Khmer Enterprise, Swisscontact, and SHE Investments
  • Colleagues from the private sector, bank representatives, and members of the media

I am honored to be with you today. What an impressive group of people we have here!

We are here today to learn from and make connections with each other. The people you meet and the knowledge you will share with each other can help your businesses grow and overcome the unprecedented challenges created by COVID-19.

This year, the U.S. Embassy is showcasing the values that drive U.S. government activities in Cambodia, and have announced quarterly themes, which are “4 P’s”:  Prosperity and Sustainability, Principles and Values, Peace and Security, and Partnerships. This first quarter, we are focusing on Prosperity and Sustainability, and our support to female entrepreneurs is just one example of our collaboration to helping Cambodia become prosperous.

Helping Cambodian businesswomen find solutions to those challenges is why we are here. The United States has long been a promoter and supporter of women entrepreneurs for three reasons. 

First, more than half of Cambodia’s budding entrepreneurs are women and most of its micro- and small businesses are owned by women. Startups and small- and medium-sized businesses constitute an area of potentially enormous growth. 

Second, experience tells us that higher participation among women in the marketplace leads to more inclusive growth. This is growth that benefits a larger share of the population.

Thirdly, the United States firmly believes in advancing women’s rights. We believe that women’s meaningful economic participation is integral to advancing democratic rights as well as achieving greater security and stability around the world.

This event - the third of several such events over the past year - is the beginning of a concerted effort to bring entrepreneurs in Cambodia closer together to achieve tangible gains for women-owned small businesses. This forum aims to support young women entrepreneurs to overcome the financial barriers during the pandemic. Empowering Cambodian women entrepreneurs is priority for USAID, and we support activities that help provide women with the resources, networks, and platforms they need to achieve their dreams. 

The Women Entrepreneurs Act project, which we support with our partner Pact, is only our most recent support to Cambodian businesswomen. USAID has helped Cambodian women build their businesses through multiple projects over many years and it will continue to be a priority for us.

We look forward to working together to help women realize their economic potential and find their voices as citizens.

Thank you!

Phnom Penh
Issuing Country 

Last updated: May 21, 2021

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