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close this bookPoverty Alleviation Trough Micro and Small Enterprise Development in Cambodia - ILO/UNDP Project CMB/97/021 - Final Report (ILO - UNDP, 2000, 126 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcronyms used
View the documentExecutive summary
View the documentRecommendations
Open this folder and view contentsPart A: Report from ILO mission (June 1999)
Open this folder and view contentsPart B: Situation Review 1997 (“stand alone” report)
View the documentPart C: ILO Recommendation 189 on SMEs (1998)


This final report of the ILO/UNIDO project on Poverty Alleviation through Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) Development in Cambodia, funded by the UNDP under its SPPD facility, is produced at an important time for Cambodia. The Royal Government of Cambodia is giving increasing attention to the development of small and medium enterprises, as well as to creating a policy environment that is more enterprise friendly. In addition, the donor community and various international organizations appear to be reassessing the potential of the micro, small and medium sized enterprises in Cambodia, with a view to enhancing their role in national economic and social development.

Financial support and financial services, as provided by the large number of micro-credit schemes and micro-finance institutions in Cambodia, are very welcome forms of assistance for micro and small enterprises. However, these alone are not enough to help entrepreneurs to identify viable business opportunities, create new enterprises, grow them, and see them contribute in an optimal way to job creation and poverty alleviation. International experience shows the need for a complementary range of innovative and demand-led business development services (BDS), including small business training.

The International Labour Organization is assigning greater prominence to the role that small enterprises can play in the creation of decent work in sustainable enterprises, as well as to the contribution that small enterprises can make to poverty alleviation. In 1998, the International Labour Conference adopted a Recommendation on General conditions for the promotion of job creation through small and medium-sized enterprises (1998) and, because of its relevance for Cambodia, a copy is appended to this report. The report of the ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia, on the theme of Decent Work (ILO, 1999), assigns significant importance to small-scale enterprises and to the informal sector, particularly as a means of creation new employment opportunities. As part of its operational structure to support the ILO’s four strategic objectives, a new International Focus (InFocus) programme has been created on Boosting Employment through Small Enterprise Development (SEED).

The timeliness of this report is underscored by the Royal Government of Cambodia’s programme to demobilize 30,000 soldiers and to provide support to veterans, widows and their families. Many of the target group is likely to want to enter into self-employment or small-scale enterprises, either in a full-time or part-time capacity. Therefore, the recommendations in this report also have a specific relevance to the Cambodia Veterans’ Assistance Programme, as well as being of general interest to the broader micro and small enterprise sector.

The purpose of this UNDP facility is to provide support services for policy and programme development (SPPD). It is intended that the recommendations contained in this report will make a contribution to the formulation of innovative and cost-effective policies, programmes and projects to enhance the employment creation and poverty alleviation potential of the micro and small enterprise sector in Cambodia. It is also hoped that existing MSEs will be supported so that they can provide more secure and sustainable employment in safe, healthy and legally compliant enterprise units.

The ILO wishes to acknowledge the assistance provided throughout the extended duration of this project by the UNDP, Phnom Penh. The comments received on the early draft from the UNDP and ACLEDA were most helpful and these have been addressed in the final version.

The ILO also acknowledges the significant contribution made by the UNIDO during the first phase of this SPPD project. Overall technical coordination was provided during the first phase by Mr Takafumi Ueda, Specialist in Enterprise and Management Development, ILO/EASMAT, and during the final phase by his successor, Mr Gerry Finnegan, Senior Small Enterprise and Management Development Specialist. In addition, the ILO acknowledges the contribution made by Professor Ian Livingstone to the fieldwork and report carried out during 1999.

Ian Chambers
ILO Area Office and the East Asia Multidisciplinary Advisory Team
August 2000