About the workshop
As part of the celebrations for IDAHOBIT and Gay Pride in Cambodia, Micro Rainbow International organised an economic empowerment workshop for LGBTI people. The focus of the workshop was on starting new income generating activities as a way to step out of poverty.
The workshop took place on the 20th May 2018 in Phnom Penh and was hosted by the Micro Rainbow International team in Cambodia. 16 LGBTI people attended the workshop.
- enhance understanding in starting income generating activities,
- draw attention to the issue of LGBTI financial exclusion,
- bring hope to those LGBTI people who live in poverty,
- raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities and
- build the capacity of the LGBTI movement in Cambodia, one person at the time.
Discussions and activities
As a group, participants discussed a variety of topics, including:
- best practices in starting a small business and the challenges,
- the importance of preparing a sound business plan,
- what kind of small income generating activity might work well in Cambodia
Participants shared their experiences of living in poverty and trying to improve their livelihood as LGBTI people in Cambodia. Business plans were shared, and participants made comments and contributions to each other’s plans. The workshop also provided an opportunity for the group to share the discrimination and the rejection they face just because of their sexuality, gender identity or intersex status. Most of the attendees had never met before and the event created new connections and contributed to building a community that is still very fragile in Cambodia.
With few such opportunities, the participants were particularly interested to hear from other LGBTI people who have their own business. They found very useful to the sharing of first hand experiences in creating small businesses and how to overcome the challenges. After the workshop, Micro Rainbow International will offer those who are planning to start up a business:
- technical support in preparing a business plan,
- one-to-one meetings and ongoing mentoring,
- referrals to micro-finance institutions partner of Micro Rainbow International who will assess the business plan and any request for micro-credit.
“People who succeed in business do so when they have a business they really like. When you like your business, you will find ways to success and never give up even when it seems to be failing”
“We should try our best because we can support other LGBTI activists and friends and end the discrimination in Cambodia when we succeed in our businesses”.