Entrepreneurs Advised to Register to Reap Benefits

A workshop is encouraging all businesses, from small to large, to legally register with the government to start receiving the benefits of the National Social Security Fund.
Vendor sells vegetable along a street on the outskirts of Phnom Penh on February 11, 2021. Picture: Pring Samrang
Vendor sells vegetable along a street on the outskirts of Phnom Penh on February 11, 2021. Picture: Pring Samrang

A women entrepreneur workshop is urging all entrepreneurs to legally register their business to enjoy full benefits from National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

Executive Director of the Coalition for Partnership in Democratic Development (CPDD), Sin Penh, on Thursday raised concerns at a policy consultation workshop on enabling business environment and social welfare that young women entrepreneurs often do not work in good environments.

“We are concerned about whether such an environment is conducive to them,” Penh said. “The workshop will discuss setting up business environments, and secondly, how to register the business for identification, which is difficult to communicate with the authorities and businesses. So, when the authorities organize an order to evict traders, where do they sell? Penh added.

Eng Geckly, a representative from Young Women Entrepreneurs (YWE), said a YWE study found that 194 entrepreneurs of small- and middle-income were impacted, 77 percent of whom were women and men were 28 percent. And 92 percent has not registered their business, while 8 percent do not know how to register.

“All the businesses operating in Phnom Penh still have limited knowledge of relevant information, business registration and financial planning management,” Gechly said.

This means sellers are not eligible to claim the benefits that come from the government’s social support. These include access to loans with special interest rates and assistance, she added.

Khol Yuthly, Deputy Director of the Secretariat for National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development, said the workshop aims to create and transform four representations of young entrepreneurs, analyze internal and external business issues with the government to formulate policies.

“The Government recognizes the important role of women-owned SMEs in driving Cambodia's economic development,” Yuthly told the participants.

Yuthly added that the Ministry of Interior will promote the registration in one window one service, which will increase the capacity of officers and create online registration, increase the mechanism of villages, communes, Sangkat issue business licenses, especially street vendors, and promote the registration process.

Serey Lina, CEO of Life Insurance, told Kiripost that the workshop can provide opportunities for young women entrepreneurs to learn more about business and business registration.

“Many Cambodian women are involved in starting a business and society, learning business skills, and attending business management seminars,” Lina said.

Lina said that in the past, women were in charge of babysitting and home cooking, but now they can run a business and manage finances for their families and businesses. She said today, it is not only men who lead businesses but also women.

“Women entrepreneurs are not yet open to women, because some entrepreneurs cannot stand on their own decision yet or ask family opinion, there are many obstacles in their decisions,” Lina said.

Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA), said the workshop urges all young entrepreneurs and women to register their business with the ministry.

“The Ministry of Interior has pushed for registration at the one window one service, previously only in khans, but now it is reaching villages and Sangkat, allowing small, medium and large entrepreneurs to register,” Pov said

It is an opportunity for business owners, especially street vendors, to register as a legitimate business, he added, saying this is not to pay taxes but to be recognized by authorities.

The IDEA president claims that NSSF has a law on business as it recognizes those who have registered to receive benefits. However, so far this law has not been applied to small businesses.

He expects the business registration and government will consider giving them a NSSF benefits, so the authority can guarantee the market or find a suitable place for them to sell.

“Promoting a good city must be responsible for the poor who own small businesses,” Pov said.