Weaving Village Expansion

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Despite their resilience, traditional skills, strong heritage and available time on their hands, most of the rural people in Cambodia live in poverty which is the root cause of many other social problems such as human trafficking (2.8 million in Cambodia), malnutrition and poor education.

One in three Cambodian families live on less than $1.25 a day and almost half of the population is under the age of 30. This contributes to a large pool of untapped human talent with very limited access to employment opportunities. Although there are over 1400 NGOs in the country, very little impact is seen in the rural areas. There is no shortage of training programmes, however transferring skills into income has been a big challenge for many. Donations and handing out money has created more dependence and has undermined the self confidence of those who need the real help.

Our root cause analysis indicates three key reasons why rural Cambodians have not been able to break the poverty cycle are –

  1. Lack of access to resources such as start up capital and business plan preparation
  2. Lack of training on transferable skills ( such as product design, technical skills and micro entrepreneurship) that can help turn their passion into income
  3. Lack of access to the markets

The Solution

We believe in a wholesome approach that initiates mutual empowerment , promotes progress and social development via Community Economic Development (CED) process. CED is a community-based and community-directed process that explicitly combines social and economic development and is directed towards fostering the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities. This approach is based on following three pillars –

  1. Facilitate Micro entrepreneurship not AID – ” Teach people how to fish rather than handing out fish”
  2. Build Trust and ownership – People we work with are not beneficiaries, they are our customers
  3. Create Multiplier Effect – Building a tribe that that inspire each other to perpetuate progress

Sonas helped establishing a weaving social business in 2013 to help the participants end the poverty cycle. Cambodian Weaving Village identifies aspiring entrepreneurs, equip them with needed skills to start micro enterprise and connect them to the required resources and the market.

In partnership with the local change makers, Sonas selected 7 women from one village, who were then equipped with the core skills through the “learning by doing” approach and were mentored to ensure the success of a sustainable social business so that they could be a role model and a catalyst for change in these communities. The weaving team now works with well know international Ethical Fashion designers to produce custom designed fabric for their collections that are sold around the world.

First phase of the project was establishing a workshop in Takeo Cambodia, identifying aspiring entrepreneurs, equipping them with skills and resources. Sonas is now proposing to scale the impact by expanding the workshop to increase production and promoting their own e commerce platform that will help their customers to buy direct from the weavers. This will allow to scale the impact further and help the end user to connect with the Artisans.

 

Impact So Far

The first weaving project which was established in June 2013 in Takeo, Cambodia reached sustainability well ahead of the initial forecasted period, The weaving village now produces 450 cotton scarves each month, most of which are sold to international tourists who visit the project. As shown in the revenue breakdown below, 40% of the sales revenue goes directly to the weaver’s income, 40% contributes to the impact growth fund, education and well-being of their families and rest of 30% covers the raw materials and operational cost.

 

your impact (1)

 

Since the development of the first phase, Sonas has been connecting the hand crafted products to ethical buyers around the world by collaborating with international designers and other experts in the field, which has led to high demand for their unique products with an impact story. As a result, we now need to increase the production capacity to 700 scarves per month to meet the demand. In addition, an ecommerce platform (http://www.weaversproject.com/) has been developed in collaboration with University of Oxford team for connecting the ethical buyers directly to the weavers.

Sonas intend to scale the weaving project by expanding the weaving community in Takeo to meet the market demand. This will be achieved by extending the existing weaving centre to a two storey Khmer house as shown below.. The project will provide long term benefits to the community by employing 20 local women by the middle of 2016.

The longer term vision is to have a community of 100 artisans by end of 2018 that can produce cotton scarves and other accessories.

Who We Work With

We are a strong believer in co-creation and we know it is important to build long term collaboration with our value chain partners. We are very grateful for all the support from our valued commercial partners, designers and mentors from around the world.

End of Summer Sale- Up to fifty percent off- (3)

 

 

Call for Action

To scale the impact, Sonas must raise $5,250 in total for the second phase that consists of extension of the workshop and promoting other sales channels such as an e-commerce platform (http://www.weaversproject.com/) and ethical trade fairs.

You can invest in this project by lending for 36 months term, after which you have the option to reinvest in further development of the project. The following figure highlights the breakdown of how this money will be used for extension of the weaving workshop. The construction is done by the local tradesmen using the sustainable local materials such as bamboo, palm wood and local ceramic tiles.

 

Highlights:

Before and After

Here is how we envision our workshop to look like. the ground floor will house 7 handlooms as it does now and the second floor will be split into tow portions. 1/3 rd will be the weaving studio/weaving museum and 2/3rd will be covered terrace for spinners, finishers and designers. We have chosen the most cost efficient way of doubling the capacity and keeping the same building footprint.

Project Budget:

Construction materials (Timber, roof tiles, shutters, etc.) $3000

Builder’s cost $1500

Equipment ( Looms, Cotton Processing, Yarn Spinning, Natural Dyeing ) $500

Makeshift shelter to continue weaving during construction $250

Total: $5250

FAQs:

Despite their resilience, traditional skills, strong heritage and available time on their hands, most of the rural people in Cambodia live in poverty which is the root cause of many other social problems such as human trafficking (2.8 million in Cambodia), malnutrition and poor education. One in three Cambodian families live on less than $1.25 a day and almost half of the population is under the age of 30. This contributes to a large pool of untapped human talent with very limited access to employment opportunities. Although there are over 1400 NGOs in the country, very little impact is seen in the rural areas. There is no shortage of training programmes, however transferring skills into income has been a big challenge for many. Donations and handing out money has created more dependence and has undermined the self confidence of those who need the real help. Our root cause analysis indicates three key reasons why rural Cambodians have not been able to break the poverty cycle are -
  1. Lack of access to resources such as start up capital and business plan preparation
  2. Lack of training on transferable skills ( such as product design, technical skills and micro entrepreneurship) that can help turn their passion into income
  3. Lack of access to the markets
The Solution We believe in a wholesome approach that initiates mutual empowerment , promotes progress and social development via Community Economic Development (CED) process. CED is a community-based and community-directed process that explicitly combines social and economic development and is directed towards fostering the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities. This approach is based on following three pillars -
  1. Facilitate Micro entrepreneurship not AID - " Teach people how to fish rather than handing out fish"
  2. Build Trust and ownership - People we work with are not beneficiaries, they are our customers
  3. Create Multiplier Effect - Building a tribe that that inspire each other to perpetuate progress
Sonas helped establishing a weaving social business in 2013 to help the participants end the poverty cycle. Cambodian Weaving Village identifies aspiring entrepreneurs, equip them with needed skills to start micro enterprise and connect them to the required resources and the market. In partnership with the local change makers, Sonas selected 7 women from one village, who were then equipped with the core skills through the “learning by doing” approach and were mentored to ensure the success of a sustainable social business so that they could be a role model and a catalyst for change in these communities. The weaving team now works with well know international Ethical Fashion designers to produce custom designed fabric for their collections that are sold around the world. First phase of the project was establishing a workshop in Takeo Cambodia, identifying aspiring entrepreneurs, equipping them with skills and resources. Sonas is now proposing to scale the impact by expanding the workshop to increase production and promoting their own e commerce platform that will help their customers to buy direct from the weavers. This will allow to scale the impact further and help the end user to connect with the Artisans.   Impact So Far The first weaving project which was established in June 2013 in Takeo, Cambodia reached sustainability well ahead of the initial forecasted period, The weaving village now produces 450 cotton scarves each month, most of which are sold to international tourists who visit the project. As shown in the revenue breakdown below, 40% of the sales revenue goes directly to the weaver’s income, 40% contributes to the impact growth fund, education and well-being of their families and rest of 30% covers the raw materials and operational cost.   your impact (1)   Since the development of the first phase, Sonas has been connecting the hand crafted products to ethical buyers around the world by collaborating with international designers and other experts in the field, which has led to high demand for their unique products with an impact story. As a result, we now need to increase the production capacity to 700 scarves per month to meet the demand. In addition, an ecommerce platform (http://www.weaversproject.com/) has been developed in collaboration with University of Oxford team for connecting the ethical buyers directly to the weavers. Sonas intend to scale the weaving project by expanding the weaving community in Takeo to meet the market demand. This will be achieved by extending the existing weaving centre to a two storey Khmer house as shown below.. The project will provide long term benefits to the community by employing 20 local women by the middle of 2016. The longer term vision is to have a community of 100 artisans by end of 2018 that can produce cotton scarves and other accessories. Who We Work With We are a strong believer in co-creation and we know it is important to build long term collaboration with our value chain partners. We are very grateful for all the support from our valued commercial partners, designers and mentors from around the world. End of Summer Sale- Up to fifty percent off- (3)     Call for Action To scale the impact, Sonas must raise $5,250 in total for the second phase that consists of extension of the workshop and promoting other sales channels such as an e-commerce platform (http://www.weaversproject.com/) and ethical trade fairs. You can invest in this project by lending for 36 months term, after which you have the option to reinvest in further development of the project. The following figure highlights the breakdown of how this money will be used for extension of the weaving workshop. The construction is done by the local tradesmen using the sustainable local materials such as bamboo, palm wood and local ceramic tiles.  

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