CSGF (Canteen Service for Garment Factory)

Published on June 21, 2014 um 15:31

Summary of your idea

Currently, there are more than 500 garment factories operating in Phnom Penh City, employing approximately 600,000 workers. 90% of them are young women who migrate from the rural part of Cambodia for job and income. However, almost all of them do not have access to hygienic and nutritious food. They consume street food that is wrapped in plastic bag and dine on the ground, even near the rubbish pile. As a result, they are physically weak and fall sick a lot. Coupled with the toxic working environment, 4000 fainting incidences occurs during working hour every year and approximately 1 billion plastic waste are disposed from the factories annually. Therefore, CSGF comes in. Basically, the idea is working to empower poor factory workers, improve their health, reduce fainting incidences and cut down the plastic waste from the factories by setting up a canteen/cafeteria at the factories to serve healthy, nutritious, and cheap food with a proper dining area and safe dining utensils instead of plastic bags. CSGF is the first mover in this industry. The solution is simple and straightforward but effective and efficient enough to tackle two chronic issues at the same time: health and environment. The focus is on the quality of the food and the most affordable price for all our poor workers.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

My social business produces two major social impacts. First is the workers health. I expect that after a while of consuming healthy and nutritious food that CSGF provides, the workers will be healthier, more energetic and the fainting incidences at the factories will be reduced. They will get sick less frequently, live happier, feel healthier and spend less money on medical treatment, which will contribute to the better living conditions of their families at the province as well because they could save money on medicines for remittance back to their family. This impact could be measured through the reduced number of times they go to the pharmacy, the pass out incidence during the working hour, and the overall feelings they get after a while. Second, CSGF will substantially reduce the plastic waste from the factories. One person disposes on average 2 plastic bags. So if we have one canteen at the factory that targets the 5000 workers who are working in it, then we could reduce up to 10,000 plastic bags every day. So if we can run one canteen each at the 500 factory across Phnom Penh city, we will be able to reduce nearly 1 billion plastic bags every year. This will contribute to a cleaner and greener environment. Water and soil around the factories will be less contaminated.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

This business is expected to be implemented in early October after we got funding from SIF YSE business plan competition in Singapore. Basically, the activities of CSGF include setting up a canteen directly in the factory, hire several cook to cook and serve the workers in the factory. We will hire the existing vendors who are selling street food around the factory because we do not want to take their job. The revenue stream is earnt from selling the food to the workers. The value proposition is nutritious and delicious food at the most affordable price possible. The key value of CSGF is the quality of the food like nutrition level, sanitation, and the hygienic dining area. Key partners include factory owners, consumers who are the factory workers themselves, ingredient suppliers, Cambodia Ministry of Environment, and the Better Factory Cambodia. Financial sources include personal money, family investment, grant from the competition and investment from potential investor who are interested in improving the life of Cambodia poor garment workers.Th start up cost for this business is around 60,000 USD$. After 3 years, we will be able to set up another canteen in another factory, and by years we hope to be able to set up one canteen each for the 500 factories in Phnom Penhh City.

Your profile

I am a graduate from Institute of Foreign Languages and University of Cambodia respectively. I was born on 21 September, 1993. My bachelor degrees majors are Law and International Studies, but Ive grown to be attracted to entrepreneurship, social businesses and the idea of running business to tackle social issues. Last year, I took part in Singapore International Foundation Young Social Entrepreneur Program and got shortlisted as the top 12 potential team to run for the final round in October this year. My shortlisted social business is CSGF, the idea that Im applying for this program. I have joined workshops, trainings, and received mentorship to refine my social business in Singapore from McKinsey & Company, and went for an entrepreneurship study trip to Mumbai, India. I have built network with other young social entrepreneurs in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and talk with successful business people during the Mumbai Connect of my study trip in India, the entrepreneurship global forum in East London, South Africa, and Asian Women Entrepreneurs in Thailand. I have learnt, get inspired and motivated by the idea of social business. I see this chronic human issue that Cambodian poor factory workers are facing, and I have this business idea, ready to be implemented, to help lift them out of such bad conditions and live with dignity.

Stage of Idea

start-up stage

Your idea has a positive impact on

environment, health, poverty reduction, sustainable trade, empowerment of women

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June 24, 2014 09:49

Generally, the owner of many garment factories take their workers for granted. Therefore, I find this idea worth to be made happen because it cares about the workers' health. I wholeheartedly vote for this.