The LGBTI movement in Cambodia continues to expand and grow in strength despite still being relatively new. Many LGBTI Cambodians are not economically independent and the LGBTI movement does not have sufficient tools to overcome the existing prejudices that continue to deprive LGBTI people from access to employment. As a result, LGBTI people are confined to poor living conditions and limited opportunities for socialising making them all the more vulnerable.
In May 2017, Micro Rainbow organised the first monthly meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with 15 LGBTI people who needed support to start a small business and others who wanted to understand more about how to become economically active and live independently.
At the meeting, some of those small entrepreneurs who have started a small business thanks to the support of MRI shared their experience, the challenges, good practices, and gave some recommendation to those who were thinking of starting a small income generating activity.
Barang, a gay man from Kandal province said “I am opening a massage shop and it was really empowering for me to share my own experience and to learn from the experience of other LGBT small entrepreneurs. In the future I want to expand my business to include other health services and products”.
The meeting included a two hours training from local experts on how to save, how to open a saving account and on how saving can help preventing LGBTI people from falling back into poverty.