Bed maker Tit Chrey in his home workshop
Prior to joining the Village Entrepreneur program, bed maker Tit Chrey could produce one bed frame a week by hand in his home workshop. With his wife, four children and father-in-law to support, daily life was a challenge.
The moment he became a Village Entrepreneur, Chrey was able to extend his workshop – in his province of Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia – and invest in power tools, timber, motors, oils, saws, hammers, axes, and a trailer to transport his beds.
The result? An incredible tripling of his income.
As profits grew, Chrey extended his house to accommodate his large family, and send his oldest children, ranging from 5 to 13, to school.
“I want my children to study hard,” said Chrey. “I cannot read well, so I do not want them to be like me, I want them to get better jobs, and I am happy now as all of my children are getting good study results, good grades in class.”
Chrey also uses his profits to support his supplementary rice farming business, investing in a ploughing machine, fertilizer and seeds. And he is just about to embark on a new chicken raising business, with 45 chickens.
Life has taken a whole new direction for Chrey’s family: his thriving micro-enterprise has meant new bikes for his children to get to school, uniforms, stationery, extra English lessons – and now that he has installed a power line, they have electric light to study by.
A Village Entrepreneur in every sense, Chrey understands the importance of planning ahead: “I am saving the profits to improve my house next year by putting up concrete pillars, building a new room and a storage area underneath where I can keep my working materials and other household items.”
“I just want the other Village Entrepreneurs to work as hard as I did on their supported businesses, so we can change our living standards, and the supporters will be happy as well.”
“Finally, I just want to say I am really happy with the program support, and I wish all Australian people good health and success in their works.”
Good luck to you too, Chrey!