Television Series To Teach Business Skills Entrepreneurs Business Training Entrepreneurs

A television series designed to help entrepreneurs “excel in all facets of business” was launched last week by the Mekong Private Sector Development Facility.

The MPDF recently conducted a survey in which business owners ranked training as their second-greatest need after affordable financing.

“After nearly 30 years of war and isolation in Cambodia, the owners and managers of small companies have had little opportunity to learn about business skills,” said John McKenzie, MPDF’s manager of business development programs.

The facility, which is funded by the World Bank, the Asian Deve­lopment Bank and 10 developed countries, decided to launch the “Business Edge” television series after its research showed that people nationwide are more likely to get information from television than any other medium.

The show, scheduled to air every Thursday at 9 pm on TV3, will focus on finance, marketing, human resource management and quality improvement, which McKenzie called the “four pillars” of business.

“These are like the legs of a table,” he said. “If one leg is weak, the table will not stand properly.”

With Cambodia now approved to join the World Trade Organ­ization, businesses need to be­come competitive on the global mar­ket, said Mario Fischel, re­gional general manager of the MPDF.

“Thailand and Vietnam are so com­petitive, so Cambodia needs a lot of basic knowledge such as bus­iness skills, a quality banking sys­tem and good management,” Fis­chel said. “Vietnam supplies a lot of goods here because [Cam­bodia] cannot produce many goods.”

In addition to the television series, the MPDF released a set of 20 workbooks, selling for less than $2 each, that cover finance and accounting, quality improvement and personal productivity skills, such as effective writing, problem solving and public speaking.

While the MPDF cited affordable financing as the most urgent need of business owners, Cana­dia Bank announced last week that it has received more than $1 million to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises through a grant from a German bank to the Ministry of Finance.

The maximum loan will be for $200,000 over 10 years, bank off­icials said. The interest rate will be 6 per­cent per month, of which 5 percent will go to the Finance Ministry.

Restaurants, import-export companies, handicraft makers, fish-processing plants and other businesses that employ more than 100 employees are the preferred borrowers, said Yee Cong Long, Canadia Bank’s financial controller.

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