Small and medium enterprise development

Supporting Cambodian MSMEs to Build Resilience for Post-COVID-19

The ILO's technical cooperation project to support 500 micro-small-medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Cambodia through business resilience and digitalization for the new era of post-COVID-19.

Small business owner, cooking and selling street foods in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. © Shutterstock


The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has dramatically changed our global society and economic environment. To control the spread of the COVID-19 virus, governments have imposed various preventative measures and taken policy actions, necessary for safety and health of communities, yet which have a strong negative impact on vulnerable small business owners with limited capacity for business continuity. In Cambodia, where 70 per cent of the population work in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), there is considerable demand for support to build resilience and capacity to survive in this disrupted business environment. This project will address the needs of MSME supports in Cambodia with partnering with the Government of Japan through the ILO/Japan Fund for Building Social Safety Nets in Asia and the Pacific (SSN Fund).

Objective and expected outcomes

The overall objective of this project is to strengthen Cambodian MSMEs’ business resilience to maintain operations and employment, and contribute to Cambodia’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The project will seek to achieve these objectives by providing: 1) business resilience support; and 2) support to accelerate the digitalization of businesses and support services.

Outcome 1: Local partners of the ILO are capacitated and provide business resilience trainings for MSME owners
  • Training tools and supporting materials are developed to provide business resilience trainings
  • Local partners are equipped with training tools and capacitated to provide business resilience training for MSMEs
  • Business workshops are conducted and/or supported to facilitate opportunities to connect local partners and MSMEs in need of trainings
Outcome 2: MSME owners and service providers acquire knowledge and skills to digitalize their businesses
  • Digitalization toolkits are developed and delivered to MSME owners through collaborating partners
  • Market data and relevant information for digitalization are assembled and shared for MSME owners through networks of collaborating partners, as well as through online channels and platforms
With those expected results, the project aims to benefit 500 MSME business owners in Cambodia.

MSME business resilience in Asia-Pacific

This project will be part of a larger, regional effort of the ILO to strengthen MSME business resilience, linking to ongoing efforts in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Lao People's Democratic Republic. As such, this project will benefit from other programmes while also feeding into these other efforts with lessons learned, knowledge and tools to generate synergies and maximize impacts for beneficiaries. Specifically, this project will collaborate with following projects:
As one of collaborative efforts, MSME & Business Resilience video series have been developed. This video series invite various MSME owners in the Asia Pacific countries and international experts in business-related fields to share key tips for MSME owners to sustain and develop their businesses for during and post COVID-19.


For further information please contact:

Mr Akira Kawasaki
Junior Professional Officer on Entrepreneurship and SME Development
ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific

Ms Chann Shouly
National Project Coordinator in Cambodia
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific