Social entrepreneurship has taken off in Cambodia where those looking to bring social change to the country are increasingly finding such rewards in the path to profits.
A boutique in Phnom Penh trains HIV-positive women to hand-craft fashion, while an organic rice farm has improved the yield and livelihood of the farmer. Both ventures illustrate that the key to a better Cambodia comes from embracing a more enlightened market-based model.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) – The hunt for heat is part of the lure of many Asian cuisines. China has its addictive, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn. Thailand has the "do I dare" burn of the bird's eye chili.
In Cambodia, heat comes in the form of a Kampot peppercorn, tiny but bursting with spice and an additional depth that ranges from citrus to nutty.
Grown in the Kampot province in Southern Cambodia, this special pepper reached its hey-day in the mid-20th century, when chefs in Europe prized its unique strength and flavor.
The pepper disappeared off the world stage though in the 1970s, when the destructive Khmer Rouge regime isolated Cambodia from the outside world. Farmers neglected their pepper fields and exports from Cambodia were cut off. FULL POST
Labor costs in Cambodia are cheaper than China, Vietnam or Thailand. That has helped foreign companies like U.S. stuffed toy maker "First & Main" stay profitable, but the biggest challenge for many businesses is finding an educated workforce for more skilled jobs.
Can Cambodia’s education system keep pace with the ambitions of businesses and investors and continue to foster a growing middle class?
(CNN) – You're starting your holiday and you get on a chartered plane that brings you to a private island. Then you check into your private villa with an endless view of the ocean. If you choose, your only visitor can be the gourmet chef who comes over to cook your meals every day. This is not the Seychelles. This is Cambodia.
That's the vision Rory and Melita Hunter have for anyone dreaming of the ultimate luxury experience. They plan to open Song Saa resort on December 31. It will be the first luxury resort on a private island in Cambodia.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) – The most common image of Cambodia is the land of ancient temples and budget travelers. There's now something else putting Cambodia on the map: foreign investors.
Cambodia's devastating recent history set the country back a generation. From 1975-78, the Communist Khmer Rouge killed intellectuals, destroyed the education system and pushed for an agrarian society that required families to be uprooted and separated.
By the end of the terror, between 1.7 million to 3 million Cambodians are estimated to have died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. The Vietnamese occupation that followed and civil war between a weakened Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian government also stripped the country of stability for another two decades.
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