Merging markets and philanthropy in Cambodia
The team at Gerard and Hana’s social enterprise, Catalyst Microfranchising, is delighted to realize a long-held goal of setting up a fried & grilled chicken retail stall in Cambodia. This means Catalyst can now sell chickens produced by ultra-poor family farmers in the programme (microfranchisees) direct to the public for a 50% higher price than selling to suppliers.
Catalyst’s capable field officer Chariya came up with a delicious traditional Khmer lime-infused recipe for the chicken and Sang Sang, a hard-working local resident in Chhouk was brought on board to manage the grilled chicken sales. The challenge now is to carefully balance both production and consumer demand. It’s early days still, but they’re selling around 13 chickens a day at the moment and they hope that will grow significantly over time.
A key element of the programme is developing a whole supply chain, and linking marginalized producers with markets they have never been able to access before. It starts with supplying ultra-poor villagers with inputs (commercial-breed chickens, vaccines and feed they would not be able to access as individual small-holders), then providing training and support, organizing the pick-up and processing of fully grown chickens and finally selling the chickens on behalf of the producers. The programme is already making a difference. Twenty-eight year old Mr Vuthy from Sro Nge village explains: “I put what I learned from project staff in practice and I got good harvest using less capital. I want to expand chicken-raising as I consider it will be the main income for my family.”
Prayer points if you’d like to help Gerard & Hana include: success with the grilled chicken enterprise to increase profits for the producers; and funding support for Gerard to meet up with field staff and producers in Cambodia.
You can also support the programme by making a general donation towards the $810.00 it will cost to build a further 18 chicken coops for new microfranchisees via Catalyst’s website.
Gerard and Hana are the founders and CEO of Catalyst Microfranchising. Members of St Paul's since 2006, their vision began in 2009 after spending four months in Cambodia. Their mission is providing profitable microbusinesses to Cambodia’s ultra-poor, supplying business & agricultural advice, access to markets and involvement in the national franchise programme. Four years on, there are now 50 microfranchisees, helping the locals double their daily income; there are also community programmes which assist and equip families including education on human trafficking and sending their children to school.