As a committed responsible tourism outfit, our guests regularly ask us which other responsible businesses they can support during their stay in Cambodia. The following list of recommendations are some of our favourite social enterprises that we regularly support as part of our longer trips. Join us on a multi-day educational adventure to sample these inspirational businesses, or support them in addition to a day tour or two with Ayana!
Marum – Whilst providing exciting training opportunities to marginalised youth through Friends International, Marum is a beautiful restaurant in a garden setting, serving up Khmer fusion cuisine. During your meal, learn about Friends’ programs to support local young people and their families, and how as a responsible traveller you can support child protection in Cambodia.
Haven – “Where helping tastes good” is their tagline, and it sums up nicely this restaurant with a heart. This training restaurant provides opportunities for young adults transitioning from residential care through their apprenticeship scheme.
Spoons Café – This beautifully designed cafe is built with sustainable bamboo, boasts one of our favourite menus, and is run by the hospitality training NGO EGBOK.
Soria Moria Boutique Hotel – This social enterprise hotel has been globally recognised as a pioneering example of employee-ownership. All staff are shareholders in the hotel as well as having access to a centralised education fund for continuous professional development.
Friends or Romdeng – Similar to Marum, these charming restaurants are also run by Friends International and follow the same philosophy to support marginalised youth through training and employment, whilst showcasing the best of Cambodian fare.
Tonlé – This inspirational zero waste fashion brand is breaking the mould of the garment industry. Their environmentally conscious philosophy and commitment to fair employment makes their Cambodia-inspired clothing even more beautiful.
Coco Khmer – Many people don’t realise that Coco Khmer’s beautiful coconut oil based body products are made by women from an underserved community inPhnom Penh, many of whom were displaced during the controversial Boeung Kak lake development project. Coconut oils are derived from sustainable sources that aim to preserve natural resources.
Cambodian Creations – This cute little shop sells jewellery from Khmer Creations, toys from Cambodia Knits, and more. All goods sold are from enterprises empowering women or disadvantaged communities through responsible business.
Soksabike – Enjoy cycling tours into Battambang’s surrounding countryside, led by local students who receive training opportunities through work, and are supported to fund their studies by this award-winning bicycle tour social enterprise. Like us, they are passionate about educational travel; tours include meaningful connections with local communities with the opportunity to learn about rural livelihoods.
Jaan Bai – Apart from being arguably the best restaurant in town, meals in Jaan Bai help fund the inspirational work of local NGO Cambodian Children’s Trust. CCT share our values on child protection and together we raise awareness of the often negative impacts of orphanage and volunteer tourism.
Kinyei – Our favourite coffee shop located on a pretty side street, Kinyei serves delicious signature beverages and provides employment opportunities to local youth.
Dorsu – Fabric for their clothing collection is sourced from remnant suppliers in Phnom Penh, left overs from the wasteful global garment industry. Purchase their fashion items in Kampot, which are produced under strong ethics including fair and safe employment.
Epic Arts Café – The Kampot based inclusive arts NGO run this colourful cafe in the heart of town. Most of the staff are deaf, and customers can order via a checklist menu and introduced to sign language to communicate with the team.
Hefalump Café – This ecotourism information hub serves up great cakes and coffee, and is run in partnership with local responsible tourism operators. Visit the cafe in the heart of Sen Monorom to plan your Mondulkiri adventures with organisations with conservation at the heart of what they do.
CRDTours – Run by Cambodia Rural Development Team, their tours department provides community-based activities including rural homestays and their Kratie-based Le Tonlé Restaurant & Guesthouse. All offerings aim to bring inclusive tourism benefits to the local community, and environmental education opportunities that contribute to conservation.
For more information on socially responsible businesses in the Kingdom of Wonder, check out Social Enterprise Cambodia’s interactive map.