The Greenery

Yesterday, I posted about Mekong Blue—a brand of silk scarves that supports a social enterprise for women in northeastern Cambodia. It’s a simple concept that’s on the rise—social entrepreneur sees problem, addresses it in a small-scale way that merges nonprofit and business models…and changes lives.

In the case of Mekong Blue (the brand/products) and the Stung Treng Women’s Development Center (the nonprofit part), the problem is that women suffer disproportionately from poverty in places like rural Cambodia.

It’s a perfect storm of disadvantages: Rural families often send boys to school while expecting girls to work at home and to marry very young. Boys are encouraged to become financially self-sufficient, while girls are steered toward becoming wives and mothers. And the child-rearing falls mostly to women. But what happens to a woman and her kids if her husband falls ill or dies? Or if he’s an addict, an abuser…

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