Ptea Teuk Dong Social Enterprise Project





Clarke Ballard, Rotary Club of Balwyn member, traveled to Cambodia to investigate the possibility of funding a social enterprise with Ptea Teuk Dong (PTD).

Ptea Teuk Dong is a non-government organisation based in the town of Battambang, north-western Cambodia, about 3.5 hours’ drive from Siem Reap. Its name translates as House Water Coconut, coconut water being renowned in Cambodia for its healing properties.

Ptea Don Tev (the house of Grandma Tev) is an almost 200-year-old house located in Don Tev village, about 7 km from central Battambang and half way between Battambang and the Ek Phnom Temple. The village is the only area in Battambang producing rice-paper used in spring rolls.

The project is to establish:

  •  a restaurant serving traditional Cambodian dishes, but a little more upmarket than most local restaurants and offering organic fruit and vegetables;
  • an art/craft gallery to promote local artists;
  • a small community market, including a weekly farmers’ market; and
  • a training centre for people producing products for the market.

The aim is to enable the local community to service the tourism industry and create local employment and income from tourism.
Considerable work has already gone into the project, and the following points are relevant:

  •  Battambang is increasingly a tourist destination and Ptea Don Tev is well situated to take advantage of this;
  •  The area of the property (0.2 ha or half an acre) is adequate for the activities proposed;
  •  A ten-year lease has been negotiated for the property. The owner is a fairly wealthy Cambodian and well disposed towards the project. He may agree to sell the site to PDT in the future but, in any case, ten years is enough to recover the proposed sunk capital;
  •  Three leading tour organisers have agreed to look at including the destination in their tour itineraries;
  •  A well-regarded restaurant in Battambang Central has agreed to train the proposed restaurant staff;
  •  The project is sustainable in that, after a start-up period which will need some working capital for which provision has been made, it should more than cover costs. This will lead to (modest) net funds generated for PTD that will be used to finance other projects.

The project is not yet at a stage where a firm recommendation to support it can be made. However, the Rotary Club of Balwyn’s International Committee is very supportive of the project.

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