Khmer Sedge Designs (KSD) is a social enterprise in Cambodia that produces traditional weaved handicrafts made of all-natural sedge grass, with a distinct cultural and economic mission.
The enterprise started in 1980 as a family business that produces traditional grass mats, in the village home of Ms. Sreng Ly Leng, in Ksach Kandal district, Kandal province. From the outset, the business has sought to provide employment for local women and preserve the art and skills of weaving, as well as traditional Khmer designs.
From this start, KSD has succeeded to unite over 300 scattered individuals in supply chain of this handicraft in the Kandal region, amplifying the economic benefits for all involved. By joining the network, independent workers are able to depend on a more stable monthly income. All workers are employed from home or at the workshop located in the village. There is also a representative office/show room in Phnom Penh.
KSD has succeeded in implementing quality standards and formalizing its production processes, which has increased the quality of its products and their value to end-customers. Consequently, up to 90% of its products are now exported, where higher margins can be attained, to the benefit of the entire value-chain and network of local producers.
The enterprise aims to increase the living standards of all the artisans in the sedge value chain in the region, as well as preserving traditional skills and handicrafts.
KSD generates employment for mostly women, which enables them to stay and work from home and earn additional income. Without this opportunity, women tend to leave home for weeks at a time to take up temporary employment in garment factories. Such labour is less remunerative for them and deprives households. With KSD, women can work from home, earn more and keep looking after their children and families.
UBERIS Capital provided strategic and operational advice along with an early-stage loan, as part of a larger investment including convertible debt and equity from co-investors.