A recent publication released by Energising Development (EnDev) and implementation partner SNV Netherlands Development Organisation highlights the impact a cookstoves project in Cambodia had on job creation and engagement of the private sector in a newly created market for clean biomass cookstoves.
The "Employment and Investment Survey" finds that more than 600 jobs were created in the two-year time span since the start of the project. Of 115 full-time and 494 part-time jobs created, 41% of jobs are held by women and 23% by youth under 30 years old. Jobs were created across five countries - including Cambodia, Indonesia, Lesotho, Vietnam, and China - and occur in different functions in the supply chain for clean biomass cookstoves, such as sales, production, accounting, and management.
In addition, the survey finds that over USD $660,000 in enterprise investments were leveraged by the project, with companies making a range of investments in production assets, raw materials, workforce training, marketing and sales, and enterprise management systems in order to engage in the newly created market. Their participation in the market, in turn, led the companies to generate over USD $1.3m in revenues from cookstoves sales.
These impacts were measured among nine of the most active project participant enterprises. Next to increased sales revenues and larger workforces, the enterprises also reported additional benefits they experienced from their participation in the project. These included expansion to new markets and growth of distribution channels, improved cookstove products and greater product variety, and improved skills and confidence in fields such as international trade, marketing, sales, and financial management.
International cookstove manufacturers participating in the project expressed that the RBF project assisted them to and lowered their risk in venturing into a new and previously unknown market. Cambodian last-mile energy distribution companies, on the other hand, lauded that the project enabled them to gain access to a new type of cookstove product that was previously unavailable to them and has now become a key product, diversify their product portfolio, grow their sales revenues, and expand their last-mile distribution structures.
Assessing project participants’ outlook for their future engagement in this market, the survey finds that international manufacturers now consider Cambodia a priority market, with imminent plans for investments in local production and/or assembly of clean cookstoves. Local last-mile distributors anticipate further engagement in the market and further growth of their workforce, pending the establishment of local production/assembly facilities for clean cookstoves.