Soran, a young entrepreneur dedicated to the preservation of Khmer puppetry.

Soran’s Art, a social enterprise, creates unique puppet faces. The goal of this venture is to instill a positive sense of identity in the young generation of Cambodians by preserving traditional art and creating job opportunities through it. 

Soran and his team decided to launch this innovative concept after discovering that it is an ideal profession that matches their interests and can also contribute to the preservation of traditional Khmer art.

Here is his journey in his own words.

I was born in the Siem Reap Province’s Prasat Bakong District, and my home is close to the temple. I presently work as a startup entrepreneur and artist, sculpting puppets. In 2015, after I visited Bamboo Stage hall, I got the opportunity to display and sell my puppet carvings. I’ve been asked by Nick, the Director, to attend a Scramble Paper event.  At that time, I began considering remodeling my puppet carving to produce larger new products.

The art of making Khmer puppets is dwindling these days. It influenced me to preserve this great Khmer tradition and turn it into a business by employing local artists. 

We decided to form a group. To diversify our business, we decided to focus on bronze and copper, stone carving, leather art, hand painting, workshops, puppet show presentations, and concept design based on the needs of our customers.

I enjoy working hard and achieving my goals. Before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, I started planning for a fire puppet show and working on my business concept. I continued my search for entrepreneurial short courses and found Enterprise Vision (Phum Impact Siem Reap), which was funded by Khmer Enterprise as part of the Enterprise Solution Finder Cohort 1 initiative.

I successfully completed the course and learned more about entrepreneurial skills and how to apply them in real-world business.

Furthermore, when we launched this business, we experienced additional challenges. We focused on meeting the needs of our customers. Even if we are still in the initial stages, we always examine what our clients require from us and how to deliver the products that meet their needs.

We’re working on a few projects and would like to restart the puppet show, which focuses on environmental and waste management issues. Our other project is to organize a puppet show festival in Siem Reap to help the local economy.

What I learned in my life is, Entrepreneurs must have strong leadership and a well-defined master plan (vision, mission, product, and a solid business plan).

In my opinion, learning something new requires patience and time. Learn how to start a business, manage a team, attract customers, and manage your finances. Young entrepreneurs must become more aware of their personalities, tasks, and customer bases. You should look into how entrepreneurship addresses social issues.

We are a team of art entrepreneurs who believe that art and culture are the foundations of a country and are committed to preserving them.

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