At-home Mom to Digital Media Entrepreneur in Three Years: Soriya’s Story


អត្ថបទ​នេះមានជាភាសា៖ kmខ្មែរ


By Georgi Simpkin

Communications Consultant

Soriya’s journey from mom to business entrepreneur in just three years is remarkable. She emulates positivity, determination and a kind of attitude you want to bottle and sell. As a first impression, you can tell this is someone who has not only worked hard to get where she is but also worked smart.

Before Soriya Um joined the Development Innovations Basic Social Media training course in 2017, she was already generating a monthly income from YouTube and Google Advertising of around $400-1000. “When I was at home looking after my two kids, I was on the internet every day. I think, how can I make money from technology? I learn on the internet and I do it. But no one encouraged me to be a business woman and to build a company.”

Today, Soriya is the MD and founder of Suria Digital Marketing and Suria Green. However, when she attended the Social Media Training, she was just starting out as a freelance Social Media consultant. She describes, “What I learned from the training is that DI is very professional but very simple and easy to understand. Even me… I can understand all that they mean.”

Like many Cambodian women, Soriya took time out of work to raise her two children. When she returned to work 7 years later, it was met with mixed feelings from her family, “When I started freelancing my family doesn’t agree with me, they think I can’t do it. Everyone said I had to be the housewife my whole life. But I never give up. I keep dreaming and one day I can do what I want.” And do it she did. Suria Digital Marketing agency, founded in 2017, now employs 10 people, they offer IT solutions as well as digital marketing services. Suria Green, just three months old, already has more than 40 customers and looks set to thrive.

Two years after her DI training, Soriya still has the Social Media Training handout, well used and clearly well looked after. She keenly explains how important this black and white, double sided print out has been to her business and also her client’s businesses. “Everything for my social media strategy and process for my customers comes from here [DI Social Media Training handbook],” says Soriya. “Before I go to DI I have customers but I don’t know how to manage their FB pages very well. DI help me to know how to create an action plan for Facebook and help me to professionalize my Social Media services,” continues Soriya.

Despite her success in business, Soriya initially lacked confidence in her social media ability. She speaks fondly of moments during the Development Innovations Social Media Training when she realized how much she did know. “When they train, there are a lot of things that I know and a lot of new things that excited me so much,” says Soriya.

Graduating from the DI course was a pivotal moment for her career, especially when she shared her success on Social Media: “After I graduate from DI, I posted my graduation picture on Facebook with my certificate. Many people contacted me and offered me work. After the training I am able to increase my rates to my new clients, to offer them more professional services. They believe in me; they trust me and know I can do a professional job.”

As her freelance social media client base grew, so did her ambition. After attending the launch of Ngeay Ngeay, a Development Innovations funded project with SHE Investments to provide free information online on how to register a business, Soriya was inspired to start up her own company. From this encounter, she later enrolled on the SHE Investments Accelerator program and worked with the team to set up Suria Digital Marketing Agency. “I have my businesses today because of DI and SHE Investments”.

Soriya has some advice for others who are struggling with their businesses or project, saying, “Everything we do today is the result of what we did and what we have done. So, if we want a better tomorrow, we need to make today the best. Everything is on our self. Everything is possible if we want it.” Wise words from a hugely self-reliant and ambitious woman and certainly one to watch in the future.