Phare Circus

South Asia
Last update

Phare Performing Social Enterprise was established as a private limited company (social enterprise) in 2013 derived from the NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak founded in 1994. Phare gives circus performances and generates income opportunities for those involved in the company through the Phare Creative Studio (illustration, painting, video, graphic design, and animation), the handicraft boutique and the coffee shop. 

Inclusive Business Model

Phare Performing Social Enterprise has 120 laborers in the circus, including 70 performing artists and 12 visual artists (graphic designers/animators). It provides better compensation and social protection schemes to its employees than its peers. Most of the employees come from poor or even very poor households. However, as only 120 persons are directly involved in the company, the overall reach is small. Providing a decent income to only 120 people is not fully sufficient to qualify as IB. 
Phare Performing Social Enterprise also purchases products from more than 1,000 poor and low-income producers to sell them in its shops before and after the performances. 

Creating income opportunities for the poor by buying from them is not the core intent of the company, and there is also no business strategy to ensure producers 
get better market rates or can expand their sales (through Phare or other channels). 

Phare Performing Social Enterprise also provides, on a non-commercial basis, training to low-income people. As a social enterprise, Phare Performing Social Enterprise uses its net profits to finance the educational fees of 1,200 pupils attending public schools and 500 students attending vocational arts training programs in Battambang province. 
For Phare Performing Social Enterprise, this training program is at the core of being a social enterprise, although others may see that more as a CSR activity. Phare Performing Social Enterprise also considers that as a social enterprise it is not commercially oriented.