Inspired by their grandmother’s entrepreneurial resilience during the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s, twin sisters Meyka and Meyta Chea have enrolled at Nottingham University Business School in the hope of following her entrepreneurial lead.
Meyka and Meyta’s grandmother Kuy Van managed to build businesses over and over again to support her family while living under the rule of Cambodia’s Pol Pot. That’s why – despite never living outside their native country before – the 21-year-old sisters chose Nottingham’s MSc in Entrepreneurship to help maximise their business potential.
Meyka said: “Our grandmother is a very entrepreneurial type person. She is very confident and looks for all the opportunities around her. During her life she has faced many problems – including the Khmer Rouge Genocide."
The twins’ grandmother owned a jewellery shop and then, following the genocide, sold jewellery at a large local market in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. And so, from a very early age, the twins saw how to build a business from scratch.
Meyta said: “She did not run any big businesses, but to us my grandfather and grandmother are very admirable. They raised eight children and eight nieces and nephews; and, while some Cambodian people didn’t value education then, my grandparents saw its importance and sent all 16 children to school.
“My grandmother managed to save the lives of all the children and after the regime ended she could start over her business again from zero. Later in her life she was robbed and lost all the money again. Seeing another business opportunity, she had to force herself and my grandfather to move to another province and left her children in the city for education. After a few years doing business in the province, she earned quite a lot of money and was able to move back to the city to live with her children.”
The 21-year-old twins – who dress similarly and spend most of their time together – make most of their decisions as a pair. In fact, they also studied the same undergraduate degrees back in Cambodia.
Meyta said: “We don’t mind doing things separately, but most of the time we have similar interests – we always discuss our future plan and choices with each other. That’s why we always choose the same things, including university.”
Despite having never lived outside Cambodia, the twins – after weeks of research – decided that Nottingham’s course was the best option for helping them to achieve their goals.
Meyta said: “Through my rigorous search for the right programme in my selected field, I discovered The University of Nottingham offers the best programme available. The University can enrich me with a set of core analytical and technical skills of business approaches and decision making applicable to Cambodian companies.”
Photo: Meyka and Meyta Chea.
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