Korean-backed National Incubation Center of Cambodia (NICC) has hosted its second networking night for Cambodia’s developing start-up sector highlighting the $7.9 million facilities planned for 2023 will not just be for RUPP students but the entire startup ecosystem.
Speaking at the event Mr. Rho Hyunjun, Country Director of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Cambodia office said the development organization puts much emphasis on supporting Cambodia with four priority sectors including education.
“Under this main theme, the NICC is now established to encourage the creation and growth of technology-oriented startup businesses and they are now infusing the country’s economy with renewed vigor and innovation,” he said.
“We do hope the event will become a bridge for all participants (startups, experts, industries, investors, governmental sectors) to find possible collaboration and cooperation to work together in the near future,” he added.
Better preparing students for the real-word transition
In 2018, KOICA visited Cambodia to work out the details of the project for the establishment of the National Incubation Center of Cambodia to develop Cambodia’s new startups and economic growth acceleration.
Last year, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) granted $7.9 million to the Royal University of Phnom Penh to build a specialized incubation business hub for its students. To read more about the facility click here.
The center will be located on the grounds of RUPP and will aim to shift students’ mindsets away from simply passing exams to increasing employability metrics and meeting the needs of the private sector.
Mr. Kean Tak, the Vice-rector of RUPP highlighted that NICC is not established for only RUPP, but for all students, entrepreneurs, startups, and communities in Cambodia. For moving faster and great achievements we need strong collaborations from all stakeholders.
Dr. Srun Sovila, Director of NICC added, that the event was designed to bring governmental sectors, startups, experts, and investors closer together the NICC building located in RUPP will finish building construction in 2023 and the NICC will be happy to welcome everyone then.
The grant aims to develop the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and the digital economy – a major factor for Cambodia to achieve its ambitious aim of becoming an upper-middle-income nation goal by 2030 and match regional neighbors Thailand and Malaysia.
Developing Cambodia’s digital economy
For Cambodia, the digital transformation is about adopting and capturing, and maximizing the benefits of advances in Information and Communication Technology and digital technology to increase productivity and economic efficiency, boost the national economic growth.
To develop Cambodia’s economy, the government has introduced a series of inter-institutional policies and measures, including the Cambodian Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025, small and medium enterprise development policy, measures on SME incentives, the launch of online business registration platform, support mechanisms in the form of funds and institutions.
According to a 2021 National Bank of Cambodia survey the slow speed and high price of the Internet were identified as the main challenges, followed by the unstable and high price of electricity.
“Moreover, major concerns among youths include hacking, scams, and data protection by firms. Less than half of the respondents claimed that they know what a digital economy is, and their provided definitions are mostly restricted to online businesses and transactions,” the report found.
“On a positive side, almost all of the respondents agreed that it is beneficial for Cambodia to transform itself into a digital economy, and around 85% indicated that they will use more digital platforms, goods and services in the future, signaling a tremendous potential for developing Cambodia’s digital economy,” it added.