Cambodia Investment Review

Cambodia’s Ecosystem Strengthening Conference 2023 (CAMESCO23) Inspires Entrepreneurial Network Collaboration and Investment

Cambodia’s Ecosystem Strengthening Conference 2023 (CAMESCO23) Inspires Entrepreneurial Network Collaboration and Investment

Cambodia Investment Review

Cambodia’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strengthening Conference 2023 (CAMESCO23), was held with approximately 180 participants from close to 90 institutions and organizations. This year, CAMESCO23 was proudly organized under the “Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investment (3Ei)” initiative, a collaborative effort co-financed by Khmer Enterprise (KE), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). This initiative is co-implemented by Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact.

H.E. Dr. Vanmunin Chhieng, CEO of Khmer Enterprise.

The annual event founded in 2022 was designed to create a network of like-minded stakeholders dedicated to enhancing Cambodia’s entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem, bringing together local, regional, and international participants within the entrepreneurial development community. The conference served as a platform for addressing challenges and exploring opportunities to build Cambodia’s robust and appealing entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem.

Read more: Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem strengthening is underway with CAMESCO 2022

Independent Actors Who Work to Complement Each Other

H.E. Dr. Chhieng Vanmunin, Chief Executive Officer of Khmer Enterprise said “Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is in the kick-off stage and has sought to collaborate, however, some activities remain loosely connected. The ecosystem is a complex network of independent actors who work to complement each other to ensure the entrepreneurial processes are well-connected and supported. To scale fast, we need more of the business birth rate, the number of high potential growth firms, serial entrepreneurs with ambition, and supportive functions including public sector agencies, investors, ESOs, financial institutions, and universities to enhance the higher levels of entrepreneurial activities resulting in economic growth and job creation.”

Mr. Markus Buerli, Director, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

CAMESCO23 aims to enhance Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by summarizing the year’s initiatives, including the progress of Give A Day and 5-year Cambodian entrepreneurial ecosystem roadmap, promoting Gender Lens Investing, showcasing global initiatives, and introducing the blended financing instrument and creating a fertile ground for investment. It caters to various stakeholders, providing resources and opportunities for collaboration. Additionally, it offers insights into Cambodia’s entrepreneurial landscape, fosters connections, and supports entrepreneurial success. CAMESCO23 also presents Gender Lens Investing findings and discussions on inclusive ecosystem development, solidifying its mission to strengthen Cambodia’s entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem.

Stakeholders Connect, Share Insights, and Explore Collaboration

Rajiv Pradhan, Country Director of Swisscontact said “In 2022, CAMESCO began as a humble initiative to strengthen Cambodia’s entrepreneurial scene. Today, it stands as an annual gathering for local and global stakeholders to connect, share insights, and explore collaboration. The success achieved so far speaks to the growing interest in building Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Looking ahead, the aspiration is for CAMESCO to attract regional ecosystem actors, expanding its impact on entrepreneurship in the years to come.”

Ms. Jung Won Che, Deputy Country Director, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Ms Ayaka Matsuno, Director of Gender Investment & Innovation Programme, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

CAMESCO23’s program included notable presentations, such as insights on global accelerator effectiveness and best practices; Accelerating the Growth of a Vibrant, Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in the Philippines, insights into gender lens investing, and an exploration of trends, challenges, and opportunities of blended finance in ASEAN.

Read more: 19th Give a Day Wraps Up 2023, Thanking Keynote Participants & The Growing Cambodian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Creating Strong and Sustainable Investment Pipelines

Additionally, the conference featured two-panel discussions on critical topics. The first panel, “Using Blended Financial Instruments for SMEs,” delved into innovative methods to mobilize private capital for entrepreneurs, including grant and concessional financing, focusing on developing the investment pipeline. The second panel, “Developing Promising Pipelines,” engaged in a discussion about creating strong and sustainable investment pipelines within Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. These presentations and panel discussions have provided valuable insights and solutions to drive entrepreneurship and investment in Cambodia.

Introducing How Blended Finance Works Panel Discussion.

CAMESCO23 is an event of immense significance in Cambodia’s journey towards building a thriving entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem. The conference has become an annual platform for local and international stakeholders to meet, share insights, wrap up current programs, and explore opportunities to collaborate further, ultimately contributing to the growth of entrepreneurship in Cambodia. CAMESCO23 is sponsored by ADB Frontier, ABA bank, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, SPEC program of the SeT4SME project, and supported by Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).  The media partners are Cambodian Investment Review (CIR) and B2B Cambodia.

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