Cambodia Investment Review

Give a Day 22: Nurturing Diversity in Cambodia’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Give a Day 22: Nurturing Diversity in Cambodia’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Cambodia Investment Review

On May 29, 2024, the 22nd “Give a Day” event was held at the Khmer Enterprise Office, aiming to foster diversity within Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This event has become an integral part of Cambodia’s entrepreneurial community, providing valuable insights and fostering connections among Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs).

Read More: Give a Day 21: Unveiling the Key Findings on Gender Lens Investing Landscape Study in Cambodia

Since its inception in 2021, Give a Day has seen substantial growth. In 2022 and 2023, over 300 ESOs participated, with 94% of attendees expressing a desire to return. This highlights the event’s success in creating networking opportunities and strengthening trust-based relationships among market actors.

Collaboration Among ESO To Strengthen Connectivity & Coverage

Despite the potential within Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, it remains loosely connected and lacks inclusivity. A study by Swisscontact and Impact Hub Phnom Penh found that while the existing support network offers basic services, it lacks specialized assistance for entrepreneurs in various sectors, stages, segments, and geographic areas. The 22nd Give a Day aimed to address these gaps by fostering a supportive environment that nurtures diverse entrepreneurial talent and promotes sustainable economic growth.

The key objectives for this event included sharing insights from program implementers across diverse sectors, identifying gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, developing a more inclusive support network, and encouraging collaboration among ESOs to strengthen the support network’s connectivity and coverage. The event aimed to create a more robust and inclusive ecosystem that supports the diverse needs of entrepreneurs across Cambodia.

On May 29, 2024, the 22nd “Give a Day” at the Khmer Enterprise Office

During the panel discussion, key figures in Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem shared their experiences and insights. The panel included:

  • Mr. Vanna Sy, Senior Manager of HR Development Department at CJCC
  • Mr. Songhour Thav, Entrepreneurship Support Lead at Impact Hub Phnom Penh
  • Ms. Keisha Gani, SHE Program Director at iDE Cambodia

The panelists began by discussing the focus programs for specific target entrepreneurs that they manage. The success of HR development initiatives was highlighted, noting significant impacts on the skill sets of young entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary tools to thrive in the market.

Read More: Khmer Enterprise Launches “NextGen Enterprise” – A Transformative Entrepreneurship and Business Development Program

Challenges faced by specific demographics, such as female entrepreneurs and youth, were also shared. Observations included unique challenges among female entrepreneurs, including limited access to funding and mentorship, and emphasized the need for tailored support and resources.

On May 29, 2024, the 22nd “Give a Day” at the Khmer Enterprise Office

The importance of soft skills development was emphasized, with a focus on holistic development to ensure entrepreneurs are well-rounded and prepared for various challenges. While technical skills are crucial, developing a business mindset and financial literacy was also highlighted as equally important.

Customizing Support Programs To Meet Specific Needs

The group discussion touched on the difficulty in customizing support programs to meet specific needs. Understanding data specific to geographic areas and demographics is vital. However, insights needed to tailor programs effectively are often missing, and more contextualized data collection, though expensive, is necessary for accurate program customization.

To build a more cohesive and inclusive support network, leveraging existing networks and conducting thorough program mapping was suggested. Identifying gaps in the ecosystem and ensuring new programs complement rather than duplicate existing services was highlighted as essential.

The importance of maintaining connections with successful alumni to inspire future participants was also discussed. Keeping alumni engaged and showcasing their ongoing achievements can motivate new entrepreneurs and demonstrate the effectiveness of the programs.

Greater Partnership & Collaboration Within The Ecosystem

Reflecting on the challenges faced, time constraints, commitment, and budget limitations were noted as significant hurdles. Localization of knowledge and networking, along with ensuring program budgets include consultation, were areas needing improvement.

Read More: iDE Cambodia and SHE Investments Join Forces to Empower Women Entrepreneurs

On May 29, 2024, the 22nd “Give a Day” at the Khmer Enterprise Office

The group discussion concluded with a call for greater partnership and collaboration within the ecosystem. Trust-based partnerships were emphasized as crucial, along with encouraging businesses to consider their social and environmental impacts to drive sustainable development.

As the “Give a Day” event continues to provide a platform for these critical discussions, it paves the way for more tailored, inclusive, and effective support programs for entrepreneurs across Cambodia. By addressing identified challenges and implementing shared best practices, stakeholders can build a more cohesive and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Related Articles