Over the course of 2023, Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact jointly organised quarterly Ecosystem Builder Network (EBN) meetings and monthly ‘Give a Day’ events, making up two major pillars of the broader Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investment (3Ei) project. The third major pillar rounding up the year’s activities is the Cambodia Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strengthening Conference (CAMESCO), which is coming up right around the corner on December 8, 2023.
The collaboration between Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact under the 3Ei project has been instrumental in engaging key stakeholders within Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Both the ‘Give a Day’ events and EBN meetings have served as dynamic platforms for fostering a robust and attractive entrepreneurial and investment environment in Cambodia.
Watch B2B Cambodia’s interview with two frequent ‘Give a Day’ participants sharing their year-end reflections and expectations for CAMESCO 2023:
Reflecting On Cambodia’s Entrepreneurial Landscape In 2023
In anticipation of CAMESCO 2023, we gathered reflections from regular attendees of the ‘Give a Day’ and EBN meetings. Emerald Am, Country Manager of IDH, shared that he attended about half a dozen events organised by Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact this year, which he said were always very positive.
“I can see other organisations now coming up to build capacity and help support entrepreneurs, so I think [these initiatives are] a great start and it’s only the beginning,” said Am. “A lot of key stakeholders and organisations were able to present on what they’re doing to help out [through these monthly events].”
“In Cambodia, we really need to upskill not only our regular workers, but also entrepreneurs, because they come up with great ideas but the hard part is sustaining that throughout the life cycle and getting that to launch,” he added.
Another attendee, Sok Lychou, Investment Associate at Mekong Strategic Capital, highlighted the interactive nature of these events.
“I was able to meet a lot of people within the ecosystem and share my thoughts and ideas with investors and startups as well,” she said.
“I think [these events] help out every stakeholder in the ecosystem,” added Lychou. “Startups get the chance to meet new investors and gain more knowledge about issues other startups face as well as what other problems are present in the ecosystem, investors get the opportunity to establish new pipelines and also get to participate in solving present problems.”
CAMESCO 2023: The Culmination of A Year’s Efforts
CAMESCO 2023 marks the culmination and wrap-up of the year’s activities within Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This conference, the second of its kind, is envisioned as an annual gathering that brings together local and international stakeholders from the entrepreneurial development community. It aims to explore challenges and opportunities with the goal of building a strong and sustainable entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem in Cambodia.
The conference will feature a detailed recap and year-round summary of the entrepreneurial ecosystem initiatives in Cambodia, including Give a Day, EBN meetings and other ecosystem strengthening activities.
Attendees can also look forward to:
- A presentation on the findings from the Gender Lens Investing Landscape study in Cambodia;
- A showcase of experiences from regional and global initiatives promoting inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem development and investment as well as what implication they hold in Cambodia;
- Discussions on insights and an exploration of the gaps market actors can help to address in order to make Cambodia more attractive for investment;
- Networking with national and regional organisations.
Lychou shared she is most looking forward to hearing the key insights drawn from 2023’s entrepreneurial activities.
“But I am also looking forward to meeting new people, meeting new startups and hearing their thoughts, as well as what issues they may be facing in terms of fundraising, for example,” she said.
Am similarly expressed that he looks forward to networking with the special guests flying in to attend CAMESCO from around the region, but is most interested in seeing what the final outcomes of the conference will be.
“I want to see what the final outputs of the year will be, and I also hear a lot of improvements are coming up [next year], so it’s going to be amazing, I can’t wait,” said Am.
CAMESCO 2023 will be held on December 8, 2023 at the Fairfield by Marriott in Phnom Penh. The conference is co-financed by Khmer Enterprise, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and co-implemented by Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact.
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