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Cambodia’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem held its Strengthening Conference over the weekend

Khmer Enterprise, USAID via Pact, GIZ, and Swisscontact successfully organized, Cambodia’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strengthening Conference 2022 (CAMESCO), the first of a series of annual conferences, with around 150 participants from close to 100 institutions and organizations.

CAMESCO jointly funded by Khmer Enterprise, established by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Cambodia is an initiative within the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building (EEB) Project; USAID’s WE Act Project through Pact Cambodia, and Swisscontact. Aside from CAMESCO, there are two main initiatives within EEB, Give a Day and Ecosystem Builders Network (EBN).

H.E. Dr. Chhieng Vanmunin (CEO, Chairman Khmer Enterprise) said “Serving as a national platform for promoting a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambodia, Khmer Enterprise hopes this program serves as a platform in supporting the ecosystem stakeholders to meet and leverage this network for further collaborations that will complement each other and build a more resilient and diverse ecosystem. The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building program is not about replicating what is working, it is about discovering new components that are missing in the ecosystem and most importantly able to deliver and address those challenges”.

CAMESCO aims to build a network with like-minded stakeholders to strengthen Cambodia’s entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem. This allows for showcasing the best practices in promoting collaboration and trust building and fostering an entrepreneurship culture among ESOs and system actors.

Ms. Sabine Joukes, Country Director of Pact Cambodia said.

“We jointly brought all the ecosystem actors together, so we can learn from each other, understand the needs of the MSME are better so actors can strengthen their services, identify gaps and build on the strengths that are already there. WE Act with support from USAID, focuses on Women Entrepreneurs and ensures that their needs are heard and addressed. We have already seen the impact of bringing the ecosystem actors together and look forward to continuing improvements for the benefit of entrepreneurs.”

Mr. Frank Jattke, Team Leader ASEAN of GIZ said “CAMESCO22 was an opportunity to present innovative and best practices in supporting regional entrepreneurship, including women entrepreneurs and MSMEs’’. He added “Finding the missing middle of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is a milestone to strengthening the capacity building, addressing the challenges, and stimulating innovation that are key drivers to foster the inclusive growth for the national and regional entrepreneurship. This is linked to the GIZ implemented projects, i.e. Improved Competitiveness of National Enterprise (ICONE), Strengthening Regional Structures for SMEs Promotion in ASEAN (ASEAN-SME), and Development for innovation and start-up support for women entrepreneurs in ASEAN.

Mr. Rajiv Pradhan, Country Director, Swisscontact and Project Director, EEB said “CAMESCO22 brings together all the efforts put together by the entrepreneurial ecosystem actors in Cambodia in 2022. It has been a fantastic year to see all the actors come together to discuss the pain points and together find solutions to support each other and boost investments for start-up and growth enterprises in Cambodia. We are honored to be provided this opportunity by Khmer Enterprises in partnership with WeAct. We look forward to 2023 that concrete actions are taken up and more investors are willing to come and invest in Cambodia.

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