The challenge of ecosystem building is to understand all the different dependencies and conditions to make informed decisions and design relevant initiatives to strengthen an ecosystem and its players. In 2019, a Social Network Analysis in Phnom Penh, was conducted as a part of the Credit Suisse – Swisscontact (CSSC) Initiative, a project funded by the Credit Suisse Financial Inclusion Initiative (FII) and implemented by Swisscontact and Impact Hub Phnom Penh. This study allowed us to observe the relationships between actors and understand how resources such as information, funding, and talent – among others, move in the system. One of the learning from the survey was that this exercise could be repeated every few years to generate a picture over time of how the ecosystem is evolving. The regularly updated data will be needed to shape analysis and the prioritization of solutions over time to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Furthermore, the start-up ecosystem has progressed rapidly over the past three to five years, and the number of startups operating in Cambodia is estimated to double between 2019 and 2022. Many of them also have received various supporting programs, including pre-incubator, incubator, accelerator, etc. However, there is a lack of data and statistic regarding the failure rate, successful rate, percent of accessing to finance, timeline of operation and impact to track start-up performance as well as identify gaps and opportunities to improve supporting structure. It urges an urgent need to track start-up benchmark index to allocate resources (funding programs) in the right direction. Additionally, the investment index also will help to reduce perceived risk of Cambodia market and potentially attract new investors. Benchmarking Cambodia against other regional countries on investment as well as showing the progress of Cambodia over the years, will help attract investments.
With that in mind, the Data for Investment (D4I) was designed to provide a comprehensive data and index to generate a picture over time of how ecosystem is evolving that helps to shape analysis and the prioritization of solutions over time to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems. D4I will regularly update social network analysis (SNA) of Cambodia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and develop a startup benchmark index and an investment index to reduce perceived risks in the Cambodian market, ultimately attracting new investors to provide a comprehensive view of the ecosystem's evolution over time.
The vision is to bring about transformative change in Cambodia's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through the power of social network analysis (SNA) surveys and data visualization, D4I will endeavor to illuminate the intricate dynamics among individuals and organizations within the ecosystem. The mission is to provide comprehensive insights that not only assess the current health of Cambodia's entrepreneurial landscape but also guide its trajectory towards a future of innovation, growth, and success.
The mapping methodology will be based on an open-source on-line version. It will now be easy for any Government institution interested in continuing the activities in helping the local entrepreneurial ecosystem to thrive.