EBN 6: Charting Cambodia's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Roadmap with Key Supporting Functions in Focus

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
In a continued effort to transform Cambodia's entrepreneurial landscape, the Entrepreneurship Builder Networking (EBN) convened its 6th meeting on November 1, 2023, marking the third and final gathering for the year.

EBN, initiated in 2022 under the auspices of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building (EEB) initiative by Khmer Enterprises, with support from USAID's WE Act through Pact Cambodia and Swisscontact, has been instrumental in driving progress and fostering collaboration within the ecosystem. EBN is now part of the Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investments initiative. 

Since its inception, EBN has facilitated collaboration among 37 institutions, predominantly comprising Government entities, Development Partners (DPs), and projects dedicated to bolstering Cambodia's entrepreneurial ecosystem. These institutions joined forces in 2022 to map their programs according to the 6 pillars of the Isenberg model, ultimately culminating in a unified vision for Cambodia's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. This vision was showcased and validated during the Cambodia Ecosystem Strengthening Conference (CAMESCO22). 

Following the 5th EBN meeting, held earlier in 2023, the EBN members contributed significantly to refining the roadmap development strategy. Their insights led to a crucial recommendation: the formation of a Roadmap Development Working Group consisting of 4-6 organizations, dedicated to driving the roadmap's development in collaboration with a consultant. 

The objectives of the 6th EBN meeting have been carefully outlined to advance Cambodia's entrepreneurial ecosystem. These objectives include sharing insights from ESOs via the Give a Day Events, finalizing the Roadmap Development Strategy, introducing the members of the Roadmap Development Working Group, and mapping supporting functions of the roadmap by delving into the actors and programs associated with each supporting function. 

Notably, the meeting showcased the progress achieved through the Give a Day initiative, which allowed participants to share collective feedback on market gaps and opportunities. Additionally, Lisa CHAO, Business Networking Lead at Khmer Enterprise, re-announced the forthcoming Cambodia Ecosystem Strengthening Conference (CAMESCO 2023). 

Participants had the opportunity to recap changes made to the Roadmap Development Strategy after EBN 5, and the workplan and timeline for upcoming initiatives were presented. Madinay Chhuon, Entrepreneurship Development Lead at Swisscontact, introduced the Roadmap Development Working Group, emphasizing their vital role in driving the roadmap's development. A group discussion took place to map out Supporting Functions, focusing on actors and programs within the ecosystem. This discussion addressed crucial questions, including the supporting functions that organizations are contributing to and identifying key organizations or individuals to engage. 

The group discussion yielded notable results, identifying 23 supporting functions, spanning a wide spectrum of areas, from Networking Support and Match Making to Investment Advisory Support, Trade Facilitation & Promotion, Co-working Space, ESG and R4D, Information Platform, Fintech Support, Business Infrastructure Support/Sandbox, Skill Development and Training, and incubation and acceleration support. Furthermore, recommendations on organizations capable of supporting these functions were presented. 

The 6th EBN meeting serves as a pivotal moment in the ongoing journey of the Entrepreneurship Builder Networking, underlining its commitment to shaping Cambodia's entrepreneurial ecosystem through collaboration, strategic planning, and forward-thinking initiatives. 

The Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investments (3Ei) is a five-year initiative (2023 – 2027) implemented by Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact and co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Ministry of Economy and Finance (Khmer Enterprise). The initiative works closely with the entrepreneurial ecosystem actors in Cambodia to strengthen Cambodia's socio-economic development. The overall goal of the 3Ei is for the private sector to actively contribute to the Cambodia's socio-economic development and attaining the goals of the SDGs. 

Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investments (3Ei)
The overall goal of the 3Ei is for the private sector to actively contribute to the Cambodia's socio-economic development and attaining the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The achievement of this overall goal will be driven by two outcomes: enhanced coordination, and collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem; and increased business performance and investments in the ecosystem.