Mapping Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Cambodia Through Collaboration

Ecosystems thrive when people and resources are connected and work together to serve entrepreneurs throughout all the stages of growth and development. Swisscontact and Impact Hub Phnom Penh are conducting a social network analysis (SNA) to better understand the connectivity and robustness of the entrepreneurships support ecosystem in Cambodia. This effort is supported by the Swisscontact Cambodia Team, particularly the RISE Platform, with financial backing and knowledge transfer assistance from the Credit Suisse – Swisscontact Initiative.

SNA is an evidence-based approach that produces visual models, which help ecosystem players better understand their interconnectivity within the ecosystem. An SNA aims to capture the dynamics of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by looking at relationships rather than just actors, to bring objectivity and measurability to ecosystem building and to develop a dynamic picture of ecosystem over time.

The Credit Suisse – Swisscontact Initiative has supported several SNAs across the globe, including Uganda, Rwanda, Albania and Guatemala. The most recent SNA in Rwanda revealed that Kigali has an active and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Yet, while significant resources are available for entrepreneurs at startup and market entry level stages, there is a lack of programs for later growth stages, hindering businesses with growth potential (both organically and exponentially) enter the next stage of development.

There is lots of overlap of services and little to no specialization of ecosystem participants which has led to a rather fragmented ecosystem. There is significant potential for Kigali to mature and to become a of the leading hubs in Africa. But attention should shift from growing in numbers of entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) to how the existing actors can begin to connect and work together. This requires advancing on key topics, anchored around collaboration and specialization, to achieve shared goals of prosperity.

The current SNA in Cambodia kicked-off on 13 April 2020. The SNA team has identified over 300 participants, including entrepreneurs, ecosystem support organizations (ESO’s), mentors and angel investors through networking and social media. We are eager to see what this process reveals about the nascent, yet vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambodia.

Moving forward, Swisscontact and Impact Hub Phnom Penh will sponsor a workshop to share and validate results of the SNA. In collaboration with members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambodia, we will consider ways we can work together to further support the sustained growth of the entrepreneurial support system in Cambodia.