Promoting entrepreneurship through expertise – passing on technical skills through hands-on volunteer work - sits at the core of the Senior Expert Contact (SEC) program of Swisscontact. The SEC experts are retired professionals and are qualified experts in their profession. They provide problem-solving solutions for small and medium enterprises in developing countries. They provide direct and uncomplicated support to companies and institutions who aim to grow.
The SEC program has been established in Cambodia since 2016. To date, over 46 experts have provided services to 38 companies, associations, and government institutions through 56 assignments. The Global SEC Program Manager, Jane Achermann, visited Cambodia from March 13-17, 2023. To take benefit from the visit, Swisscontact organized the THANK YOU event for all the partners, clients and well-wishers for SEC and Swisscontact in Cambodia, to showcase the support that Switzerland has provided to developing countries through the SEC program, and in particular, Cambodia, to thank the Swiss experts that have come voluntarily and supported companies and institutions in Cambodia and welcome other companies and institutions to seek the Swiss expert support through the SEC program.
The opening remarks was given by Ms. Nadia Ottiger, Deputy Head of Cooperation of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) followed by a brief on the SEC program by Ms. Jane Achermann. Ms. Nam Chamnan, Co-founder & CEO of Melvin Dental Care Co. Ltd, a SEC client, provided some heart-warming testimonials as to how the SEC program has benefitted her institution.
Today, more than 700 mainly retired technical experts, ranging from craftspeople to hotel managers to marketing specialists, share their expertise and valuable professional experience.
By undertaking volunteer assignments, Senior Expert Contact (SEC) experts pass on specialist knowledge exactly where it is needed. In this way, the benefits of professional support are accessible to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and institutions in developing countries and Eastern Europe. Since 1979, SEC has carried out over 3,000 assignments, with experts having provided roughly 1,200,000 hours of voluntary work. This is equal to an estimated 45 million Swiss francs of expert time provided voluntarily to the companies in the developing countries.
The SEC was founded in 1979 as a program of Swisscontact. Since 1993, the program has been supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Today, this project is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA. Each year, around 140 SMEs and institutions benefit from expert consultancy assignments.
The event was covered by the following media: