500 Startups & Khmer Enterprise Partner To Build A Startup Ecosystem in Cambodia

During the initial two-year partnership, 500 Startups will hold multiple programs to accelerate the development of the Cambodia ecosystem.

San Francisco-based venture capital firm 500 Startups and Khmer Enterprise, a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, are coming together to build a startup ecosystem in Cambodia, a press release said on Monday, November 23.

To support entrepreneurs in establishing startups and to prepare for regional expansion, the firm is launching Angkor 500 in Cambodia. During the initial two-year partnership, 500 Startups will hold multiple programs to accelerate the development of the Cambodia ecosystem, such as startup generation programs, globalization boot camps, and international showcases.

According to The World Bank, between 1998 and 2018, Cambodia’s economy has seen a sustained average growth of 8%, making it one of the fastest-growing economies worldwide. While it reached a lower-middle-income status in 2015, the government aspires to attain upper-middle-income status by 2030.

“This is one of the implementation plans of the Royal Government of Cambodia as articulated in Rectangular Strategy phase IV to accelerate a healthy environment for SMEs and innovative startups to become much more competitive when moving to the digital economy,” Vongsey Vissoth, Chairman of Entrepreneurship Development Fund, said in the release.

At a time when the nation was facing a partial suspension of preferential access to the EU market under the “Everything but Arms” initiative, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, significantly impacting Cambodia’s economy this year.

However, Vissoth stated that despite the operational challenges amid the pandemic, the program will infuse Cambodia’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem with a broader base of digital enterprises. Along with serving as a gateway for business founders to be equipped for the tech industry, the initiative is also aimed at enabling entrepreneurs to plug into regional startup ecosystems.

“With the support of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khmer Enterprise and 500 Startups will work together to build featuring programs from ideation to investment readiness. It’s expected that this program will successfully lift Cambodian startups’ profile for international investment. It is time to start local, scale to regional, and engage with global,” said Dr. Chhieng Vanmunin, CEO of Khmer Enterprise.

A unit of Entrepreneurship Development Fund (EDF) – a government-funded program articulated in the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy IV – Khmer Enterprise envisions being the national platform for promoting entrepreneurial activities through leveraging public-private-partnership.

The enterprise supports economic diversification, innovation, increasing productivity, and job creation in key prioritized sectors, including tech startups, agriculture for export, and manufacturing for import substitution. With the mission to build a vibrant ecosystem, Khmer Enterprise focuses on four main programs – capacity upgrading, entrepreneurship cultural promotion, networking, and seed funding.

One of the most active global early-stage venture capital firms, 500 Startups has invested in over 2,400 companies across 77 countries, since its inception in 2010. The firm’s notable investments include Credit Karma, Canva, Talkdesk, Intercom, GitLab, Grab, and Bukalapak. The company has other regional offices, including 500 TukTuks in Thailand and 500 Kimchi in South Korea.

While Cambodia’s startup ecosystem, especially the tech industry, has seen a major growth over the years, the kingdom is yet to “prove itself among the major players in the regional startup scene.” The primary challenges facing the nation include a lack of investors, insufficient upskilling or training of the youngsters entering the tech industry, lack of mentors, and the uncertainty over policies.

With their partnership, 500 Startups and Khmer Enterprise will bring together founders from across the country to form teams and technology companies, help improve the readiness of Cambodian startups for engagement with international markets and investors through globalization boot camps, and connect startups to key industry stakeholders and corporate partners to raise Cambodia ecosystem’s global profile.

“Amid profound challenges throughout the world, we are grateful to partner with Khmer Enterprise to advance our mission of uplifting people and economies around the world through entrepreneurship. Cambodia’s economy and talent are at an inflection point for rapid growth, and we are confident that this program will help local founders build strong companies that will push the boundaries of what is possible,” said Christine Tsai, CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Startups.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

New to the Forex Market The Ultimate Toolkit for Success

New to the Forex Market? The Ultimate Toolkit for Success

Foreign exchange trading can be a tricky business. When it comes to choosing what tools will be the most effective in your forex trading journey, there are a few aspects to consider. Whether you are a brand-new trader or a seasoned veteran, some of these tools will always be handy to help you not only find the diamonds in the rough but also stay focused on your goals.

Looking Back on the Top Skincare Trends of 2022

Looking Back on the Top Skincare Trends of 2022

Going makeup free during the COVID-19 pandemic has whipped up interest in skincare, with people spending more on in-clinic aesthetic treatments and buying more skincare products. As of 2022, revenues in the beauty and personal care industry have reached US$534 billion. Of this, the skincare segment makes up a total revenue of US$153.30 billion, growing at a CAGR rate of 5.19% in the next five years.

Is It Ethical to Be “Overemployed”

Is It Ethical to Be “Overemployed”?

According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics of August 2022, more than 7.5 million workers in the U.S. are overemployed, that is, they hold more than one job. With the pandemic leading to an increase in remote working and making people concerned about job safety, it doesn’t take a genius to see why people would choose to work multiple jobs.

Kanye West’s Biggest Losses of 2022

Kanye West’s Biggest Losses of 2022

Singer, rapper and chaotic personality Kanye West, a.k.a. Ye, has been all over the news and the place for the past few months. What’s more? Media personality Kim Kardashian is not all that he has lost. The famous rapper has also lost his billionaire status as his over-a-decade-long relationship with Adidas ended following his antisemitic (i.e. against the Jewish community) comments on social media. Now, he is worth US$400 million.

Top 5 Covert Signs of Sexual Harassment

Top 5 Covert Signs of Sexual Harassment

One of the gravest threats to a workplace is sexual harassment. Although commonly believed to be a situation only women go through, sexual harassment can be experienced by a person of any gender or sexual orientation. According to an analysis conducted by Gapjil 119, an organization that assists with workplace abuse, eight out of ten workplace harassment victims end up facing some form of retaliation from the aggressor, like getting turned down for a promotion or threatening their job.

Are You Being Quietly Fired?

Are You Being Quietly Fired?

In a previous article, we discussed how the modern workforce is expressing their discontent with their working conditions by quiet quitting. Quiet quitting means simply doing what is expected from employees instead of being emotionally invested in the jobs and going the extra mile for companies. Now, employers have taken a page from their employees’ books and begun using quiet firing to reduce the number of workers.