Global Entrepreneurship Week is a collection of thousands of events, activities and competitions each November that inspire millions to explore their potential as an entrepreneur while fostering connections and increasing collaboration within their ecosystems.
Diversity is a driver of innovation and economies suffer if a nation or group of people are underrepresented or face structural barriers – the world needs more entrepreneurs. Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 170+ nations since its launch in 2008 with 19,000 partner organizations now serving as GEN’s community -building backbone.
Young Entrepreneurship Association of Cambodia (YEAC) has been an official host of GEW in Cambodia since 2013. After the official launch of GEN Cambodia, the two organizations are now the official hosts of GEW Cambodia. Topics for each year are different both globally and by countries, this year Cambodia has chosen to focus on ‘Digital Adoption of SMEs in Cambodia’. Expanding from last year and in response to the COVID-19 situation in Cambodia, GEW Cambodia 2020 were conducted as below format:
- 16th November 2020: virtual event consisted of opening session, and panel discussion that were broadcast live on Zoom Webinar, Facebook Page of YEAC Kampong Cham Chapter (Shared by YEAC’s), and GEN Cambodia.
- 17th November 2020: virtual event consisted of opening session and panel discussion that were broadcast live on Zoom Webinar, Facebook Page of YEAC Siem Reap Chapter (Shared by YEAC’s ), GEN Cambodia, Business Information Center (BIC), Siem Reap Provincial Hall, plus 2 shared-screen-gatherings (less than 50pax each) at Build Bright University and University of South East Asia (USEA) located in Siem Reap province.
- 18th November 2020: Hybrid event consisted of opening session, panel discussion (for students as audiences), and guided group discussion among local entrepreneurs. Event took place at Meanchey University in Banteay Meanchey Province receiving a total of approximately 270 people while broadcasted live on Zoom and Facebook Pages.
- 19th November 2020: Hybrid event consisted of Opening session, panel discussion (for students as audiences), and guided group discussion among local entrepreneurs. Event took place at The Stung Sangker Hotel in Battambang Province receiving a total of approximately 70 people while broadcasted live on Zoom and Facebook Pages.
- 21st November 2020 Morning: Virtual event similar to the ones on 16th and 17th and managed to broadcast live from Ministry of Education Youth and Sport in addition to the existing pages.
- 21st November 2020 Afternoon: Hybrid event where entrepreneurs in Phnom Penh came to the venue while the ones in provinces joined via Zoom. Following up next was a Wrap-up session which featured brief report of the week and impression remarks by Partners like Pact Cambodia, KAS Cambodia, UNDP Cambodia, CBRD Fund Chair, and last but not least Congratulatory Remarks by H.E.Dr. Kan Channmeta, and Honorable Remarks by H.E. Kitti Settha Pandita CHAM Prasidh, Senior Minister, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation.
The events consisted of keynote speech, presentation and panel discussion by various experts from private sectors, public sectors and academia. Co-Funding the project are CBRD Fund, UNDP Cambodia, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Cambodia, and Sponsorship from USAID via Pact Cambodia, all YEAC’s yearly sponsors; with support from in-line ministries including Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication, Economy and Finance, Commerce, Industry and Handicraft, Labour and Vocational Training in partnership with National Institute of Posts, Telecoms and ICT (NIPTICT), Asian Vision Institute (AVI) and Business Information Center (BIC).
Keynote Presentation on Digital Adoption of SMEs in Cambodia by Mr. Sim Chankiriroth, BoD of YEAC and GEN-Cambodia, and CEO of BanhJi. Result from group discussion that will be validated with the survey result are as below.
Top 3 key factors influencing the adoption of digital technology
- Improving revenue & customer engagement
- improving operational efficiency & costs
- Enhancing the quality of information & insight
Top 3 key barriers/challenges in adoption of digital technology
- Limited digital skills and knowledge of both owners and employees
- digital technology related costs (acquisition, maintenance, related advisory and others)
- availability and quality of service providers
H. E. Kitti Settha Pandita CHAM Prasidh, Senior Minister, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation (MISTI) ‘To strive and get better, SMEs need to be smarter; and to be smarter, technology is the answer. Therefore, 3 most important things that SMEs need to be able to adopt technology are:
- Vision & Leadership (be willing to learn more).
- Digital Customer experience.
- Digital transformation team.’