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Young entrepreneurs awarded

Four entrepreneurs took top honours in their category at the first-ever Cambodian Entrepreneur Awards, held yesterday in Phnom Penh.

Winners in four categories were selected from 12 shortlisted candidates by a panel of government officials and members of the local business community.

Chang Bunleang received the award for Outstanding Entrepreneur. The 30-year-old managing director of Brown Coffee was a co-founder of the local coffee shop chain. Brown established its first outlet in 2009 and has grown to 11 branches, providing jobs for 400 Cambodians.

“We wanted to establish a company that could compete with foreign companies and hopefully one day we can export this brand [Brown] overseas,” Bunleang said at the awards ceremony.

The Smart Technology Entrepreneur award went to Sok Sopheakmonkol, co-founder and CEO of Codingate. His youthful IT company – which developed out of a project to help technically skilled and highly motivated students earn their own laptops – provides IT services such as mobile and web application development to SMEs.

Sreat Momsophear, founder of Sophiya Travel & Tours, received the award for Woman Entrepreneur. Her tourism company, opened in 2005, is a successful travel agency and inbound and outbound tour operator.

Neav Neary Panhchakpisey, general manager of All Dream, received the Social Entrepreneur Award. Her company is also a tour operator, but focuses on connecting foreign tourists with the programs of NGOs that promote Cambodian culture, society and poverty-alleviation activities.

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