The Ministry of Economy and Finance on December 8 rolled out “Startup Cambodia”, an online platform managed by the Techo Startup Center (TSC) and Khmer Enterprise (KE) that sets out to create a supportive business environment for start-ups and develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Kingdom.
“Startup Cambodia” is designed to act as a gateway for information provided by stakeholders on the state of the local start-up ecosystem, and as the starting point for community engagement and partnerships. It can be accessed at startupcambodia.gov.kh.
The platform is also set to be used for cultural exchange initiatives, as well as provide the government with a suite of metrics to assess the state of the start-up ecosystem and provide support or launch intervention policies to help the sector navigate the complexities of digital transformation and modernisation.
Speaking at the accompanying ceremony, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said the platform seeks to build up the digital economy into a new growth pole and ecosystem that inspires increased productivity, economic efficiency, and enhanced wellbeing among the actors of the digital society.
He noted that “Startup Cambodia” would complement and prop up the recently-launched Cambodia Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework 2021-2035.
The minister underlined that the start-up ecosystem in Cambodia has become extremely active in the last five years, although there have been Covid-induced disruptions.
He said building a start-up ecosystem with a vibrant environment for accelerating the growth of both start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) is a key lever to economic rehabilitation and enhancement.
“The Royal Government has rolled out and implemented a number of measures as well as specific policies to promote the development of the digital economy and start-up ecosystem.
“These include the establishment of the Entrepreneurship Development Fund, KE, the start-up training centre, Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia Plc [SME Bank], Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology, the national centre for start-up development of Cambodia, and the drafting of a sub-decree on the management of and incentives for digital start-ups,” Pornmoniroth said.
Chhieng Vanmunin, CEO of KE, a unit under the ministry, said the government, through the enterprise, has significantly bolstered the Cambodian start-up ecosystem over the past two years, which has been incorporated into a national platform meant to promote entrepreneurship and create more start-ups and SMEs in priority areas.
“Investing in start-ups carries high risks for investors, which requires support from the government,” he said.
He added that KE has helped local start-ups gain business capital through business development funds, donors, development partners and other investors.