Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KE offers up assistance to SMEs

KE offers up assistance to SMEs

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
State-run Khmer Enterprise allocated financial assistance packages to 27 start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on November 24. Photo supplied

KE offers up assistance to SMEs

Twenty-seven start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on November 24 received financial assistance packages from the state-run Khmer Enterprise (KE) in a bid to stimulate their Covid-crushed businesses.

KE is an implementation unit of the Entrepreneurship Development Fund (EDF) established by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

In a press release, KE noted that it ran two iterations of its Khmer Enterprise Assistance Package (KEAP) programme, over which it received 278 applications from across the capital and 19 provinces covering sectors such as agriculture, agro-processing, handicrafts, services and information and communications technology (ICT).

Following an evaluation process, it said it selected 12 businesses in the first round (ended March) and 15 in the second (ended September), culminating in a signing ceremony to award the accomplished entrepreneurs on November 24.

At the event, KE CEO Chhieng Vanmunin said the agency “believes that the Khmer Enterprise Assistance Package programme is an effective strategic response to support potential start-ups and SMEs in resuming their business operation during and after Covid-19”.

He said KE plays a major role in linking key stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship.

He added that the two rounds of the KEAP programme clocked in at around $400,000 and that individual funds provided to the start-ups and SMEs were worth between $5,000 and $20,000, for exclusive use in business operations over a maximum period of one year.

“KE hopes that investors will continue to monitor and invest in start-ups and SMEs that can attract other investors in the future,” Vanmunin said.

KE noted it has backed start-ups in “key prioritised sectors”, including ICT, services, agro-processing and agriculture for export, and manufacturing aimed at curbing imports in its aspiration to enhance economic diversification, innovation, productivity and job creation.

Chen Sopheap, the founder and managing director of Keiy Tambanh Khmer (KTK), an association of traditional Cambodian silk-based product manufacturers and one of the enterprises awarded a financial package by KE, said the funding would help grow KTK’s businesses.

She said it would also provide additional jobs among KTK’s more than 300 members who have been strained by a prolonged market disruption fuelled by Covid-19.

“I hope the budget package will provide the footing we need to spend more money on marketing, technology and promoting our products to target customers,” she said, voicing her commitment to use the funds effectively and do her share to prop up Cambodia’s women weavers.

Thaung Thida, the managing director of Thaung Trading Co Ltd, a salt processor based in Kampot province, told reporters at the event that the funds would help with her company’s plans to expand its production chain for domestic supply and exports.

She said: “I would like to thank KE for providing us the financial aid package in light of the many obstacles my company has faced during Covid-19. I trust that the package will help the company make some headway in promoting its products.”

Ministry secretary of state and EDF chairman Vongsey Vissoth said KE is envisioned to become the national platform for promoting entrepreneurial activities and stressed its role as a significant leverage to unlock the potential of Cambodia’s entrepreneurs into engines of economic growth and value-added creation.

He said they will be vital in crafting new business models for the Kingdom and instrumental in tackling challenges concerning business and value chains.

Vanmunin added that KE is slated to roll out the third round of assistance packages next year.


  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old