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Start-ups rely too heavily on self-funding

Start-ups rely too heavily on self-funding

Cambodians tend to rely too heavily on self-funding or loans when starting businesses, experts say. In a bid to change that, an essay competition about business plans has been launched to give a platform for the winner to form business partnerships with those with capital.

The competition, called Biz-Startup Essay Competition, is organised by Entrepreneur Consulting, Education Development Institute, and Park Cafe.

Most businesses are started with family money, or with loans from relatives or banks, said Pech Bolene, chief executive of Westline Education Group, one of the partners supporting the competition.

People with sound business ideas sometimes forget to think about forming partnership with those with capital, he said.  He added that when he started his company in 2008, he faced difficulties, and was lucky to receive $1 million to expand his business from capitalists who had faith in his business plan.

According to a press release by the organisers, the winner of the competition will get 15 minutes to present his or her business idea to businesspeople, entrepreneurs and industry leaders attending the BizStartup Mentoring 2013. The event will be held on April 6 at Parkway Square.

The competition is open to people under 29, said Hoem Seiha, founder of BizStartup Mentoring. Participants have to submit an essay of detailing their business plans – up to 1,500 words – in either English or Khmer before March 29.

“The judges will examine the positive impacts of the business plan on society,” he said.

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