The UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia on Tuesday inked a partnership with Khmer Enterprise (KE) to provide training for the Kingdom’s budding entrepreneurs.

It will also support the development of the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, it said in a press release.

KE, an implementation unit of the Entrepreneurship Development Fund established by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, is the latest in the line of start-up support organisations that UNDP Cambodia has teamed up with, to contribute to the Kingdom’s economic diversification and sustained economic growth.

UNDP Cambodia aims to enhance entrepreneurship training through incubation, acceleration programmes and a national dialogue to showcase the Kingdom’s start-ups with the greatest potential.

It said: “This partnership aims specifically to ensure that Cambodia’s next generation of entrepreneurs are well-equipped with practical, world-class training and mentorship, and have access to suitable funding and investment readiness support at the early stages of their start-ups.

“The partnership also lays the foundation for UNDP Cambodia and KE to re-enforce their common efforts in improving the SME ecosystem through providing technical and financial support to SMEs in priority sectors, including e-commerce and sustainable SME cluster development,” it said.

UNDP representative in Cambodia Nick Beresford was quoted as saying: “UNDP is very pleased to partner with KE to create opportunities and provide training and support to help the next generation of young entrepreneurs and professionals develop and thrive.

“Never has it been more important to invest in young people and their talent and energy as we find ways to manage and recover from the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

Earlier this month, UNDP Cambodia launched the business incubation programme Bluetribe in collaboration with KE in search of eager, talented entrepreneurs in need of advice and support from people who care passionately about the growth of the Kingdom’s SME sector.

KE CEO Dr Chhieng Vanmunin said: “Khmer Enterprise, with the support from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, is proud to collaborate with UNDP Cambodia to create the business incubation programme which promotes decent youth employment and entrepreneurship development.

“This is aligned with KE’s vision and mission to become the National Platform for promoting entrepreneurial activities.

“Through this strategic collaboration, we hope to create a synergistic platform and its impact on young, aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs in the country would greatly be amplified,” he said.

UNDP Cambodia said Bluetribe will “provide selected youth with quality training and mentorship as well as access to seed funding to start and build their businesses”.

Registration for the programme remains open until the end of the month.