Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investments (3EI)

“Enhancing Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Investments” is an initiative co-implemented by the Cambodian government’s entity Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact, with financial and technical support from Switzerland (SDC and University of St. Gallen), Korea, and a Japanese foundation. The project aims to strengthen small and growing businesses in their mission to foster sustainable development through innovations and investments by the private sector.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Impiego & sviluppo economico
Supporto commerciale & inclusione economica
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027
CHF  2’127’000

After having taken a dip to -3.1% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cambodian economy is gradually recovering. Increasingly, small and growing businesses are considered a driving force for global economic growth, especially in emerging and developing countries. Cambodia has a promising start-up landscape given the rise of technology start-ups, the emergence of multiple supporting actors in the ecosystem, and its young population.

Nevertheless, in Cambodia, small and growth enterprises face hurdles such as lack of affordable financing, lack of market information and weak technical capacity. Many interested investors have not yet entered the Cambodian market due to the lack of an investible pipeline. The initiatives in support of the entrepreneurs remain fragmented and uncoordinated. In addition, Cambodia’s social impact enterprises and start-ups suffer a distinct gender imbalance.

Obiettivi Private sector actively contributes to attaining the goals of the SDGs and Cambodia’s socioeconomic development.
Gruppi target

1) 50–55 small and growing businesses, 60% of which are social impact enterprises, will benefit from technical assistance to become investment-ready;

2) 20 Ecosystem Support Organisations will benefit from capacity building to improve quality of services in supporting entrepreneurs

3) 20 start-ups will benefit from support of international mentors to focus on innovation.

Indirect beneficiaries:

1) Employees (with special focus on women) of the impact enterprises

2) End-beneficiaries of downstream services provided by the supported impact enterprises.

Effetti a medio termine
  1. Enhanced coordination, and collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem
  2. Increased business performance and investment in the ecosystem

Risultati principali attesi:  

  • Ecosystem Support Organisations deepen connections with one another through the “Give a Day” platform;
  • Ecosystem Building Network members get an opportunity to learn more about each other’s program and identify market gaps and opportunities;
  • Investment readiness of Cambodia is showcased;
  • Capacity of Ecosystem Support Organisations start-ups and government counterparts is strengthened through exposure study tours;
  • Investment and start-up index benchmarking is developed;
  • Capacity of Ecosystem Support Organisations to deliver quality services to entrepreneurs is strengthened;
  • Capacity of start-ups to focus on innovation and fintech is built;
  • Information tracking system platform of Ecosystem Support Organisations are developed;
  • Pre- and post-investment technical assistance from Impact-oriented start-ups and growthoriented businesses are secured pre- and postinvestment technical assistance. 

Risultati fasi precedenti:   The project builds on two previous Swisscontact projects that have worked on the financial and nonfinancial barriers faced by SME and impact enterprises as well as the coordination among Ecosystem Support Organisations, respectively. In one project Swisscontact has supported 20 SME with sizable technical assistance, and mobilizing over USD 3.2M of private capital. In the other project, Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact have co-developed and institutionalised in 2022 the two platforms: 1) Give A Day consisting of 73 Ecosystem Support Organisations convening on monthly basis, and 2) Ecosystem Builders Network, consisting of 27 organisations including NGOs, Development Partners and Government Agencies, coordinating their efforts on quarter-annual basis. 

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
Organizzazione svizzera senza scopo di lucro
  • Swisscontact

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori Khmer Enterprise (Ministry of Economy and Finance), KOICA, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, ADB Frontier, UNDP Cambodia, DFAT, Cambodia Investor Club, Cambodian Angel Investors Network, Cambodian Women Entrepreneur Association, Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), Convergence, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)
Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    2’127’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    513’000 Budget inclusi partner del progetto CHF    4’313’000
Fasi del progetto Fase 1 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027   (Fase in corso)