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Additional support to farming enterprises

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Chhieng Vanmunin, chief executive officer of Khmer Enterprise (L) and Gary Ellem, team leader of CAVAC, with staff members. Supplied

Khmer Enterprise (KE) and an Australian government programme have come to the aid  of Cambodia’s developing agricultural processing industry.

KE, which is part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, has teamed up with the Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Value Chain programme (CAVAC), devoted to improving the resilience and competitiveness of Cambodia’s agriculture sector. They are  providing funding assistance to qualifying agro-processing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or startups through what is known as the second Khmer Enterprise Assistance Package programme.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance through Khmer Enterprise created the programme to respond to the difficulties caused by COVID-19 that Cambodian – and many – entrepreneurs are facing.

It is a strategic response to challenges that SMEs and startups in Cambodia are currently struggling with and also aims to stabilise the dramatic changes in supply and demand as well as to contribute to supporting SMEs and startups.

The assistance package programme is run in four phases. In the first phase, KE will announce the opening of the programme through social media, its networks and news platforms. In the second phase, KE will start a standardised scoring criterion.

During the third phase, KE will invite shortlisted applicants to make a presentation before a panel of judges made up of experts in business, venture capitalists and investors.

In the fourth phase, Khmer Enterprise will announce the successful candidates who will receive an assistance package from the programme to help the startups and SMEs to promote their businesses, products and services.

Under the same mandate to support the agro-processing sector in Cambodia, KE has formed a partnership agreement to collaborate with CAVAC. In the process of running the KE Assistance Package, CAVAC will participate during the third phase as the evaluation committee.

Through this arrangement, CAVAC has the ability to provide additional funds to any shortlisted applicants that meet its objectives. As a unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, KE has a vision to become the national platform for promoting entrepreneurial activities in Cambodia.

KE and CAVAC have the same ambition and objectives in addressing and promoting the agriculture sector, specifically agro-processing in the country, said Chhieng Vanmunin, chief executive officer of KE.

“Khmer Enterprise is delighted to see a proactive initiative from CAVAC in taking part in supporting startups and SMEs in Cambodia during this difficult time through the second Khmer Enterprise Assistance Package,” he said.

He added KE is hoping many other organisations can use its platform as a medium to achieve their own objectives by becoming KE partners.

KE is positive that the relief fund through its assistance package programme can help startups and SMEs to operate their businesses during these hard times.

KE says it also wishes to see more partners taking the initiative in assisting startups and SMEs that improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambodia.

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