Drawing about 150 participants including youth, social entrepreneurs, and booth exhibitors at a business event hosted at University of Puthisastra, the SHE Conference Workshop was held to boost entrepreneurship knowledge and motivate participants to pitch their business ideas.
As a young start-up owner and CEO of Kokopon Website Platform, Ms. Neng Sokneang, 26, said that after attending for a full day she had benefited from networking and discovered how to register a business.
She had also received tips related to determining goals and seeking capital, and been given a lot to think about in terms of pitching business ideas from women entrepreneurs. She had also seen how successful women run events.
Ms. Sokneang said she really enjoyed the workshop, especially one session on the concept of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action, Realistic, and Time Bond) on setting goals and developing action plans.
She said that “Youth who take part in such events could learn from inspired successful people and fill the gaps in their knowledge to set clear goals. Young people seldom know exactly what path to take in life. Saturday and Sunday is free time that should be wisely spent on personal and social interests.”
Dam Sovannakra, 20, a second year student from Royal University of Phnom Penh majoring in psychology, said she joined the conference because it is relevant to her “Business Psychology” course.
She felt she was not getting sufficient business lessons at school. The SHE conference offered her guidance in how to start a business. Her workplace also had a booth at the exhibition.
She mentioned that she had once run a business online but it failed. The workshop was a very good place to learn fundamental concepts of business, while she could catch up with successful businesswomen and guest speakers.
These speakers shared about their challenges, action plans and types of business, as well as online business registration and raising capital.
“I’m very inspired by those young women entrepreneurs, who learned both from their failures and successes. They dared to start their businesses in their 20s, They shared with me the business plans they devised prior to stepping into the business sector, and advised on when one should start a business,” she said.
According to Celia Boyd, the managing director of Support Her Enterprise (SHE) Investment, the core objectives are to promote and celebrate women entrepreneurs in Cambodia and increase women’s participation in the formal economy, as 65 percent of their business is microsites, which count as informal business.
She emphasised the presence of university students and young startup owners at the conference. “Whether they have a business or not, this conference explains the concept of entrepreneurship. The skills of the entrepreneur are transferable – managing people, setting goals, creating action plans and partnerships. These will benefit them in the workforce, as business owners, employees, or in management or leadership positions.
With strong support from the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, she aims to expand to 200 participants in November next year, with students and social entrepreneurs seeing a positive impact of women in the business sector while meeting a lot of inspiring women to boost knowledge and networking.