Written by Vitak Cheav

Originated from a family in which plastic supports daily business, one of the founders of DerPrey (meaning in English walking in the forest) takes a twist and endeavors to help protect and raise awareness about Mother Nature. Lykheang Seat, the environmental activist, dedicates his entire career to establish unique programs in the hope to rebuild the world he wishes to see—a world where humans blend together with nature instead of exploiting it.

  • What is DerPrey?

DerPrey is a start-up tour operator established in 2016, joined by the force of Young Eco Ambassadors. It is basically a tour to the forest in which participants can be exposed directly with environment and boost their inner spirit by exploring nature.

  • How is DerPrey founded?

This start-up has been born from the spark of affection for the Earth. The founder, Lykheang, has travelled fast and far from being a member in Ambassador’s Youth Council (AYC) to winning the YSEALI grant and entrepreneurial prize from Cellcard LAB which enables them to begin Young Eco Ambassadors (YEA) with DerPrey as its subdivision.

  • What is DerPrey’s expectation?

Sedentary lifestyle bores the mind, minimizes brain capacity, and decreases the fundamental movements for survival. DerPrey is compelled with the need to retrieve back the infinity of freedom which the modern world lacks. In addition, this start-up also aims to summon participants to see the frustration and consequences in biodiversity once natural resource is exploited.

  • What was the main challenge when DerPrey was first kickstarted?

Financial challenge remains one of the biggest brick walls for this brand-new business. Focusing on raising mindset rather than profit, it can be difficult to sustain the positive energy. Founder also mentioned that the business starts from the bottom with inadequate skill set. However, DerPrey team manages to construct back-up plans for every decision they make to ensure best and worst-case scenarios. They strongly believe that each step of success starts with problems. By solving those problems, the ecosystem is able to secure their passion and their goals for sustainable development.

  • What are the future plans and vision?

DerPrey is most likely going to collaborate with tour companies in order to expand their business into a greater scale. Affiliation processes are being put into account. Nevertheless, start-up claims to pivot their focus more on enriching real-life hiking experiences and less on implementing customer services. After all, the purpose is to get lost in nature.

The biggest objective is to create an Eco Village where there is no waste, no plastic, no restricted walls and chairs for people to sit still and work. An ideal environment in which nature heals all pressure and tension is where humans are born to be mingled with.

  • What is your advice to young people who want to be an social entrepreneur?

“Allow yourself to feed the internal passion” stated Lykheang during the interview. This means that, as an entrepreneur, decision does not have to be based on logic all the time. Sometimes the best solution comes from emotion and gut feelings. Believe in your ambition, feed that fire inside you, and grow. The key is to remember that, deep down, you know who you are meant to be.

Find out more about DerPrey here.

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Written by Vitak Cheav

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