Written by Abigail Perriman
As we wrap up Accelerate2030 Cambodia we’d like to share some insights, outcomes and learnings that we’ve taken from this experience. It’s been an absolute pleasure to get to know seven impact-driven ventures and 14 talented mentors, thank you to everyone involved!
In case you missed it, Accelerate2030 is a global initiative of Impact Hub and UNDP, and this year it was run in 16 countries in emerging markets, across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. The aim is to find and support innovative and high potential ventures from emerging markets to scale their impact both nationally and internationally.
Seven impact-driven ventures
22 businesses applied to join the Accelerate2030 program in Cambodia and after shortlisting by Impact Hub Phnom Penh, an Accelerate2030 mentor and UNDP Cambodia, seven ventures were selected. Meet the teams here:
- Centre for Sustainable Water is an organisation created in order to address the gap in capacity in the Cambodia Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector, with a focus on building capacity then leveraging it to accelerate access towards SDG 6 in Cambodia, and providing a sustainable, safe and secure water future for all.
- My Dream Home is a social enterprise addressing a lack of affordable housing in Cambodia through innovative and environmentally friendly bricks, using a system similar to Lego bricks.
- Dine in the Dark restaurants and Dots Coffee shops challenge preconceived limitations of the visually impaired and integrate them into the mainstream economy by empowering, training, and employing them in customer-facing roles.
- MoanSrae is trading local Khmer chicken from the community to Central Market. We build sustainable communities through contract-farming and technical awareness.
- Peth Yoeung (Our Doctor) is a cloud-based EMR and hospital operating management system invented to digitalize patient’s medical record of patients in Cambodia and beyond.
- SmartAgro designs and implements climate-smart agricultural practices that increase profits, enhance resilience and reduce emissions, all for the same goal: to improve human health.
- TapEffect is a social enterprise that strives to ensure direct access to safe and affordable piped water for households in isolated and under-served areas in Cambodia.
Accelerate2030 Cambodia program
So what did we get up to? Through a four-month program, ventures worked with mentors, the Impact Hub team, and through peer coaching to focus on 5 key areas of scale readiness:
- Connections & networks, Leadership & resilience, Scaling strategies, Access to finance and Impact measurement
- The entrepreneurs hugely valued the time and expertise given by their mentors and rated the quality of support offered by mentors as 7.75/10 and that they intend to continue 80% of their mentoring relationships beyond the program.
“The mentorship was delivered by truly lovely and highly capable professionals.”
- A huge thank you to the 14 mentors who together met with teams 108 times to share their expertise and help entrepreneurs progress with their scaling plans:
- Subhadeep Chowdhury, Founder/Director, Profitence; Cheryl Lee, Senior Investment Officer, Emerging Markets Investment Advisors; Tapas Kuila, General Partner, OOCTANE; Imar Nandha, Senior Investment Officer, BlueOrchard Finance; Chris Perera, Co-Founder, WorldAcquire; Christopher Smith, Venture Development Manager, Insitor Partners; Katherine Dobson, Head of MEL, Mercy Corps; Sakib Mirza, Founder, Business Advisor, Chief Operating Officer, Vodworks; Valentina Squitieri, MBA, Founder & Coach, The Nomad Coach; Chansamphors Chiek, Chief Investment Officer, Daun Penh Cambodia Group; Joey Ra, Life coach and Principal Consultant; Brett White, Founder, Be Leadership; Karen Moik, Investment Consultant; Minea Kim, Managing Partner, WeAlliance Co., Ltd
“It’s an experience that I would do again and again and I would recommend.”
“I felt extremely well-supported. Impact Hub had great resources and Abi frequently checked-in to ensure that everything was moving smoothly.”
- If you’re interested in mentoring with Impact Hub Phnom Penh find out more and get in touch here.
Accelerate2030 Cambodia Final Pitch
The Accelerate2030 Cambodia Final Pitch was kindly sponsored by BRED Bank. The purpose of the pitch was to showcase the impactful work these seven ventures have been doing, share their scaling plans and ambitions, and make connections with people in the audience who want to support them in getting there.
Judges had the challenging task of nominated three ventures to go through to an international competition for the chance to join a scaling program in Geneva. Huge congratulations to the National Finalists, Centre for Sustainable Water, SmartAgro and Peth Yoeung.
And thank you to our esteemed panel of judges for their time and contributions: Ratana Phurik-Callebaut, Board of Advisors, Impact Hub Phnom Penh & Private Sector Development Coach; Iv Ek Nimnuon, Head of Policy & Innovation, UNDP Cambodia; Meas Kunthea, Head of Branch Networks, BRED Bank; Henri de Reboul, Chief Executive, PhiTrust Asia
The three Cambodia finalists competed with 50+ ventures from around the world to be selected as one of 10 to join a scaling week and the Social Good Summit in Geneva, and 9-months of scaling support from international experts. As you can imagine, it was a tough competition, and in the end, the Cambodian ventures were not selected. We strongly recommend you check out the international finalists here, with amazing initiatives working across the SDGs!
Accelerate2030 is all about scaling impact, whatever that means to each business. And the teams in Cambodia certainly made significant strides in the 4-months of the program.
In the last month of the program, ventures reported impacting 70,819 lives, 794 of which with high or very high impact.
Four ventures increased their monthly revenue (one stayed the same and one decreased) by an average of $6,375. Five ventures increased the number of unique customers (one decreased) by an average of 113 customers. Finally, ventures increased the number of paid staff by 29% (from 77 paid staff to 100 paid staff).
- 100% of participants agreed that the program contributed to being able to grow their business, with 45% reporting a significant contribution, 45% a moderate contribution and 9% a limited contribution.
- In what ways did the program impact them?
- “I feel more confident that launching this venture was the right choice for me. I understand myself better in terms of what motivates me to keep going, which has helped me to stay focused and be more resilient.”
- “I had the privilege to meet and learn from highly capable professionals in Phnom Penh and improved some technical skills (marketing, business development strategy, data gathering and analysis), and some soft skills (mostly leadership skills).”
- With a net promoter score of +37 and 91% requesting to join Hub Entrepreneurs Club, we are confident that participants had a positive experience and we’re looking forward to continue to stay connected and offering support.
- “Abi, Mélanie, and their team members have provided a fantastic job. They did not only organise everything extremely well, but they also made it feel seamless and offered personalised assistance whenever needed. Hats off; we have never experienced such a well-run programme – and community”
A few things we’ve learnt for next time:
Get in touch with Abi at email@example.com if you want to speak to us about Accelerate2030 for 2020, to connect with any of the ventures, or to let us know what you think!