What is SmartSpark?

SmartSpark is a 10-week startup program to introduce the key concepts of social entrepreneurship to people with the ambition of turning their innovative idea into a business that will tackle Cambodia’s biggest challenges. Each of the SmartSpark cohorts will focus on a different set of Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs). The aim is to help them turn creative ideas into viable businesses and innovative solutions!

What is the focus of this cohort?

This cohort was held under the theme, “Equality and Education.” It was for young Cambodians with the drive and ambition to tackle SDG4: Quality Education, SDG5: Gender equality, SDG10: Reduced inequality. 

What were the SDGs?

How did it start?

SmartSpark Cohort 2 was launched on Saturday, 15th December. The applications opened from December 15 December 2018, until January 5, 2019.

There was also a mini-hackathon where interested applicants could learn more about the focused SDGs, meet potential teammates and ideated solutions! With the experts’ help, the participants had used the group’s power to come up with many creative solutions at the end.

We have invited a speaker to share his insight regarding his work and its impact on Cambodia’s equality, education and inclusivity through a video interview during the open application period.

Finally, we have found 7 teams of aspiring entrepreneurs completed the SmartSpark program and took on SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG3: Good Health and Wellbeing, and SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

SmartSpark Cohort 2's Teams


 Digital platform established to inspire and connect Cambodian women to opportunities and valuable resources.


HouseMe will be providing a platform to connect women from the provinces with safe accommodation at an affordable price in the city and providing support programs for better integration in the new urban life.


Provides dorm management solutions for provincial universities to ease access to higher education for provincial students, including empowerment programs (leadership, English and tech training) and facility management. 



Developed an idea of a one-stop platform inspiring, empowering, and connecting individuals with disabilities, to the job market opportunities and providing consultancy services for organizations to become more inclusive. 


aims to improve the livelihood of people with disabilities by providing a digital platform featuring Cambodian handicrafts products made by individuals with disabilities and offering some tours visiting local communities’ lives.

Pitching Night

The winner of SmartSpark2 is Inclusion +


“As a young female professional who has polio, I understand the challenges that people with disabilities face on a daily basis in Cambodia. This is what lead me to be an advocate for disability rights for over 10 years, and why I am passionate about bridging the gap between accessibility and entering the job market. I am so proud to win this competition and it will allow us to kick start our entrepreneurial dream. We will use this money to develop our platform ready for connecting individuals with disabilities and the job market in the next 6 months; we will continue working to connect existing resources and promote inclusive growth” said Kuy Chheng Treng, Inclusion+.


“SmartSpark program has become a platform where both professionals and students not only are able to challenge themselves by taking on their entrepreneurial journey, but also contribute to tackling alarming issues that the United Nations are striving to address. As one of the judges, I was really impressed by how they were trying to solve such global issues in Cambodia to achieve SDGs. At Smart, we believe in promoting quality education, gender equality and reduced inequality as a way to develop Cambodia. I can’t wait to see more impactful ideas from the programs in the next 7 cohorts,” Jonathan Yap, Head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs at Smart Axiata. 

“It’s a fantastic experience to join SmartSpark. This program really grows my entrepreneurial mindset and I really appreciate the support offered by mentors. Even if we are based in Battambang, we could follow this course using video-conference. It’s very stimulating and motivating to be part of a cohort of like-minded individuals who share the same desire to improve the access to education for disadvantaged youth. ” Chiva Mork, SistersDream

Thank You


  • Jonathan Yap, Head of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs of Smart Axiata
  • Ratana Phurik Callebaut, Chair of Cambodia Society of Investment Professional Cheryl Lee, Senior Investment Officer at Emerging Markets Investment Advisers (EMIA)
  • Celia Boyd,  Managing Director at SHE Investments


  • Mr Siv Monirath, Teach for Cambodia (Quality Education)
  • Ms Bunn Rachana, Klahaan (Gender Equality)
  • Mr Mey Samith, Executive Director, Phnom Penh Centre for Independent Learning (Reduced Inequality)

Speakers & Moderator

  • Mr Siv Monirath, Founder, Teach for Cambodia (Quality Education)
  • Ms Loem Lida, Co-Founder, SHE Investments (Gender Equality)
  • Ms Mil Sreytoch, LGBT Community Organizer, Rock Cambodia (Reduced Inequality, LGBTQ+)
  • Ms Nguon Sophak Kanika, Lecturer on Social Work at RUPP
  • Ms Onn Sokney, Founder, EPIC Arts
  • Mr May Samith, PPCIL – Founder/Executive, Phnom Penh Centre for Independent Learning (PPCIL)
  • Phoeun Veasna, representative of Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO)
  • Moderator: Ms Eang Linda, Life Group

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