PHNOM PENH, October 25, 2021 – Sugarpads, an initiative to create biodegradable sanitary pads from natural cellulose, has won a 3,000 USD grant from Smart Axiata through the SmartSpark entrepreneurship program, which aims to build meaningful social ventures that will contribute to the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SmartSpark, now in its eighth cohort, was launched as part of a collaboration between Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh. Since its inception in 2018, the program has supported young entrepreneurs to discover and grow social businesses that contribute to sustainable development.
Sugarpads was selected from seven other teams that made up cohort 8 of SmartSpark, which focused on building resilience in the new normal. Participants were invited to explore solutions that would alleviate poverty, gender and economic inequality, unemployment, and stagnant economic growth.
Over a training period of three months, the eight teams worked with mentors and trainers to develop their social ventures. The eight teams presented their ideas in a live-streamed pitching session on Facebook, garnering over 57,000 views.
“SmartSpark has brought us the most memorable and exciting journey this year. We are impressed by the potential and passionate people who gave great advice and most of all supported us patiently. It is a transformative hub that enables us to validate our business ideas and brings us interesting and up-to-date business lessons that are quite useful for our current and future applications. In SmartSpark we do not just learn the theories, but we practice,” said Chhuor Sochan Vimul, Team Leader of Sugarpads
“We’re very proud of all of the young aspiring social entrepreneur teams who have been working so hard with full of passion and determination to help Cambodia adapt to the new normal through their innovative solutions to improve physical health, mental welling, effective distance learning, E-commerce, and engaging virtual tourism solutions,” said Nara Sokhema, Lead Trainer & Program Advisor at Impact Hub Phnom Penh
“Having lived with the coronavirus pandemic for almost two years, Cambodia is now beginning to take steps towards a total reopening of the economy. This cohort of entrepreneurs is in a unique position to seize this opportune moment to get their social enterprises up and running, for the collective good of our society. Many of these innovations will improve people’s quality of life and their wellbeing by utilizing various forms of digital technologies. We’re excited to see the growth journey that these bright minds will embark upon,” said Smart Axiata Chief Executive Officer Thomas Hundt.
All eight teams will be invited to join Impact Hub’s alumni program – Hub Entrepreneurs Club – and will continue to receive support: mentoring, masterclasses, space, and access to a strong community of innovators and leaders.
The eight teams are:
- Sugarpads is a biodegradable sanitary pad made out of natural cellulose aiming to liberate women from infections and irritations and to boost female confidence, especially reducing plastic usage.
- Rukkha Lab cares about health and beauty, by providing a pure 100% essential oil in their perfume products.
- ReanBathom is the online learning platform for students in grades 4-6, to learn while having fun.
- MaSkin is a spray product used to kill the bacteria on masks and prevent your face from getting acne, skin irritation and provides a good smell to make you feel fresh.
- MentalAid is a safe and reliable platform that assists and supports adults to become mentally healthy and improve their well-being through a variety of fun & trustworthy self-help services and professional help services from licensed therapists.
- Louk Dom is a wholesale application where people can easily purchase grocery products in large quantities at low prices for personal usage or retailing.
- Tussana re-invent exploration by providing an interactive and digital discovery of Cambodia.
- InsightChop aims to transform and elevate used chopsticks into new materials and valuable daily life products.
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