Welcome to SmartSpark (Sustainable Cities, Jobs and Industries)

What tech solutions do you want to see to help improve convenience and safety for Cambodian citizens?

How can we ensure Phnom Penh can meet the demands of a rapidly growing population?

How do we build the skills needed for the jobs of the future?

How do we improve efficiency and automation of Cambodian businesses and infrastructure?

How could we create the jobs needed for Cambodia’s changing population?


Ever asked yourself any of these questions? Want to test out a business idea that could help answer them and many more?

[Apply Now]

What is SmartSpark?

SmartSpark is a startup program to introduce the key concepts of social entrepreneurship to people like you, people with the ambition to turn their innovative idea into a business that will tackle Cambodia’s biggest challenges.

What are the SDGs?

Each of the SmartSpark cohorts will focus on a different set of Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs). The SDGs were developed by the United Nations (UN). They bring focus and unity to the many different people and organisations acting globally to bring about positive change, like Sustainable Cities and Communities or Gender Equality. Cambodia is one of 193 countries that has adopted the SDGs.

During this cohort we are supporting innovations that address challenges in Sustainable Jobs, Cities and Industries:

SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

SDG 9: Instrustry, Innovation and Infrastructure

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

What will you get on the program?

During this program, you will have access to:

  • Impact Hub’s Innovation Garage
  • Impact Hub’s Network
  • A dedicated Impact Hub mentor
  • Structured workshops to develop and test your idea
  • The opportunity to pitch your innovative idea

At the end of the program, you will have the opportunity to pitch your idea to a panel of judges and audience. One team will be selected to receive $3,000 to launch their business idea, as well as receiving ongoing support from Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

You will go through this intensive program alongside fellow changemakers also passionate about strengthening Cambodia’s cities, jobs and infrastructure for a more resilient future. We believe that having multiple people working on similar challenges will help strengthen you all as you offer each other motivation, feedback and support.

Looking for inspiration?

  1. Meet the teams from Cohort 3 on Environment… 
  2. Find out more and dig deeper into some of the questions above at the next Youth with Impact event on Wednesday 28th August.
  3. Ideate solutions to .., at the … event with Slash & Startup Jungle on Wednesday 4th September
  4. Ideate with friends or at home using this template guide for idea generation.
  5. Explore these Cambodian based ventures making an impact in SDGs 8, 9 and 11: Peth Yoeung, Worldbridge, My Dream Home, PSE, Artisan Angkor, PassApp, Voltra Motors, TreeAlliance, Edemy, Wedushare, Inclusion+, Okra Solar
  6. Do more research into the national and international businesses tackling these SDGs.


[Apply before Sunday 15th September]


  1. What will I learn?

Week 0: “You’re a changemaker and you (don’t) know it!” – Inspirational session – Reflection on your personal story and why are you passionate about solving this problem. – What is a social enterprise &  how can I use this type of business to positively impact my society?.


Week 1: “Building a strong team and identifying the root causes of the problem”.  Understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses to build a high performing team.  Reflection on the problem tree to identify the root causes of the problem and generate ideas of solutions.


Week 2: “Market Research and Customer Persona” – How to do primary & secondary market research for customer discovery & market analysis


Week 3: “Creating Innovative Solution and Rapid Prototyping” – Understanding the concept of design thinking. Tips to get creative and think out of the box.  Rapid prototyping and construction of a Minimum Viable Product.


Week 4: “Business Model Canvas” – Building a strong Value Proposition &  identifying the right Business Model for your solutions. Introduction to the Business Model Canvas tools.


Week 5: “Strategy, Project Management & Financial Planning” – Prepare your strategic roadmap, Learn and utilize various project management tools, make your first financial Projection.


Week 6: “Partnership. Marketing and Pitching” – Build Connections and Strong Networks to Support Your Startup, Learn about the basics of Marketing and how to establish a Marketing Strategy.  Present your idea through an Effective and Engaging Pitch to get stakeholders onboard.


Bonus: learn how to make a 1.30min video to present your business idea.


2. Who can apply?

Aspiring entrepreneurs at idea stage, ready and motivated to test the feasibility of their idea to solve a social or environmental issue.

  • You are Cambodian and aged 18 to 30 years old
  • You can apply as an individual or as a team (up to 4 members)
  • You want to test the feasibility of your business idea
  • You can commit to work on your idea at least part-time (evenings and some weekends are required)
  • You speak both Khmer and English


  1. What are the judging criteria?
  • Your idea must solve a problem related to SDG 8, SDG 9 and/or SDG 11
  • Your idea must be innovative
  • You must clearly show motivation and drive to turn your idea into a viable business model
  • No experience in business or startup required


  1. What are the dates of the training and how much time will I need to dedicate to this program?

This program offers a full curriculum, so you need to be available for all of the training workshops and events. You are also making a commitment to your team and your cohort to show up and contribute at every session.


The dates are:

Tuesday 24th September, 6pm – 8pm

Saturday 28th September, 9am – 12pm

Tuesday 1st October, 6pm – 8pm

Saturday 5th October, 9am – 12pm

Tuesday 8th October, 6pm – 8pm

Wednesday 16th October 6pm – 8pm

Tuesday 22nd October 6pm – 8pm

Wednesday 27th November (Final Pitch), 6pm – 9pm

Monday 2nd December, 6pm – 8pm


As well as the face to face workshops and events, to get the most out of the program you will be spending at least 12 hours per week on your startup idea.


  1. How do I apply?

Apply before midnight on Sunday 15th September using the application form here. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Wednesday 18th September, and successful teams will be invited to join the program on Friday 20th September.


[Apply Now]

If you have any questions about the application process or SmartSpark please get in touch with abigail.perriman@impacthub.net or kosoma.kim@impacthub.net 


Stay up to date with Impact Hub Phnom Penh’s Facebook page here or Smart for Cambodia’s Facebook here.

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