In Cambodia, there is a rather high number of female entrepreneurs in the community with around 65% of business owners being female. Due to this high number, there are currently a handful of organizations and competitions that are notably female-centric, so as to promote the growth of female businesses and entrepreneurship.
Some of these organizations and competitions that help propel women entrepreneurs to greater heights are SHE Investments, WeCreate and Technovation Challenge by Iridescent. All of these different efforts help give women a wide array of platforms and programmes to seek support, get information specific to them and even give them an avenue to shine and show off their innovative talents.
On top of that, a lot of these efforts are being introduced consistently, showing how much support there is to help women learn new things, hone their talents or just provide them with valuable information on how to go about with their businesses. For example, SHE Investments just recently launched their Business Information Platform for Women called Ngeay Ngeay.
Besides that, here’s a quick summary of what these organizations and programmes are and what they offer:
Speaking of Technovation, we at Geeks in Cambodia had the opportunity to interview the girls from Techlifestyle, the team who clinched first place in the Junior Division back in April 2017 by creating an app called Pre-Health. This application was created to provide health service-related information to people and encourage them to take charge of their health and enhance their own well-being. During the interview, they shared with us about their experiences going through the Technovation Challenge, their future plans and even some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The following interview has been edited for clarity, length and flow.
What were your experiences like, participating in the workshops, being under mentorship, and then finally pitching at the Technovation event?
Techlifestyle (T): After joining Technovation,we feel that the experiences were both arduous and agitating at the same time. Sometimes, it was very complicated to work with each other and we had a lot of conflicts, but we still pushed each other until we succeeded, and eventually won the National Pitch.
What do you think made your innovation stand out from the rest, allowing your team to come out as the winner?
T: The thing that made our innovation stand out from the rest and allowing us to come out as the winner for National Pitch Junior Division was the fact that our app had a good business strategy and it was easy to use; making it helpful for all Cambodian’s lifestyles.
What are some of the future plan for your innovation?
T: Our optimal future plan for our innovation is to make the mobile application even more high quality, make it more helpful to Cambodians and have the application advertised all over the world.
What was the biggest takeaway from this event?
T: Our biggest takeaway from this event were the different kinds of skills we learnt– including coding skills, writing business skills, collaborations, speech preparation, lessons on how to advertise our app and good presentation skills.
What are some advice or words of encouragement that you would like to share with aspiring young female entrepreneurs in Cambodia?
Naka: Don’t think that just because you are a girl, you cannot be involved with technology like boys. You should participate in technology too!
Dalen: Though there may be hard situations, you should never give up. Continue working till you reach success.
Kakrona: Even if you fail the competition, be optimistic because it is part of the experience. You can always try it again next time.
Dyna: In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.
Vuochnea: Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on to improving your innovation instead.
From this interview alone, it looks like the future for female entrepreneurs seems extremely promising; especially with an array of support systems and opportunities where females can really hone their innovation skills. As for Techlifestyle, receiving such an award at a young age is truly an inspiration and they have really shown us that as long as you have the willpower and enthusiasm for your business idea, you will have no problem succeeding ultimately though the journey towards success may be hard!
So if you’re feeling inspired and are interested in fulfilling your entrepreneurship dreams just like these girls, you’re in luck because you can register for the upcoming Technovation Challenge. Though registration will not be open till 18 October 2017, you can subscribe to their website to get updates and an email blast when registrations officially begin.