Retrospective: Cambodia’s National Business Plan Competition 2015

On the 30th May this year, the National Business Plan Competition (NBPC) grand finale was held at Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh from 1.30pm to 6.30pm. Hosted by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) with many international partners alongside, several senior Cambodian government officials were also there to oversee the event.

The NBPC is said to be Cambodia’s leading business plan challenge that provides youths with the opportunity to establish their business plans, receive mentorship, and connect with the business community as well as potential investors. It is open to all Cambodian citizens aged 20 and above, with each team consisting of 3 members. This year, a total of 80 teams applied, and only the most outstanding 20 were chosen to go through with NBPC’s 3 months program.

This included going through a leadership camp as well as a training programme where competitors had the opportunity to rub shoulders with and learn from world-class entrepreneurs such as the head of Uber Guangzhou. Check out the video below to find out more about their journey in NBPC!

After much deliberation, the final 8 teams were chosen and invited to the grand finale, where they were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a live panel and audience.

Upon the arrival of H.E. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports, the 8 teams introduced themselves to the panel as well as audience and briefly presented their business ideas. The 8 teams that were part of the qualifying round included:

1. Derlengs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzZEhIFW_no)
2. Employment Service (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8qfAIeXYwQ)
3. Green Tour Agent (http://youtu.be/rwYnqyDHAjc)
4. Khmer Social Tour (http://youtu.be/d2-h-flTZBA)
5. Mortuary Service (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxLOY_Md8ZY&feature=youtu.be)
6. Sport Pill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRtNi4jvXqg)
7. Rice Vision (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cmt3YvZ6Zg&feature=youtu.be)
8. School Bus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbwX31SDtmo)

Check out the individual links above to find out more about each team’s business plan!

After a welcome speech by Mr Sok Puthyvuth, Chairman of the NBPC, H.E Hang Chuon Naron then went on to give a closing remark before the prizes were handed out to the winners.

“Entrepreneurship is one of the top priorities in MoEYS; we try to promote this to increase employment. Entrepreneurships can create jobs for our youths. Cambodia is a society with many youths – nearly 50 percent of our citizens are less than 30 years old, making Cambodia the country with the youngest population in ASEAN. Nearly 300,000 people enter the marketplace each year. Next year, there will probably be around 400,000 seekers. Without entrepreneurships, we will not be able to secure this, thus I highly recommend the NBPC,” he said.

“Many small and medium enterprises are also lacking in finance – they cannot go to the bank to apply for loans. The other thing is that they do not have a business plan, so the banks cannot trust them. Thus, this competition allows young entrepreneurs to realise how they can develop a business plan so that they can engage with social developments and access financial solutions.”

At the end of the day, Sport Pill walked away with the grand prize of USD$5000. Sport Pill’s business plan is one that is relatively simple, yet well planned out. The team noticed a lot of football players playing separately on the streets in Phnom Penh, and booking football pitches required time and money. Thus, they proposed to create a smartphone application that connects football players in PP together, and members will be able to book pitches simply through the app, eventually encouraging more Cambodians to stay active and healthy.

Mortuary Service bagged the 2nd prize, walking away with USD$3000. The team proposed to provide ambulance services from hospitals to homes for a relatively affordable price, after noticing that many people did not have enough money to hire people to take away the bodies after losing their beloved ones.

Third place was given to Rice Vision, where the team won USD$2000. Rice Vision was created by the team to ensure high quality exports of rice to the global market, while strengthening the ecosystems of farmers in Cambodia.

Additionally, the team behind School Bus walked away with the title of “Rising Star”, with a total of USD$1000 in prize money.

All the winners posing for a group photo with the honourable guests and mentors 

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The winning team, Sport Pill, answering several questions from different media organisations

For more information about the National Business Plan Competition, check out their official website here, and their Facebook page here. Start prepping on your business plans now, and don’t miss out on the challenge next year!