Three team members from PEPY recently attended the 1st YS-HUB Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Cambodia. The event was held in Siem Reap and was supported by a group of international facilitators from The Hub Singapore, Young Startups and mentors from local social enterprises such as PEPY Tours, Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE), and Friends International,
The bootcamp was designed for aspiring social entrepreneurs, directors, experienced managers and staff of Non Government Organizations (NGO). Its purpose was to identify a neglected social problem, define a theory for change, construct a business model and then propose a sustainable solution.
Friday evening, after all the introductions were done it was down to work. Individuals that came with a concept had the opportunity to champion the idea to the rest of the group. Participants decided which group they would join and then collaborated as a team to present a concept to a judging panel of social impact investors and experts. The 33 participants formed 8 groups, and 7 mentors worked with each group to guide them through the process. The methodology used was based on INSEAD application.
Each group followed an intensive 11 step process to address their social problem.
After working through every step the group presented their ideas to the rest of the forum. A minute and a half was all each group had to pitch their social innovation to a panel of 4 judges followed by a 10 minute question and answer session. Then top three finalists had the opportunity to pitch in greater detail with a second minute and a half presentation, followed by a further 10 minute question and answer session.
PEPY team participants; Kimline, Seak and Lida thoroughly enjoyed the event. They learned a lot about how to develop ideas and gained skills regarding how to pitch the concept to potential donors.
Kimline’s group focused on the social problem that within Cambodian culture few people read books. They brainstormed ideas and concepts as to how to encourage Cambodians to become ‘book worms’ by promoting reading.
Lida enjoyed the event as it was a great opportunity to expand her network and get to know participants from many different backgrounds. She felt the facilitators were very skilled and experienced in Social Entrepreneurship. They kept the energy levels high in the group even when everyone was exhausted from working so hard.
The 48hrs was filled with great inspiring speeches from guest speakers and mentors. Lida’s team took first place, winning the judges over with their concept based around the lack of soft skills in the young people of Cambodia. Team members have now secured funding from an investor to implement their concept. Team members wishing to be part of the bigger project now have the opportunity to regroup and develop the plan in greater detail over a longer period of time.
Prior to the event Seak felt he did not have a clear understanding of the difference between a business and a social enterprise but now after listening to the experienced speakers and actively participating in the bootcamp, he is clear on the two different concepts. He has developed the skills to brainstorm ideas and produce a social business plan. His thoughts are if you pilot your idea while it is small, you will see the right way to work through the process to produce a successful enterprise.
Other social problems that were developed during the bootcamp were: an eco-tourism project for Koh Kong; a small business software company that would employ and train university students; organic vegetable farms that would supply local hotels; a project to support rural entrepreneurs in Siem Reap to set up ethical tourism projects; a new kind of inter-locking brick that could reduce the cost of housing; and the sourcing of an income for men and women in disadvantaged communities.
The consensus of many of the participants was it was very intensive, challenging and exhausting but very rewarding and a lot was learned.
“The bootcamp was very exciting and was an amazing opportunity for entrepreneurs to apply their ideas in a real scenario. It was very effective”
-Kimline, Executive Director PEPY