EU and Khmer Enterprise fund partnership for clean energy innovation in the agri-fishery sector
Khmer Enterprise, a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and EnergyLab, Cambodia’s only energy start-up incubator, have inked a partnership agreement to support clean energy start-ups in the agriculture, fishery, and aquaculture sectors in Cambodia with funds from the European Union.
The partnership aims to support clean energy entrepreneurs in developing competitive products adapted to the energy needs of agri-fishery enterprises in the Tonle Sap region. EnergyLab will select between five and ten clean energy start-ups each year to participate in its highly successful one-year incubation program. That programme guides start-ups with intensive training, mentoring and one-to-one coaching.
Khmer Enterprise will provide funds through a ‘seed investment grant’ to the selected start-ups for the prototyping of new products and their related sales, marketing, and growth strategies.
Chhieng Vanmunin, Chief Executive Officer of Khmer Enterprise (KE), said that this partnership aligns perfectly with their mandate to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem and agro-industry which is one of Khmer Enterprise’s prioritised sectors.
Khmer Enterprise wants to create, invest in and support successful business in this sector. Through this program, these start-ups can get the support they need to take their business concepts to reality and be set for growth and investment. Khmer Enterprise wants to be there to help mobilise other investors for long-term success,” said Vanmunin.
This partnership is part of the EU-funded programme “Switch to Solar”, which is being implemented by People in Need (PIN) along with EnergyLab as well as Sevea, a specialised consulting company
The collaboration with Khmer Enterprise allows us to enhance our incubation program and accelerate start-ups progress towards success,” said Antoine Denizart, EnergyLab’s SWITCH to Solar Project Director.
“The opportunities to create value with clean energy solutions for the agriculture or aquaculture sector is vast, but these projects are complex, and the availability of good business solutions is limited in Cambodia,” he added.
“We are pleased to be collaborating with Khmer Enterprise because their support will help entrepreneurs seize these market opportunities while de-risking their innovation process,” Denizart. The second round of the Clean Energy and Agri-Fishery Incubation Program will start accepting applicants in August 2021.
Innovations using clean energy in the value chain can help rural companies expand their business, strengthen competitiveness and pave the way for a green recovery after COVID 19, said EU Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Carmen Moreno. She added: “Our support will allow Cambodian entrepreneurs to develop new green technologies and business solutions for the agricultural, aquaculture, and fishery industries,” she added.