Sakada Sam: Cambodia Needs More Educations On Entrepreneurship

I asked Sakada Sam, co-founder of SmallWord and founder of Khmer Enterprises about entrepreneurship in Cambodia. I am also learning to be an entrepreneur.

It’s a long way to go as Sakada mentioned in this interview. I hope all Cambodian people, especially the young generation spend their time to know themselves, find their passions and live their own lives.

It’s a long way to go but it’s good to start today. It’s good to found something like SmallWord, like Khmer Enterprises to encourage people to change their lives.

Everybody should know what make them happy. Everybody should have their goals. Everybody should know what they want people to remember about them.

If you don’t know yet any of these, it’s time to join Khmer Enterprises. I myself registered to be a member too.

I hope my interview with Sakada will provide more information about entrepreneurship, a system that I believe we could have our own business with less than 100$.

Santel: Who are you and what do you do?

Sakada Sam
Sakada Sam, co-founder of SmallWorld and founder of Khmer Enterprises

Sakada: My name Sakada Sam. I am an MBA graduate in Cambodia and a candidate for a Master of SMEs Development in New Zealand. Previously, I was a business development consultant and a highly sought after self-development trainer. I had delivered customized training for various NGOs and businesses. My specialized courses include strategic planning, goal setting, team building and leadership. Currently, I am a co-founder of SmallWorld, a social collaborative workspace, and a founder of Khmer Enterprises, aiming to encourage, support and partner with local startups (*studentrepreneurs) in Cambodia.

Santel: What’s ideas behind the SmallWorld?

Sakada: Our vision is to build a platform for young people to test, refine, and launch their ideas, improve their abilities, and create a business portfolio that will help them secure funding for future business developments.
Our mission is to facilitate and create innovative business and employment opportunities for idea-oriented youth in an open and casual work environment where they can meet, network, share, learn, collaborate, and have fun with other like-minded individuals.
The reason that we want to create this place because we want to create a physical community whereby businesses and startups are given birth, ideally like the concept of Silicon Volley. For example, Rithy, my business partner, runs a bike tour company in SmallWorld. Chhunny runs his training business in SmallWorld. And I give birth to my Khmer Enterprises. And there are many more ideas being given birth here.

Santel: What is the role of Khmer Enterprises? Is it one of the startup company of SmallWorld? or it is founded Independently?

Sakada: Khmer Enterprises is founded independently by me. SmallWorld is mainly about build a physical community for local people to test and refine. But Khmer Enterprises is a social network platform. It aims to build skills and help put the business idea that those young people give birth to in SmallWorld into the market and impresses possible professional partners and investors. In short, SmallWorld is basically a physical collaborative working space, and Khmer Enterprises is an information portal.

Santel: I could see that SmallWorld plays a good part in supporting young Cambodian. The robots commanded by Android devices impressed me a lot. After a few years of starting SmallWorld, what do you think about entrepreneurship in Cambodia?

Sakada: After one year of working with youths in boosting up the entrepreneurship spirit here, I realized that there is a long way to go for young Cambodian people to eliminate their fear and start something of their own. Most of them are too much focused on seeking jobs and some of them still want to play their life around.
Moreover, there should be more educational opportunities on entrepreneurship for them. There should be more encouragement from both private and government sectors. For example, there should be funding opportunities for students who have beautiful entrepreneurial idea or more intern opportunities from private sectors to real business-oriented students.

Santel: Do young Cambodian people want to have their own business or they just want to go to school and learn things they don’t even need for life or earn a living?

Sakada: It is a really hard questions. Though there are a few students running their own businesses. it is quite obvious that most of them are born in rich family. For those who live in medium and low-class, they want is to only survive from month to month and maybe find secure job. At SmallWorld, we used to run a program called, “Entrepreneur Intern”. There were about 35 contestants. This is how we want to test the Cambodian students’ initiative. During the orientation day, we give them a very strange instruction which might never been spoken or heard in their classroom. “Think of the idea that you think is possible to run as a business. Think of yourself what do you REALLY want to do, and come to me.” All of them shouted out lout, “Yes”. Then, the next day, they came and asked me, “What do you want me to do?” So we have to keep explaining them again and again that they should not ask what others want them to do. But they should ask themselves, “What I want to do?” in stead.
After a week, 70% of them disappeared because they do not know what they want to do with their life, and they decided to quit. In less than a month, none survived the first round. The round that we want to them to self-define and be passionate about what they want.
In this sense, we came into a conclusion that if we want more entrepreneur, a lot of education opportunities and guidance is highly needed. Otherwise, they will find it really hard to enter into business industry.

Santel: If people want to join Khmer Enterprises, where do you want to send them? What they need to do the become a member? Do they have to pay for being a member?

Sakada: Nothing is charged for being a member to learn and share in Khmer Enterprises.
They can register via this link http://khmerenterprises.com/user/register
Our target members are:

  1. University students
  2. Professionals
  3. Emerging entrepreneurs
  4. Investor or successful business people

To become our permanent members they do have to fill their real information inside. Otherwise, we have to block or remove themselves after a few reminding.

Santel: What are the benefits of being a member of Khmer Enterprises?

Sakada:

  • There will be some compiled self-development tools and documents that they can view and learn from.
  • They can network (make friends) and learn from each other through blogging.
  • They also can pitch their business idea through startups.
  • They, emerging entrepreneurs, can promote their businesses through this objective and social oriented platform. They also get support on how to do promotional video about their businesses and others from KE team as well.
  • They, investors, are able to go through those business ideas or startups and be able to seed fund those ideas. Moreover, by being in this social online community, they also can contribute to and initiate any activities contributing the impact of entrepreneurship and society. It can be philanthropy, seminars and so on. This is a good role model for younger generations.

Thank to Sakada for his time to answer and give us an inside to the entrepreneurship in Cambodia. He did a lot of good interviews with Cambodian entrepreneurs.

You can read more and become a member of Khmer Enterprises at KhmerEnterprises.com

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