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Green Terrace, an initiative to help urban residents cultivate vegetables and plants, has won a 3,000 USD grant from Smart Axiata through the SmartSpark entrepreneurship program, which aims to develop meaningful social ventures that will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Launched in August 2018 by Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh, the SmartSpark program is a three-year effort, spread across nine “cohorts” – or groups – of young entrepreneurs, to discover and grow social businesses that contribute to sustainable development.
Green Terrace was selected as the winner from the six different social venture teams that made up Cohort 6 of SmartSpark, which focused on social solutions to better protect our fragile environment.
The six teams spent three months working with mentors and trainers from Impact Hub to develop their ideas ahead of the final pitch session on Friday last week.
“I am very proud of the confidence our team members have shown. Thank you, Impact Hub Phnom Penh and Smart Axiata, for granting us the opportunity and financial support to further develop our platform. Our platform will have a major and positive impact on the environment,” said Chhoun Virak Ratha, co-founder of Green Terrace.
SmartSpark Cohort 6 (Environment) featured six strong ideas to help limit negative human impacts on the environment:

  • Et-Jay, an app that allows users to sell recyclable items easily, encouraging the collection of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and other recyclables.
  • Bamboo Eco, an initiative to develop eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic cups by enabling Cambodians to produce customized bamboo cups, tumblers and drink containers.
  •  Best in Box, an initiative that helps reduce food packaging waste by providing eco-friendly packaging materials.
  • Xpanz, a youth-led organization that works on tackling waste from the garment industry by upcycling leftover fabric scraps and donated items into new products.
  • Smart Veckchob, a reusable container service that aims to reduce the unnecessary use of plastics in food delivery services.

Impact Hub Phnom Penh’s Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Melanie Mossard endorsed all the participating initiatives. She said: “At Impact Hub, we believe in the power of entrepreneurship to solve Cambodia’s most pressing issues. In this cohort of SmartSpark 6, we gathered aspiring entrepreneurs with a background in areas such as agriculture, engineering, design and business, but all of them share the same desire to deliver solutions. Over the past three months, the teams have spent most of their time understanding the problems, doing market research, building prototypes and validating their ideas to see if there is a market for them. We hope that this program can be a launchpad for all the teams to follow their passion, develop their skills and build their startups.”
“Climate change and our harmful impact on the environment are clearly the most important challenges of our time, and we are running out of time to make the changes we need. While it is easy to become pessimistic about the state of our planet, it is very encouraging to have seen the passion and commitment of these young social entrepreneurs in SmartSpark Cohort 6, who realize that they can make a real difference, even at a local community level, by developing smart ideas that raise awareness of the issues and help tackle real-life problems,” said Smart Axiata’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Koam Tivea.

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