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Impact Hub Phnom Penh and Smart Axiata are proud to announce the launch of a new entrepreneurship program dedicated to building meaningful social ventures that can contribute to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Spanning three years and with a total of nine cohorts, SmartSpark will incubate a total of 54 impact ventures.

Each cohort will focus on a different set of SDGs and will tailor the support, expertise, mentoring and network to provide teams with the best chance of success. Smart Axiata and Impact Hub Phnom Penh will carefully select six of the best teams and most innovative ideas that have the potential to have a real impact in Cambodia by contributing to the global goals.

The first cohort is launching this week, with applications open from 18th August till 10th September. We’re looking for young Cambodians with the drive and ambition to tackle SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health & Well-being, or SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation. There will also be a mini-hackathon where interested applicants can ideate, create teams, and discuss solutions with industry experts.

“This is a really exciting program as it gives us a chance to really focus on specific social and environmental challenges facing Cambodia today. With this focus, we will draw from our extensive network the best leaders, experts and founders from NGOs, ministries and the private sector to offer advice, mentoring and masterclasses. We are always impressed by the quality and diversity of ideas that we receive from applications and we can’t wait to see what impressive ventures emerge as a result of the nine cohorts,” said Abi Perriman, Program and Impact Manager, Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

“Beyond our core business, Smart has repeatedly shown our commitment towards various sustainability initiatives and to contribute back to the society. By providing young and bright social entrepreneurs with the right support and mentoring from experts, more relevant business ideas will emerge that will ultimately impact the development of Cambodia in line with the SDG goals. Building on our strong partnership with Impact Hub, I am very optimistic that we will be able to make positive change in our society,” said Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata.

Social Business Model Validation Program
SmartSpark is a three-month social business model validation program to introduce the key concepts of social entrepreneurship to young people with drive and determination to turn their innovative idea into a viable business model. This means they will learn about identifying a problem, understanding its root causes and consequences, identifying their customer and value proposition, pricing, marketing and more. In short, they will learn about all the essential building blocks needed to start an impact venture.

During this time, 6 teams of aspiring entrepreneurs will have access to inspiring work space, a local and global network, mentoring and coaching, and workshops and tailored business support.

Each cohort will end with a Pitching Day, giving teams the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and audience. Judges will select one winning team and the winning team will receive $3,000 to continue their work on and grow their startup, as well as continued support from Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

The mini-hackathon is a great opportunity for interested applicants to come and learn more about the specific four SDGs of cohort 1. They will hear from leading experts working on SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health & Well-being and SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation, about what the problems are and what areas applicants could focus on when developing their business ideas. It is also an opportunity to meet like-minded people, form teams and develop ideas to apply with. And of course to have fun!

Expert Speakers: experts from Oxfam, Action Against Hunger, TPO Cambodia and Centre For Sustainable Water
Where: Impact Hub Phnom Penh
When: 6pm-8pm on Wednesday 22nd August
Price: FREE

How to apply
Applications are open from Saturday 18th August to Midnight on Monday 10th September. For more information and to apply visit –

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