Remarks by Veena Reddy, Deputy Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, EPIC Showcase

Friday, September 15, 2017
Remarks by Veena Reddy, Deputy Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, EPIC Showcase
Remarks by Veena Reddy, Deputy Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, EPIC Showcase
Development Innovations/Chandy Mao
  • Mr. Tauch Choeun, Director General for Youth, Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport
  • Ms. Laura Smitheman, Head of Programs and Innovation, Impact Hub Phnom Penh
  • Ms. Kate Heuisler, Chief of Party, Development Innovations Project
  • Representatives of cooperating private sector partners
  • Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,        

Good morning and welcome to the EPIC Showcase! I want to take a moment to recognize the organizers who have worked to make this exciting event possible. I would like to thank Development Innovations, Impact Hub, private sector partners, as well as other stakeholders, who have supported this event. It is my great pleasure to join you all today.

We are at the EPIC Showcase this morning to see several social ventures such as E-House, Eco Fresh Box, Edemy, Rat Hunter, and UniQ Food demonstrate the lessons they learned as they started and developed their businesses after joining the EPIC social business incubator program. In just a little while, we will hear the entrepreneurs speak about their experience, their startups, their results, and their next steps. I am glad that Impact Hub - in partnership with USAID’s Development Innovations project - initiated this EPIC program to support the growth of the social enterprise start-up community in Cambodia.

The EPIC social business incubator is one way our Development Innovations project helps Cambodians solve problems with information and communication technologies. EPIC has helped support eleven teams of entrepreneurs to create and grow startups that solve some pressing social problems. They work to address problems like the need for English language teaching resources, the lack of expertise about food safety concerns, and the need for safe housing options for Cambodians who come to Phnom Penh to study or find work. Congratulations to all the teams, and to Impact Hub and Development Innovations, for all the hard work involved with running this program and getting us to today's EPIC Showcase.

At the end of this incubator, all the teams will have learned practical lessons about how to be innovators and problem solvers. Some will have secured contracts for services, some have received investments, and some have changed their original business idea altogether to adapt to a changing market. Beyond just supporting startups, this incubator program has also helped develop young entrepreneurs, who will continue to come up with new ideas that have social impact across Cambodia for many years in the future. I am particularly thrilled with the results produced by this program, and that is why we are proud to support these creative entrepreneurs. 

Once again, I want to thank all of you who took the time to attend this wonderful event. Thank you and have a great time! 

Phnom Penh
Issuing Country