CAP7: Local and European Investor Pitches won

Cambodian candidates of CAP7 with the local investors (first and second from right)
Cambodian candidates of CAP7 with the local investors (first and second from right)
Two weeks ago, the Cambodian and European teams of our 7th Capability Program have successfully pitched their business plan for our new learning center Tani in Cambodia. They managed to convince both the European and the local investors: the latter will provide a building local collaboration whereas the European part will give a 30,000 USD loan. This is a big step forward for the learning center. Both Cambodian and European participants have worked hard and very closely together to develop a sustainable business model for the center.

Despite this success, there are many challenges to be met: the building and other facilities are to be renovated, furnished and decorated within a month before the European candidates arrive in Cambodia. They also have to take care of a business operation system, business development, management system, teacher recruitment, human resources management and curriculum development.

The local investor pitch took place for the first time on 2nd February at the local high school where learning center Tani will be situated. The local team from Cambodia consists of Sokhan Khut (BOOKBRIDGE Country Manager for Cambodia) as facilitator, Sothy Tep (new Community Hero and head of the learning center), the Program Support Officer, the Trainer Head of Learning Center Takeo, and a local NGO manager from Angroka.

Local investors listen to Sokhan Khut and Sothy Tep presenting the business plan
Local investors listen to Sokhan Khut and Sothy Tep presenting the business plan
Community Hero Sothy and Sokhan Khut led the team in pitching the business plan to the local investors in hope of getting their approval for the use of the building as well as for collaboration critical to the establishment, development, operation and sustainability of the center. The local investors consist of the high school principal and the deputy chief of District Office of Education. The team had worked hard for the pitch and was very happy have convinced the investors. Afterwards it reflected on the outcomes of the pitch and what could be improved in future pitches to provide lessons learnt for other Capability Programs to come. They were also shared with their European counterparts to prepare the European investors pitch.

The European investor pitch took place on February 4 at BOOKBRIDGE headquarter in Basel. It was joined virtually by the Cambodian team. Two representatives of the European team presented the business plan to the investors who were eager to learn about the project. The investors challenged both Cambodian and European candidates with well-thought questions but finally got convinced of the business plan. Their decision to invest $30,000 in the new learning center put a big smile on everyone’s face.

The Cambodian team pitching the business plan
The Cambodian team pitching the business plan
Now the teams have a big collective job to do: setting up the learning center. One of the major challenges is communicating in a culturally diverse and geographically divided team that works on two continents. In module 4 of the program both teams will met for the first time and cooperatively set up the learning center. They hope to make it a great place for the target groups, children, students and community members from Tani.

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