What an entrepreneurial learning journey! The candidates of our 7th Capability Program had to change the assumptions of their business a couple of times. In all this change process, they sticked to their initial vision. The joint purpose turned them into a high-performing team and made them setup a successful new learning center in Tani, Cambodia.
Nobody would have predicted the outcome and impact of our 7th Capability Program when the team first met in October 2015. Starting with the mission to expand our mobile learning center in Angroka, Cambodia, the team ended up in setting up a new fully-fledged learning center in Tani, Cambodia. As different as the outcome may sound, as close kept the team to its initial vision of a developing a self-sustainable, high-quality and accessible educational institution for next-generation leaders.
The team has been exposed to a lot of change along their entrepreneurial learning journey. Three weeks after start of the program, the local entrepreneur quit her job as her husband asked her to come back home and take care of her children. Nobody would have expected that. The team had to re-evaluate the support from the local community and decided to rather move to a completely new place than investing into relationships which had been affected by the decision of the local entrepreneur to leave.
Weeks of intense research on potential target communities followed and finally led to the selection of our new Community Hero Sothy Tep in Tani, Cambodia. In a rapid prototyping approach, the team developed a business plan from scratch and convinced an external investor to not only trust them, but also invest 50% more than initially planned. Four weeks later, the team found itself in the Cambodian heat implementing their business plan. The numbers speak for themselves. Sothy and his team kicked off operations with 103 students in the first month.
End of April, the team got together again in Tani, Cambodia and Leuenberg, Switzerland to evaluate the success of their worthwhile tangible business and transfer the learnings into their professional lives. The investor was positively surprised by the kick off of her investment. CAP7 Candidate Fabian decided to extend his stay in Cambodia and volunteer as a BOOKBRIDGE Fellow until mid June at the learning center.
Candidates took away a lot of learnings from this exceptional journey as a team of entrepreneurs. First, they all experienced how a joint purpose can turn a group of diverse people into a high-performing team. Second, they all acted as real entrepreneurs in an unknown environment with a high degree of uncertainty. Third, each candidate learnt a lot on how to collaborate with counterparts from a totally different culture by creating a worthwhile tangible outcome in a very short time.
Module 5 marked the end of the beginning. Candidates now go back to their organizations and apply what they have learnt in the program as entrepreneurs. Everyone is looking forward to the next update call with Sothy and his team in June. Until then, we keep all fingers crossed for our new learning center in Tani.