Remarks by Ambassador William A. Heidt at the Global Entrepreneur Summit (GES) Reception

Ambassador’s Residence
November 21, 2017

H.E. Ing Kantha Phavi, Charge’ Rajiv Kumar, Okhna Madam Lim Chiv Ho, Okhna Keo Mom, Ms. Pok Nanda, other distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen.

Thank you all for coming to honor Cambodia’s seven member, all-female delegation to the upcoming Global Entrepreneur Summit, or “GES” as it’s called.

2nd women’s entrepreneurship event I’ve attended this week. Had a great time at the very impressive CWEA dinner last night honoring Global Women’s Entrepreneur Day. No singing tonight, though!

GES is the world’s most prestigious entrepreneurship event. It convenes over 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and supporters from all over the world. The goal is to give participants the contacts and knowledge to take their businesses and ideas to the next level.

The theme of this year’s GES is Women First, Prosperity for All, and focuses on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.

The GES will take place in Hyderabad, India, from November 28 to 30 and is co-sponsored by the U.S. and Indian governments, two very entrepreneurial countries. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump will lead the U.S. delegation.

500 entrepreneurs from the U.S., 500 from India, and 500 from the rest of the world.

Of the 500 from the rest of the world, the State Department allotted 83 slots for East Asia and the Pacific, split between the 24 Embassies in the region. You can do the math—that’s a little more than three per country.

Each Embassy was allowed to nominate up to 7 participants. Our idea was very simple.

We knew women’s entrepreneurship is a terrific area of cooperation between Cambodia and the US.

I have seen personally how much progress there has been in Cambodia since the 1990s, and how many impressive women run businesses there are in Cambodia, including many by women standing in this room.

And we also know there are strong women’s entrepreneurship organizations in Cambodia (CWBF, CWEA, Young Entrepreneurs Association), a culture of mentoring, and tons of interest among girls and young women in creating their own businesses.

So we nominated a group of who not only represent Cambodia’s best and brightest, but who are also involved in mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

While we knew we selected a good group, we were very proud that all seven were selected. Cambodia’s delegation will be bigger than those from Singapore, Thailand, and even China!

So let me introduce our GES participants. And when I do, can I ask them to please raise their hands?

Lok Chumteav Oknha Chhiv Ho Lim
Ms. Pok Nanda
Ms. Muny Khy
Ms. Kitty Ly
Ms. Malypoeur Plung
Ms. Outhanvatey By
Ms. Kounila Keo

I’m not going to describe how terrific they all are—that would take too long. But they are terrific. Our embassy will be putting more information, including video profiles, on our Facebook page that will allow you to get to know them better.

But before I end my remarks, I want to ask two of our delegates – the ecosystem providers – to take the microphone. And then I’d like to invite Minister Phavi to say a few words.

And to me, the key question is, what can we do, or the international community do, to help create more successful women in business here? In other words what can be done to create the next generation of Madam Lims?

Thank you very much.