If joining any competition makes people recognized publicly, surely it is one of the reasons people have in minds before a decision is made. Nevertheless, joining AIESEC Business Competition is much more than just making our identity known. It was nothing, but an extraordinary journey that leads to self-discovery and attitude-changing experience.
Business Plan Competition is annually organized by AIESEC Cambodia, a non-profit organization. It is an opportunity for potential and talented Cambodian youth to show their creative business ideas. It is the program through which AIESEC develops leaders by setting participants to face challenges such as those usually seen in leadership and entrepreneurship environments.
At first, we were participants of 1000 Global Leaders Program of AIESEC, an intensive training course for business plan. Then, we teamed up with other 3-5 members to work cooperatively as a team to come up with a business idea before we were eligible to join the competition. Not different from other groups, my team consisted of 5 members; the other two are Sov Cheang Chhay and Than Pisey, coming from different academic backgrounds and aiming to achieve a common ultimate goal. We had been working together on our Business Plan for almost 5 months, and along the way, we had faced two selection rounds before we could make the cut and came to the last round as one of the top 5 teams.
Before our final decision on the kind of business, we have gathered several times to think of any business initiative to compete in the competition. We individually raised eligible and possible ideas and challenged them accordingly until we finally agreed on creating a business related to online, specifically a website. Even though it is a profit-oriented business, but it does contain its priceless value proposition.
Our business is aimed to ease academic individuals and scholars in Cambodia as a resource-storage site and to help preserve Khmer literature and encourage using it widely and more accurately. We desire to open a new page for Cambodia and enlarged the bounder of thinking of Cambodian youth entrepreneurially; let’s think of out the box! We have thought, reflected all-sided areas and issues, and analytically interpreted the points until they are all concrete enough to be written down and to be well, ably put into practice as most, if not all, business-concerned elements were taken into account.
Lim Meng Y:
Then comes the final day! Holding each other hand in hand tightly on the stage, we were waiting for the final result to be announced. The whole CJCC conference hall was full of enthusiastic noise from audiences shouting out loud the name of the group they wanted to be won. We nervously looked at one another and the other one last group. Our hearts were beating and question marks were evolving in our heads once the result was announced as we had never anticipated the result turned out to be different—our team was spotted as second runner-up. We had actually expected to be better than that. It was an unbearable result for us since we had tried and devoted everything out of us during this 5 months into this 30-minute business plan presentation; it is worth mentioning that some of us had stayed up until 5 am in the morning a few days in row to finish the report and to make it as precise and perfect as possible, and some had to skip classes to join countless meeting we had appointed.
Soon after getting the certificate given by one of the judges, we left CJCC conference hall before the competition was terminated. Admittedly, all members were silent for a while; at the same time, our minds were projecting all the moments we had worked together, the ideas we had injected, the plan we had polished, and joys we had shared.
Our emotions were a little down to admit the outcome; however, we did not aggressively want to be the first winner. Triumph lies in the eye of beholders. Though winning the 1st prize, as a symbol, is one thing in the competition, winning ourselves is even critically essential as we had already brought out the best out of ourselves in the competition by delivering a unique business idea, mobilizing our team spirits along with energetically presenting the points we made, accompanied by the applauding from the crowd.
Business plan competition is truly more than just a competition; it is also an experience added atmosphere. It has literally changed our outlook on leadership and entrepreneurship styles as well as teamwork processes. Without anyone of our members, we would hardly make it to final round. Understanding, sharing, result-oriented challenging and persevering are the cores of what we call team spirit we have built. We believed that the process of the program is more meaningful and record-breaking than the result itself.