Over fifty youths have been empowered on creating and growing small and medium-sozed enterprises in Cameroon as a means to boost the country’s economy.
The youths acquired skills during a one-day forum on Wednesday in Yaounde organised by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre Program-SBEC.
Participants at the forum brainstormed on how to create an environment that will ensure small and medium sized enterprises have the framework and opportunities to thrive.
As such discussions were broken down into two pannels of experts with the first focusing on the small business landscape in Cameroon as well as the role of SBEC in fund raising and budgeting practices for Small and Medium sized enterprises.
“Creating a business in Cameroon is very difficult because of several administrative bottlenecks and corrupt officials which makes it discouraging,”a participant at the forum said.
Her were however cleared off by an expert from the Ministry of Small and Medium sized Eterprises and Handicrafts, Cyrille Schouame who presented a global view of the business climate in Cameroon and how to set up a small business in Cameroon.
He dismissed the popular notion of corruption and administrative bottlenecks in creating a small business or enterprise in Cameroon as he challenged project bearers to get closer to the right quarters for adequate information insisting public services are free.
Presenting the various laws of setting up a business as well as business categories in Cameroon, he stressed it requires a maximum of 72 hours for a business to be created if users follow the regulations.
However, users always lack the right information leading to failure even before their project is conceived or implemented.
It is this knowledge gap that the Foretia Foundation seeks to fill through the Small Business Entrepreneurship Centre, SBEC.
The Managing Director of SBEC, Mr. Nso Maurice said SBEC is open to promoting a strong business culture while promoting good practices.
He thus used the opportunity to drill participants on designing a business plan as well as writing a funding proposal as well as elaborating on the factors that affect small business growth such as production cost, extra payments and corruption which was one of the major themes during the second panel.
The impact of corruption on businesses and the economy was x-rayed by Dr. Wuch Cornelius who urged both users and service providers to to be responsible and engage in the fight against this ill for an enabling environment for small and medium sized enterprises to thrive.
The forum was the second organised in under a month by SBEC after the first held on August 17 to help youths transform their ideas into ventures.