In 2019, UNDP injected 300.000 USD to detect, coach, and financially support 30 youth innovative projects in the areas of Green Economy, Digital Economy, Agroindustry and Finance. Palpable results are already being recorded.
Winners of the Youth Entrepreneurship Innovation Challenge (YEIC) launched in 2019 by UNDP Cameroon, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education and the private sector have begun recording positive results in the areas of Green Economy, Digital Economy, Agroindustry and Finance.
While the YEIC initiative has already catapulted some of the innovators with many owning their own companies and already reapingprofit from their inventions and products, others are still experimenting their prototypes with excellent results already recorded.
Ngwangwa’a Priestley Pride Tabi is a 24-year winner of the YEIC initiative. He is Founder and CEO of Agribiz Home Company based in Penja, Littoral region of Cameroon. He received funding from the UNDP Youth Innovation Fund to transform banana into banana fruit juice which is rich in Vitamin C and to also convert the waste products into reusable bags and materials.
“As winner of Youth Entrepreneurship Innovation Challenge, UNDP gave me exposure and catapulted me to another level. I am able to produce 300 liters of “Juicy” which is a banana fruit juice, make an income of $600 per week and provide employment to two youth”, Priestley explained.
While he highlighted insufficient technology to satisfy potential customer demand and the production site yet to meet up to food grade standards of ISO and Ministry of Public Health as major setbacks, he remains optimistic in scaling up his production capacity to 1000 liters per week, gain a larger market and engage in waste processing.
Still in Agroindustry, Charlotte Binya aged 24 is CEO of Country Foods Company based in Douala. Sheis one of the YEIC winners who is already excelling in the innovative area of transforming fresh fish into fish sausages-a practice which was just limited to meat sausages.
“With UNDP’s YEIC financial support, i procured professional machines which enabled me to increase the production of fish sausages from 30 to 100 pieces per week, employed 9 additional staff and secured a comfortable and standard work environment which is adapted to my innovation”, Charlotte explained.
“We intend to scale up our production to 2500 pieces per month, set up a factory in the Northern part of Cameroon and recruit more youth”, she added.