Boris Esono Nwenfor
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC), which focuses on equipping entrepreneurs and small business owners with organizational and business management skills that promote a free enterprise society, has trained participants on “Small Business Management and Entrepreneurial skills”.
During the event organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in partnership with the Canada International Development – Global Affairs Canada at the Mansel Hotel in Yaounde September 19, 2019, more than 100 small business owners in the formal and informal sectors, businesswomen association, Agribusiness persons and prospective business owners were trained on Business management, Tax requirement, registration, declaration procedures and access to finance.
SMEs in Cameroon face serious challenges (inadequate capital, lack of managerial skills, lack of knowledge on the tax system)-which affects their growth and sustainability. Thus, this training falls within the framework of the prime purpose of the Small Business and Entrepreneur Centre (SBEC) – to spur economic growth in Cameroon through the provision of tools to establish, expand and sustain private sector business.
The SBECtraining was the first of a series of six training to be held in Yaounde and Douala which is aimed at equipping Small and Medium Size Enterprises with basic managerial and entrepreneurship skills – with another scheduled for September 26 in Douala. The various modules taught include Business management, Tax requirement, registration, declaration procedures and access to finance.
Javnyuy Joybert, a Social Entrepreneur, Enterprise Development and Corporate trainer/consultant, Founder/CEO COSDEF group, speaking on Business Management educated the participants on how to manage teams, develop their business models and how to look in order to sell out their products or services. During the exchanges he advised that as a Startup, it is always important to first go to the field before and learn basic things before proceeding with the development of a business plan.
On his part, Ngeh Edison Tamfu, Founder of REO Cameroon, and a Small Business Consultant speaking on tax requirements, registration and declaration procedures edified the various participants on the various facilities that have been put in place to encourage those operating in the informal to move to the formal sector.
Participants were enlightened on the different mechanisms put in place by banks to assist small business owners. They were advised to try out other sources of funds like family, friends, groups before trying out the banks. The participants were cautioned that before the go to the banks, they should have collateral, be credible and trustworthy.
Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) contribute around 36% of Cameroon’s GDP, make up over 90% of businesses in Cameroon, and employ above 60% of the population. Yet, glaring realities indicate that enormous potentials inherent in this sector are unfortunately not fully harnessed — especially given that above 70% of SMEs still operate informally.
Looking at Fraser Institute’s 2017 Economic Freedom Report, for example, Cameroon is amongst the least business-free environs. Thus, for the creativity, innovation, growth, and sustainable development of SMEs in Cameroon, promoting economic freedoms and training in the right business/entrepreneurial skills are imperative.