Cameroon:Entrepreneurs urged to be innovative in their Businesses At SBEC Training

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

participants, trainers and Foretia team at the end of the small business and entrepreneurship training in Douala
participants, trainers and Foretia team at the end of the small business and entrepreneurship training in Douala

Douala, Cameroon. Small and Medium Size Enterprises, SMEs have been encouraged to carryout innovation, and do business in a hasty manner instead of practicing businesses follow the old model which was practiced decades ago. To one of the speakers, financial institutions want entrepreneurs who innovate and work in the present, and not past.

The call was during the last edition of a series of six training organized by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in Douala, November 23, 2019. SBEC has been able to train some six hundred entrepreneurs in Douala and Yaounde, with three of the training organized in Douala, and the other three in Yaounde.

Speaking on the Business Management Ekuh Edmond, CEO The Gate Way, a Certified Entrepreneur and Small Business Management Trainer said entrepreneurs need to create value in their business as it is only a business when a value is being created which can be solving a problem, or making life easy or better for individuals. “Entrepreneurs should look long-term perspective. Are you in a business for one day or a year? Create value that has long-term perspective,” He said

Ekuh Edmond further called on the entrepreneurs to create a business canvas as opposed to a business model for their business. The reason according to him, is that business plan is time-consuming as not all of them have the money to do it or have the right time to do it. “Once your test is and have feedback from the population, you can then proceed to do a business model.”

Ndikombui Nigel Mingoh, Founder/CEO of Goodwill Consulting LTD, a consultant of taxes advisory services edified participants on tax requirements, registration, and declaration procedures, which is one of the daunting tasks faced by entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurs do not even know the process of creating their business, declare, or even know that they can be exonerating from paying taxes. They just have that idea that tax declaration is a very thing. Most do not know the documents that are required to even start the business,” Ndikombui Nigel said.

Access to finance is a key factor to the growth of SMEs but notwithstanding, because of the difficulties faced by financial institutions in obtaining information on the borrowers-solvency, lack of reliable financial statement of SMEs, absence of guarantee or inadequate collateral and lack of detailed business plan, they (financial institutions) become reluctant to award loans to these SMEs.

Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager, however says the challenge is not so much at the level of financial institution. To him, there is a missing link between financial institutions in relation to the performances of SMEs. “I think with the enlightenment of what the financial institutions want from SMEs, the improvement of the collaboration between the financial institution and the SMEs will be evident. Being formal structures, financial institutions expect SMEs to be more formal than the informal model they are applying now.”

He added that they should learn to acquire information like what they just did during this training, so, they should learn to acquire information to acquaint themselves to be able to meet the expectation of financial institutions. “One of the things that SMEs should do is for them to learn to be sincere towards their financial partners because this sincerity will be the bedrock for them to collaborate better and for trust to have been build which is a very important tool when it comes to business,” He said.

Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager speaking to entrepreneurs at the SBEC training in Douala
Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager speaking to entrepreneurs at the SBEC training in Douala

To the Manager of SBEC, “The objectives of the training were to train about six hundred entrepreneurs in Small business management and entrepreneurship skills with more emphasis on female entrepreneurs and I can assure you that these objectives have been met. We are very happy that women have been participating in the training because we want to build the capacity of the female entrepreneurs as they have been lacking behind, especially in Cameroon.”

“After this training we are going to organize a forum on December 12, 2019 in Yaounde where stakeholders will discuss how to incubate and build the entrepreneurs in Cameroon for a sustainable growth,” He added

The Small Business Training under the theme, “Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills” 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 in partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative project in Cameroon. 

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