Thursday September 26 2019, young business owners and entrepreneurs gathered in Douala to receive hands on knowledge on entrepreneurship and business management skills. This took place at DK Hotel Bonaberi Douala, in a business conference organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation
In Cameroon, the number of modern companies listed in 2016 was 28,872, up from 23,427 in 2015 and 18,597 in 2014, according to the National Statistics Institute in 2016 .
These companies generated a total of CFA11,551 billion in turnover. Nearly 74% of the companies achieved a turnover of less than CFA50 million while only 1.5% of companies achieved a turnover of more than 3 billion but accounted for 78.7% of overall turnover generated during the period, the institute noted.
The Cameroonian corporate world remained dominated by sole proprietorships (60.6% in 2016 against 58.6% in 2015, 55.6% in 2014 and 52.5% in 2013), followed by Limited Liability Companies (30.0%) and Public Limited Companies (3.9%).
But small and medium size enterprises dominate the economy, according to the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicraft (MINPMEESA), SMEs constitute 95 per cent of Cameroon’s enterprises. These enterprises lack basic hands on skills such as management and entrepreneurship skills to transform the sector from the slow turnover to a catalyst for an emerging country.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation given the reality is working in partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative project in Cameron to equip young entrepreneurs and business owners the skills set needed. The second workshop organized in Douala trained over 100 business owners from different sectors. They included but not limited to agribusiness persons, Business Women Associations, farmers, leaders of NGOs and perspective business owners on Business Management, Tax Requirements, Registration of Businesses and declaration of procedures and, Access to Finance
According to Laura a participant, the training will help her to better manage her enterprise that she will soon be setting up in Cameroon. This training she said was very helpful as it provided exactly what she needed such as managerial and financial resources that are very important. She thinks she will be able to gather these resources from the experts and try as much as possible to include that in her business
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) focuses on providing the tools establishing and expanding businesses in private sector to spur economic growth in Cameroon . It also has a strong focus women empowerment in the private sector and to grow small and medium size enterprises.
The main reasons for the training workshop was to equip small businesses and enterprises on some modules and areas that the institute thinks are lacking according to Namondo Sylvia, program assistant at the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation. Sylvia notes that some of the modules such as business management including writing a proper business plan and types of persons to be employed are essential. She regrets that the center has noted the inability of some business and enterprise owners to draw up strategic and essential documents such as a trial balances. She however was satisfied with the training and noted that it will help participants understand some of these complex areas including tax requirements for SMEs which she thinks many owners are not very much aware of their realities and that accounts for the reason why the training was organized with experts in these domains to help them understand some of the complexities including tax exemptions
The three modules focused on management, taxation and access to finance and where facilitated by Mr Ekuh Desmond, Executive Director Eddy Hope Foundation, a Business and Entrepreneurship trainer with the CCEMMED, Mr Awunja Christopher, managing partner at the ACN & Co (certified public accounts and registered auditors and, Mr Usamanu Baba SBEC Manger at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation