The 2020 Regional Forum on business-networking has ended in Yaounde. Organized by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, the forum, bringing together strategic stakeholders in the ecosystem took place at ActivSpaces, Immeuble Tecno, Boulevard de la Liberte Akwa, Douala on Friday 31st of January 2020. The forum organized with support from the Canadian Funds for Local Initiatives was held under the theme The Pivotal Role of Business Networking to Entrepreneurs in Cameroon and focused on examining governmental support to entrepreneurs in Cameroon, access to finance, tax registration requirements and declaration procedures for SMEs in Cameroon as well as accessibility of business Consultants to Entrepreneurs in Cameroon.
A research work done by the Small Business and entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) indicates that the literature on entrepreneurial and small business networking has substantially increased in volume during the last years. The interest has been driven both from the entrepreneurial side, where businesses inter-link rapidly and form network configurations and from the policy side, where governments have implemented a variety of policies to encourage economic growth through self-employment and to support small businesses. The active positioning of entrepreneurial firms in the business arena the research work says, coincides with building effective business relationships with customers and suppliers, government bodies and large corporations, or with professional bodies and lead clients. This makes small firms embedded in an intricate set of business relationships, connecting local, national and international partners, government agencies, financial institutions, or consumer and professional associations. It also indicates that entrepreneurial networks can be defined as organized systems of relationships with customers, suppliers, and other entrepreneurs, with relatives, external consultants and other agents, or potential partners. Entrepreneurial and small business networks usually represent dispersed and varied networks with uncertain boundaries and resource-based or role-based division of labor. They are comprised of autonomous agents that are linked to each other via various formal and informal contracts, who design collective strategies and share information. In addition, create partnerships with government agencies, banks, and Microfinance Institutions to access finance. The network is governed by the allocation of specific roles to individual members, which are inscribed in contractual relationships. The division of labor in the network stems from the specialization and unique capabilities of individual firms, and embody resource-based input-output dependencies that emerge with the evolution of the network
The Regional Forum’s objective seeked to provide opportunities to entrepreneurs that can permit them to network with Government Agencies, Banks and Microfinance Institutions, Consultants, Companies , and other Entrepreneurs. It was also an avenue to explore through the research work paper how cohesive/diverse networks affect entrepreneurial activities. In particular, an interest is shown in how cohesion and diversity may affect entrepreneurial outcomes like survival, portability, innovation and efficiency.
Panelists speaking during the event encouraged participants to implement functional ideas instead of copying from developed countries and forgetting about practicality. Participants also suggested government supports incubation projects in public & private structures to ensure ideas can be transformed to concrete projects.
”It was actually a wonderful time of exchanges and we actually spoke much and had to put an accent on the recent regulation and legislation in the finance sector in Cameroon and the CEMAC Sub Region”. Tataw Kenneth, moderator on the module on access to finance.
We were trying to let our entrepreneurs know how they can raise finance without necessarily depending on banks and microfinances. What i mostly told them was to be able to do startups by gathering funds themselves , they could start with the little they have and then later in they may invest the profit, or they could do partnering, you partner with somebody maybe who has the same idea with you. with the little you have maybe you can make it, or maybe you do investment, that is you have the idea but you can have somebody who has the finance and is ready to partner with the business and make it grow” Yvonne Ngem, facilitator
The events brought together leaders of Banks and Microfinance Institutions, entrepreneurs, government agencies, business consultants,Companies , Policymakers and business trainers.
Source: Bantu Voices
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