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#EoC - Cameroon, national meeting: sharing to grow together

Great enthusiasm and desire to commit to the national meeting of EoC entrepreneurs which was held last weekend in Cameroon. 

by Godric Mbunya & Regina Kercy

The number of companies that have joined the EoC in Cameroon has grown in the last years: the presence of new entrepreneurs at the National Meeting, which was held in Ngoya, Yaoundé, on 18-19 February made this evident. 23 participants who physically took part in the national meeting, from different cities in the country. Right from the start there was a positive atmosphere among everyone and a burning desire to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Gloria Immumpaye, member of the EoC international commission and Nonye Christiana, coordinator of the Pan-African commission, joined via zoom: in addition to bring in their support and greetings. Manuella Djuidje and Tagatio Fernandel, students from the economics220218 19 Camerun Incontro Naz 04 department of Sophia University Institute, also participated remotely, telling everyone how they are living their new lifestyle as students in Sophia and how they promote her values in other young people, especially Africans. Ferdandel enthusiastically recounted how he managed to convert his previous “pure capitalist” mentality into that of an EoC entrepreneur who puts the welfare of others at the center.

After having dedicated a space to discuss the evolution of the EoC and its fundamental values, the most experienced entrepreneurs shared their business paths. For them, the EoC is a vocation which, lived with commitment and passion, leads them to be witnesses of its values ​​which are often surprising. Certainly, the implementation of the EoC model is not all “a bed of roses". Many difficulties will be encountered especially at the beginning but, over time, the EoC model is feasible and can be carried out together with one's employees. Certainly, it is important to make sure that workers feel a sense of belonging and feel valued because this helps build relationships. They shared their experience: Melanie Njonou, owner of a poultry farm; Nkeng Nkafu Simon, owner of three stores; Fabian Asong, who transforms natural products with the Nature gift company; Dr Bertha, owner of a veterinary clinic and others.

220218 19 Camerun Incontro Naz 05Even the youngest entrepreneurs shared their experiences on the implementation of the EoC in their businesses and activities. Godric Mbunya, Project Manager for the Training of IDPs, flagship project of the EoC-IIN Cameroon hub of 2019, shared what he had achieved with the over 313 people trained in 4 cities and their success stories. One of them is that of Atabong Cyril who now earns his living from the training and start-up material he has received. By being present, Cyril expressed his joy and pledged to respect the principles of the EoC in managing his business.

The experiences of the young entrepreneurs have focused on the operational challenges they face and the ways to face them. Challenges already faced and often won by entrepreneurs with more experience: hence the need to network and often organize training sessions.

To name a few: Nji bih Helvisia (Mabih) of Mabs & Small Kitchen who makes chocolate and jam; Bisih Christiane Jelah who makes Pap (breakfast porridge) powder and boiled corn for CornChaff (a corn and bean porridge enjoyed throughout Central and West Africa ed); Martin Tiku president of Roboga in youth mentorship; Cyril Atabong; Florent Kame; Beh Brunhilda.

Sharing various experiences on commercial activities, the idea was born of creating a self-managed EoC shop that will sell products of EoC220218 19 Camerun Incontro Naz 06 rid entrepreneurs from all over Cameroon: a shop that will act as a market for their products and promote the entrepreneurs involved.

Finally, the members of the National EoC Commission expressed the need to have more human resources to maintain the work of the EoC in Cameroon carried out up to now, and all those present were asked to express freely their will to participate more actively and be involved in the project and becoming part of the National Commission. With great joy on the part of all, 12 volunteers came forward to express their will to join the current 4 members of the commission, which now has 16 members.

A gesture that is significant because it testifies the desire of entrepreneurs to contribute to the growth of the EoC in the respective cities of Cameroon where they operate. The national commission is made up of students, workers and entrepreneurs and is in charge of designing and implementing an action plan for the next 6 years. Having more people who are committed to the EoC will help keep the various projects alive: the EoC-IIN incubator; the training of internally displaced persons; the agricultural park for the production of agro-pastoral seeds.

220218 19 Camerun Incontro Naz 07 ridThe joy of having participated in the national meeting was explicit in the words expressed by all those present, in the moment of sharing their impressions and making plans for the future, with priority to networking with each other even with very concrete initiatives (such as jointly paying for stands at exhibition shows), communicating among themselves or through the national WhatsApp group to share their business problems and remain centered on the EoC business model.

The next events are highly expected: The Pan-African EoC Congress in Kenya in May and The Economy of Francesco event in September 2022.

 

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