The Government of Cameroon introduced the Student Entrepreneurship Program to promote entrepreneurship in the higher education system, including public and private higher education institutions.
According to Minister of Higher Education Professor Jack Fame Ndongo, the initiative was inspired by a 2001 law that orients the higher education sector and establishes mechanisms for the development of young student entrepreneurship.
In a document detailing the framework of the Student Entrepreneurship Programme, the minister said the project would “among other things, strengthen the practical training of students and develop the social and vocational skills of graduates in innovative and competitive fields.” Facilitate integration and create business”.
In more practical terms, key elements of the program include access to a variety of training and coaching sessions hosted by business incubators, access to group workspaces (co-working), and flexible schedules. . Graduation project, individual support and follow-up by academic and professional supervisors, participation in additional training sessions, especially in the areas of business creation, business management and legal copyright, participation in seminars and conferences related to business creation. Participate and help find funding sources.
The initiative comes at a time when the Ministry of Higher Education recognizes the need to support innovative business ideas given that college graduates find it difficult to find employment after graduation.
According to the World Bank, Cameroon’s youth unemployment rate was 6.64% in 2021. College graduates form part of this figure, and the government hopes that helping students become entrepreneurs while studying will lead to a paradigm shift.
Educators have hope
“This is a good initiative. If implemented well, it will help young Cameroonians who go to college to get jobs,” said Njijong Marcelus, president of JSF Polytechnic, a private higher education institution in Buea. increase. He is optimistic that the program will empower students at his school. They are already benefiting from in-house entrepreneur training.
A nursing student at JSF Polytechnic, Kudi Honore Bache is no stranger to the world of business. He was a poultry farmer, but his business collapsed just two years into his inception, so he decided to go back to school.
“We failed because we had little knowledge and limited capital. university world news.
However, with the advent of the Student Entrepreneurship Programme, I am looking forward to benefiting from this scheme to revive my failing business.
Through the program, approved student entrepreneurs are supported in finding sources of funding and are also trained in aspects such as business plan design and project presentation techniques.
“I am applying for this program,” Bachet revealed, adding, “My main goals are to minimize unemployment and develop businesses for other people with limited knowledge of starting a business. I want to help develop ideas.I also want to contribute to the country’s economic growth.”
He was well trained by his assigned supervisor and tutor, so he believes his business will be successful after benefiting from the one-year program.
sustainable development goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint for socio-economic prosperity and peace. The Ministry of Higher Education believes that the businesses created through the Student Entrepreneurship Program will contribute to Cameroon’s economic growth and development, thereby boosting the country’s dream of Cameroon emerging by 2035.
Some higher education actors have taken into account aspects such as combating poverty and hunger when deploying this scheme, while at the same time ensuring that quality education, decent work and economic growth as stipulated in the SDGs. said to promote
“It’s important to guide students to achieve what they want to do with the SDGs. When we select students to join our program, we need to guide them to work in line with their goals,” says Marcelus. emphasized.
He also said special attention would be paid to bakery and food processing students. “
For Shaveline Ngowo, a bakery and food processing student, the benefit of this program will fulfill her desire to give back to her community after becoming financially independent as an entrepreneur. In particular, she wants to help fight poverty in her community.
“I feel sick when I see other people stuck. I want to be a hand to help many people,” said Ngowo. “I believe that my sponsorship in a particular area will help communities, particularly those in conflict-affected areas, who are stranded and frustrated,” she added. rice field.
College students are cultivating high aspirations for programs, award-winning entrepreneurs, and business coaches, but Dr. Javnyuy Joybert warns them to be aware of the challenges they may face.
“Challenges can grow from funding issues, stiff competition, economic hardships and inflation. Your business is on the move.”
For business success, Javnyuy also recommends: “Understand your terrain, economy and country. Read the tax laws, tax laws, financial laws and regulations that govern your industry.”
As universities began to roll out student entrepreneurship programs, some officials asked the Ministry of Higher Education for more experience in running incubation centers and training student entrepreneurs to make the programs more efficient and sustainable. We urge you to choose from a wide range of experts.