This is our first blog, and we would start by getting to know one another. Welcome to our part of the internet. We are called the Boris Bison Youth Empowerment Business Incubator (BBYEBI). We are located at Quartier Sodiko Bonaberi, in Douala.
Who We Are
Who we are is very tied to our mission. Our mission is aligned with Goal 1 (Eradicate Poverty) and Goal 4 (Quality Education) of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development goals. To realise poverty eradication, BBYEBI created a mentorship programme to provide targeted quality education for budding entrepreneurs to move their ideas into a robust business plan or for those who have already started running their businesses, to understand how they can use digital tips to scale and grow their businesses.
We hope that through self-employment by being business owners, many youths in Cameroon can reduce unemployment and the associated poverty that comes from being unable to earn any income to support themselves. This ties to our vision which aims to alleviate poverty by eliminating job scarcity, and by establishing successful development of emerging businesses through young Cameroonian entrepreneurs.
According to United Nations statistics, the population of Cameroon is over 26 million (2019) and over 60% of this population is under 25yrs of age. Each year Cameroon churns out 500,000 university graduates who join the previously unemployed. According to a World Bank feature published in 2015, Cameroon’s education system does not address the needs of the job market. This has created a skills deficit that constrains job creation. The education quality compounds this by failing to address the skills needed by the market thereby creating a job-skill mismatch.
This necessitates training the youth with competitive knowledge for them to thrive in today’s job market. They need to become experts in areas that the local economy requires. There are overly educated individuals who are under-skilled or overly skilled. The productive system has issues with recruiting technically competent candidates with specialized local knowledge, particularly in the industrial sector. This has an impact on the development of projects and directly affects the attraction of foreign direct investment. With the skills market constantly changing, the youth barely finish learning one skill in school by the time they graduate when the job market requirements have changed.
This is the reason why entrepreneurship is particularly important and needs to be deployed in this context. Cameroon needs a generation of its citizens, a swathe of who are under 25yrs old to understand entrepreneurship, and its hardships and work daily to provide solutions that will contribute to the development of Cameroon.
Our mission, therefore, is to provide a workspace and a programme that offers advice, mentoring, coaching and empowerment to innovative start-ups to create profitable businesses for the development of the Cameroonian economy.
Using our highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators, Boris Bison Youth Empowerment Business Incubator will deliver a 12-weeks mentorship programme to 20 selected participants. This will be through the Coaching, Training, Mentoring and Monitoring model. This is a 3-months intensive training program and will include networking services, entrepreneurship development and ways to secure seed funding.
This programme will focus on the youth and work in collaboration with corporate bodies, government agencies and non-governmental organisations.
By Pamela Bongkiyung
Communication & Corporate Strategy