Organization: Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundatio
Funding Year: 2021
Project Duration: 3 years
System Change ✓
Empowerment of Individuals ✓
Teaching Freedom ✓
Today, 48% of Cameroonians are living below the poverty line and 98% of Cameroon’s businesses are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), 90% of those SMEs are “micro” enterprises (<5 employees). At the same time, widespread disparities in freedom of economic access exist, especially for women, hindering the contribution of SMEs to contribute to GDP growth. This project addresses the root causes of SME underperformance and job access in Cameroon through programs in the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in Cameroon. They build individual capacity of future entrepreneurs while working for overall system change to improve the climate for SMEs and enhance opportunities for women and young people. Moreover, they focus at least 25% of opportunities, including business education, resources, productive employment, fair working conditions and financial services, in conflict zones with Internally Displaced People (IDPs).
The Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in Cameroon was founded to catalyze the economic transformation of the country by focusing on social entrepreneurship, science and technology, innovation, public health, and the implementation of progressive policies that together create economic opportunities for all. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center aims to create a more robust and diverse middle class in Cameroon through fostering free enterprise.
In order to accomplish this, the Foretia Foundation is creating an advocacy campaign with their coalition of stakeholders to promote economic freedom while deepening the roots of SBEC to receive recognition as a go-to resource for entrepreneurial training and development. Along with measurable policy improvement, training programs and SME support across four regions will result in $3 million in new economic generation, 600+ SMEs improved and 4,500+ workers with entrepreneurial soft skills.
This project aims at holistically changing the business environment for SMEs in Cameroon and hence making entrepreneurship a viable option of development for its citizens, removing regulatory barriers and empowering individuals to become active contributors to the prosperity of their communities and country. With a specific focus on conflict zones, enhancing economic freedom in these areas, it will help alleviate the tensions that are contributing to ongoing conflict and help establish a lasting and sustainable peace.
Read more on the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Center here