With less than three weeks until Global Entrepreneurship Week, organizers are preparing to launch their celebrations in more than 165 countries, and Cameroon is looking back on not only how GEW has evolved in the country, but also on how the movement has helped shape the local ecosystem.
Gilles Lewat, founder and CEO of Youth Business Cameroon and host of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Cameroon, said the weeklong celebration has become one of the best national entrepreneurship development campaigns in the country.
“Celebrating 10 years of Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2017 means a lot to us in Cameroon,” said Watt. “Since 2008, the government in Cameroon has created many facilities to help and promote entrepreneurship in the country, and with the last participation of our Minister of SMEs at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017, we now have more attention and interest from our government on the celebration of GEW.”
He said since the inception of Global Entrepreneurship Week in the country, various stakeholders –government and policy leaders, as well as banks and private institutions – are now collaborating on how they can best eliminate challenges to starting a business, and foster entrepreneurship in Cameroon. In the past 10 years, he said, the country has become active in encouraging innovative thinking and entrepreneurship as a career path.
“Our entrepreneurial ecosystem has completely changed in 10 years now,” Lewat said. “Entrepreneurship has been adopted by many ministries, and most of them have developed some entrepreneurship program for their target audience. We also have many corporations who have decided to organize startup challenges, for example, inviting youth to compete.”
Through the organization of Global Entrepreneurship Week each year, Lewat said they’ve also received interest from other partners and support organizations in helping create a GEN country affiliate in Cameroon, and joining the global network.
Partner organizations involved in GEW Cameroon have included the U.S. Embassy, the British High Commission, Brasseres du Cameroun, and many others that have supported the campaign.
“People should participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week to learn, to network and to discover innovative tools,” Lewat said. “And also to remain updated on all of the innovative opportunities around. Some people are a part of GEW to challenge others and to make useful contacts.”