Varied Initiatives Sprouting Within Financial System

While government is creating an enabling environment for the development of feminine entrepreneurshi

Business and entrepreneurship development is gaining grounds in Cameroon with over 95 per cent of the country’s economic fabric being Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). According to UN Women, various analyzes carried out show that in Cameroon, female entrepreneurship still remains insufficiently developed with 37.5 per cent of businesses promoted by women. Businesses promoted by women seem to contribute less to the expansion of activities and job creation than those promoted by men. Creating an enterprise is one thing and mobilising funding for the growth of the enterprise is another. Access to funding remains one of the obstacles to female entrepreneurship in the country. The UN Women affirms that mobilization of funds for business start-ups from credit institutions is one of the main difficulties encountered by entrepreneurs. “We note that despite the promotion and support of female entrepreneurship in Cameroon, female promoters are not exempt from the obstacles that most promoters encounter in the start-up phase. In fact, around 95 per cent of women did not have access to financing from credit institutions when starting their business,” UN Women says in its publication of June 2020. This situation can be partly explained by the fact that women often have fewer of the necessary guarantees required by financial institutions. The National Strategy for Inclusive Finance 2023-2027 also attests that 53 per cent of women are excluded from financial services and products. It is against this backdrop that some initiatives have sprouted to increase access to financing opportunities for women. While the government through the Ministry of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises is creating an enabling environment for the creation of enterprises by women. For example, in 2019, the Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Handcraft and Social Economy, Achille Bassilekin, III indicated while inaugurating the GFAC headquarter building in Yaounde that, 3,572 SMEs were created by women in Cameroon. He attributed this positive results to government’s reforms in promoting entrepreneurship especially among women. Minister Bassilekin III announced the financial package of FCFA 50 million in 2021 to support the GFAC Incubation centre which has just graduated its pioneer ...

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