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“Cameroonian women show innovative ideas not limited by gender”
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“Cameroonian women show innovative ideas not limited by gender”

Alphonse Akouyu, 22, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Cameroon, writes that entrepreneurship has long been considered to be ‘a man’s game’. But that perception is changing – fast. Recently, he had the opportunity to talk to Cameroonian women, young and old, about what the it is has been like to try to break through the entrepreneurial world’s glass ceiling.

Doris Ngum founded Royalty, an NGO which is actively engaged in social entrepreneurship and community development in the South West Region of Cameroon. Her idea to start her NGO, she says, began when she was living in the U.K. At the time, she was a chartered accountant but she was not fulfilled by her work.

“As a young girl, I suffered from low self-esteem and that limited me greatly,” she says. “So I decided to start inspiring young ladies to believe in themselves and take charge of their future.”

It was with that mindset that Royalty was born. That was in February 2011.

By June 2012, Ngum had moved to Cameroon and started to work with young people through business and youth forums as her avenue to inspire entrepreneurial ideas.

“[The mission] was to help inspire women to identify their God-given talents and use them to transform the world,” she says. “One of the most remarkable things I have experienced is the power of community.”

Nonga Crescence Elodie is another young Cameroonian entrepreneur. In her twenties, she is engaged in digital entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Les Marches d’Elodie”, an African lifestyle and tourism promotion platform, which aims to showcase Cameroon’s many riches.

With growing audiences and interest from companies eager to advertise on their website, they expanded their startup in October 2016. One side of the business offered communication strategies to companies, while the other provided lifestyle services, such as creating personalized gifts for clients as a way to highlight the quality of locally made goods and services.

Despite these bits of good news, both businesses continue to face challenges. In particular, their business needs capital and more partners to sustain growth. Nevertheless, both women remain steadfast and committed to building their entrepreneurial dreams.

Ngum, for example, has recently launched the Bolifamba Community Transformation project – Vision 2026. To date, the project has attracted over 15 organizations partnering with royalty for transformation in 4 areas; Health, Education, Business and Urbanization.

Elodie’s participation at the YALI Darkar Fellowship has offered her the exposure and the capacity building skills she needed to transform her platform in to a global market square.

These are just two out of many Cameroonian female entrepreneurs working in different sectors to ensure that they use their skills and entrepreneurship talents to benefit their communities.

photo credit: Alphonse Akouyu

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About me: Hello everyone this is your friend Akouyu Alphonse from Bamenda located in the North West Region of Cameroon. I graduated from the Catholic University of Cameroon Bamenda after studying Banking and Finance. I hope to become a Business/International Relations expert.

My areas of interest are serving as Journalist especially on Sports (football) and societal issues aimed at inspiring people to believe in themselves and volunteerism.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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