Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs in Cameroon and Solutions. Common Challenges of Entrepreneurship in Cameroon (Problems Faced By Entrepreneurs)
Entrepreneurship is one of the critical factors to the development of any country. Since our forefathers' times, the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon have continued to rise. Cameroonians have been brought up in the slavery system of working.
Although we are trying to revive the spirit of entrepreneurship in Cameroon, we can't deny that there are still challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon. Let's look at some of the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon.
Cameroon's significant belief is that entrepreneurship is about starting up a business. Entrepreneurship is much more than starting up a business.
Entrepreneurship entails researching the business or service you are about to start or render, taking all the risks involved in the industry, and transporting goods to the final consumers. Many Cameroonians claim to be entrepreneurs without having all the criteria in check. That's the reason there are small and struggling businesses in Cameroon. It won't be ideal to talk about the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon without providing solutions.
Common Challenges of Entrepreneurship in Cameroon (Problems Faced By Entrepreneurs)
Lack of Start-Up Capital
This is the most common of the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon. No matter the vision and idea of business you have as a beginner entrepreneur, you need money to put your ideas and vision into the light. Cameroon's economy has never encouraged starting or growing businesses because the economy distributed money. This is why entrepreneurship in Cameroon has been problematic from the beginning.
Many investors avoid investing in starting business or untested business ideas. This makes getting capital from investors to run a company starting a business very difficult. As a beginning entrepreneur, the primary source of money is either through your savings or by asking from family members or friends who believe and are ready to key into your business.
Suggested: How to Become an Entrepreneur in Cameroon?
Lack of Knowledge
One of Cameroon's significant challenges in entrepreneurship is the lack of knowledge. There is a famous saying that 'knowledge is power. Many businesses in Cameroon don't last long before closing up.
Prospective entrepreneurs wanting to start up a business don't do enough research about the products they intend to sell or the services they want to render. And when they face challenges when running the business, owners don't have enough knowledge on an issue, leading to early closure.
Doing good research to get your business knowledge will be the best decision you can take as an entrepreneur. You can reach out to other entrepreneurs in your business line and inquire about the business you intend to start or perhaps already running.
Lack of electricity is one of the challenges of entrepreneurship in Cameroon. It is unarguably true that electricity is needed to run many businesses. In developed countries where electricity is constant, this might sound funny. But with, the epileptic situation of electricity in Cameroon has turned into one of the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon.
Many businesses need to be opened from 8 to 6, and there must be constant electricity to run the business. Still, with Cameroon's electricity situation, the ministry of power cannot assure 4 hours of continuous electricity. This makes many companies have petrol and diesel-powered generators. These generators must be powered on if there's any power failure. Running these generators adds up to the cost of running businesses.
One cannot overlook the problem of bad roads. As goods are being transported across the country through roads, the need for good roads cannot be overemphasized. But Cameroon can hardly boast 10 km of a good road.
Multiple Tax Imposition
Another delicate challenge of entrepreneurship in Cameroon is multiple tax dues and levies. Tax payment has become outrageous in Cameroon. However, individuals or businesses must pay tax as part of their civil rights.
Most of these taxes imposed have no legal backing; some are duplicated among those with legal support. This has made the easy-running of businesses in Cameroon almost impossible, with entrepreneurs trying to pay or skip tax payments.
The Challenge of Patience
We all know patience is one of the characteristics of a successful individual. In Cameroon, generally, many people lack patience, including entrepreneurs. Business owners start a business and expect to generate lots of money from it. They lack the patience to wait for the industry to develop and start reaping its full potential; instead, they expect to start making lots of money almost immediately as they open it.
Generally, opening a business aims to generate money, but when starting a business, you should not be money-oriented at the beginning. The funds will be made, but not necessarily at the company's inception. Most times, businesses take some time before they start making constant profits.
Lack of Access To Loans
Securing loans from financial institutions has turned into one of the challenges of entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Due to a lack of investors willing to invest in starting or growing businesses or business ideas, many companies lack funds for start-up or even continue operations. This has made loans another alternative for generating capital. Financial institutions are not ready to lend their money to a new business idea. They are because Cameroon's economy doesn't support the start-up and growth of small businesses.
Another reason that makes a loan inaccessible is the requirements for a loan to be secured. Most times, the interest placed by financial institutions on loans makes business owners run from acquiring loans. The interest rate is very high and cannot be paid by the business owner. This makes business owners run from securing loans from financial institutions.
Read Also: Money Lenders in Cameroon.
Poor Marketing Strategy
This is one of the significant challenges of entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Many entrepreneurs start a business in a particular industry without getting the required knowledge base of how the industry operates. As they rush into a business, it takes little time to realize that they don't know the company. Most times, it's almost late or too late, and they end up closing their business almost as soon as they start them.
Good knowledge of how a market operates is required, research is also carried out, and a strategy is put in place on how things are to be done before a business is launched. This will allow the entrepreneurs to break the market's ground early enough with little or no setbacks.
Inconsistency In Government Policies
Entrepreneurs need a flexible and fair environment to run their business activities for a long time. But the inconsistency in Cameroon's government policies has made the environment for businesses rigid and inconsistent for business activities. Entrepreneurship in Cameroon has been facing this challenge from the beginning. As a new government receives power, most of the previous government's policies are amended or sometimes changed entirely.
Solutions to the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon
Despite all the problems and challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon, there are still solutions to curb these challenges. There is still an excellent possibility for the growth and development of entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Currently, the federal government is creating plans and strategies to boost Cameroon's economic situation, which will make the Cameroon economy friendlier to entrepreneurs.
Education of entrepreneurs
Education is one of the solutions to the problems and challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon. One of the major actions of the government is the addition of different entrepreneurship courses to all students in the tertiary system of education.
Irrespective of your career choice, it is mandatory that you choose an entrepreneur skill to learn along with your primary course of study. This will help aspiring entrepreneurs know the industry they are learning about. This will reduce the number of ignorant businesses persons.
Business owners face a lot of challenges. But there are books and other materials on entrepreneurship problems and how to solve the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon. Business personnel must be always open to new ideas and be ready to make amends when they realize their mistakes. Doing research introduces a person to many ideas and solutions on how to solve the problems he is having.
Creating new ideas and business plans is another solution to the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon. Since the state of entrepreneurship has been depreciating in Cameroon with old ideas and approaches to the market, the need for new ideas cannot be overlooked. New ideas and creative ideas will help break new grounds and pave the way for the development of entrepreneurship in Cameroon.
Efforts from the government
Efforts from the government will help solve the challenges entrepreneurs face in Cameroon. The government should make good trade policies and back them up by the constitution so that they cannot be easily changed. Doing this will help entrepreneurs escape the challenges of entrepreneurship in Cameroon.
For new entrepreneurs to have a good knowledge base of the market they are about to enter, they should research it. There are books and other materials on the problems and challenges of entrepreneurship and how to solve these challenges. Business personnel should always research the market they are selling their products. This will let them know what's trending, and they will not be left behind. Doing research introduces a person to many ideas and solutions on how to solve the problems he is having.
Help from assisting financial institutions
Financial institutions can also make entrepreneurship easier through the provisions of financial securities to businesses. If financial institutions help, acquiring financial securities like loans will be easy for entrepreneurs.