Speaking firsthand then from my own experiences on the ground here as well as speaking with students in the Cameroonian University system; the start-up culture being adopted in the tech hubs throughout Africa can greatly help to reduce dependencies on foreign assistance while also promoting strong economic incentives in a number of ways for the countries. Entrepreneurship leads to self-employment, something which the Cameroon government strongly encourages and its population greatly needs. It also polishes experience and character preparing the youth for the corporate environment, when such an industry begins to arrive here.
Start-ups are also helping to eliminate the culture of idealness that has plagued the economy here for too long. With start-ups, jobs can be created organically offering not just opportunities to those who spark the idea, but also prospects to their classmates and peers by creating jobs for them while they study. When the start-up succeeds it will not only promote more investment in further entrepreneurship, but also help to create a stronger economy that can one day potentially employ thousands of people.
(The message below was written by a student here in Cameroon)
I am a student and I love entrepreneurship. It is risky, but it is worth it. I very much love the idea of start-ups among students and I think it is a culture to be encouraged. The culture of start-ups has many advantages for the economy and the future of our country, Cameroon. Today I wish to talk on how a start-up culture can help reduce unemployment.
Students give a loud outcry of unemployment and the government replies with a dull statement demanding that the students get self-employed. Whereas, these young people do not have the spirit and culture of independence or of being self-employed. That is to say that they do not have the Start-Up Culture.
The Start-Up Culture gives many nice things; it helps to make youths stronger and independent. It makes them to create jobs for themselves and helps them to improve their portfolio. It helps to reduce unemployment.
How does it cut down unemployment? I will not say that Start-Ups are a replacement for established companies that have senior managers with many years of experience. Yes, young people will always need to sparkle up their academic life with the guidance of older and more experienced teachers and mentors. But the present condition of our country might not give some people that opportunity.
The Start-Up Culture helps students to create small innovative businesses with minimal funds and little or no organizational structure. However, they are expected to survive in business. After some attempts, start-up founders control their skills, blend their academic knowledge with practicalities, understand what their parents go through to make a living and acquire humility. Some succeed to create sustainable businesses even bigger ones than existed before.
There is hope for success with a start-up culture. However, I am not writing because of this hope. I am writing because of the small ways that this culture can help create new jobs and provide a buffer against unemployment. Suppose you have a start-up or belong to a start-up as a student. Let’s have a look at the worst case scenario: If your venture fails or you exit out of it in any way to get a job, you will be very much preferred by employers than someone who perhaps has never had any work experience. If your venture tries to survive and after you graduate you do not have any job, you still have your business to hold onto— which is far better than unemployment.
The good part is clear; you become stronger, you might get funded, your business might survive and you might have an opportunity to do the most beautiful things, which are; change lives, create jobs and make the world a better place.
The bottom line is we need a start-up culture in the university campuses in Cameroon. I take myself to be a Start-Up Culture Evangelist for my country.