2017 TEF Entrepreneurship Forum: Young Cameroonian Entrepreneurs Revisit Their Selection, Training And Prospects
Douala, Cameroon-Sunday October 8, 2017-11:30 AM Local Time (Cameroon News Agency) Just few days to the start of the 2017 and 3rd edition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum, Africa’s largest entrepreneur forum, two out of the 23 Cameroonian Entrepreneurs selected for the training program have expressed their satisfaction and eagerness to meet their African counterparts.
In an exclusive interview granted to Cameroon News Agency, CNA, Emmanuel Nguimbus and Clemnet Nyong are optimistic, the technical and financial assistance from TEF will help boost their businesses in the nearest future.
CNA : Good day Clement Nyong and Emmanuel Nguimbus, I am happy to have fished you guys from over 20 others selected for this year’s TEF Entrepreneurship forum, you look happy, I am sure it is because of your selection. Tell me how did you feel when you had alerts that you were selected among the 1000 participants.
NGUIMBUS: My Name is Emmanuel NGUIMBUS, a computer Engineer. My company name is BACKBONE CORP and my project name is Teledocta. The slogan of our project is “A Doctor everywhere, anytime”. I was very happy and because I understood that if the TEF selects a project or an idea then it is a good one or has a potential to be a great business!
NYONG: For me realizing I was selected on TEF 2017 program, I felt more confidence to believe in what I am doing.
CNA: Did you guy Did you know or had confidence you will be selected
NGUIMBUS: Imagine that there were more than 93 000 applications and then TEF just had to select only 1 000 of them! The probability of each candidate to been selected was 1000/93 000 = 1%! My project try to solve a global African problem, provide healthcare to rural populations where there is not doctors. My solution is innovative, I was not sure at 100% but, when submitting my application, I knew that I had more than 1% to be pre-selected as one of the 1 000 entrepreneurs
CNA: What about you Yong?
NYONG: When I read that 93000 young Africans also applied for this prestigious Program like me, I Knew selection of 1000 young Entrepreneur was going to be challenging. However I remained positive after my application.
CNA: So how was the process like, how did you learn about the program and how did you go about your application
NYONG: A friend of mine recommended me at the last minute to apply for the program though I was seeing publicities of this program. So I read the requirements for applying then went online to fill the application form. Then the next thing was to wait for the organization to publish the 1000 selected and in the month of May, I received an amazing mail from the Tony Elumelu Foundation congratulating me for my selection.
NGUIMBUS: For me It was transparent because ACCENTURE, an independent organization was in charge to select the 1 000 entrepreneurs.
CNA: You have gone through weeks of training, how will it help you boost your business?
NGUIMBUS: I was very focused on each of the 12 weeks. I learned a lot of new things on entrepreneurship: how to know which business idea is good, market study, marketing, branding, business competition and so on. During this 12 weeks, I received the most important practical knowledge on entrepreneurship in my life and I’m already using this knowledge in my business to build my service and to make it successful !
CNA: Yong, you were also enriched, isn’t it?
NYONG: I have an engineering background but the 12 weeks entrepreneurship training program delivered by the TEF was very rich and will enable to better restructure my current Business.
CNA: The money allocated for your business by TEF how will you use it?
NYONG: The money will contribute to execute my business short term goals as prescribed by my business plan. Just to name a few such as getting Environmental and Risk assessment authorization and certifications for certain services, relocate our offices etc.
NGUIMBUS: It is a seed capital. I ‘m currently building my project. I will use this money to finalize the first usable version of my service that can be used by both doctors and patients and put the product on the market.
CNA: So gentlemen how do you project your businesses in a year or two after the program?
NGUIMBUS: By the end of 2019, our projects will the leader in remote medical consultations in Cameroon (at least 70% of the national market)! And by the end of 2022, we expect to be the leader of remote medical consultation in sub-Saharan Africa (at least 70% of this market)
NYONG: Being a startup, for the first year we want to educate and provide Companies with our services in Cameroon while projecting to diversify activities in the next 3 years and extend our services to other Central West Africa Countries. We want CAMEROON SAFETY SERVICES to be the focal point in domain of Health, Safety and Environment by 2020.
CNA: How can you appreciate the TEF initiative
NGUIMBUS: Pre-selected 1 000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries, give them a highly intensive training on entrepreneurship during 12 weeks with mentoring, help them to build professional business plans, give them $5 000 as seed capital without equity. It is a unique initiative in the world!
If there was one Tony Elumelu in each African country, our continent will just need 10 years to be completely developed!
With this support of the TEF, I’m sure that by the beginning of 2018, our project will become a reality, and will allow rural patient to remotely access to quality healthcare at an affordable cost.
NYONG: I wish to thank the founder Mr. Tony Elumelu for such an amazing initiative especially for the content of the entrepreneurship training and also the resources that the team has put in place to make the program a success. I invite young Africans with business ideas to equally participate in the program. May GOD bless the founder and his team.
CNA: Thanks gentlemen and good luck