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Local Enterprises: Coping With Hurdles

Doing business is a task that demands financial and managerial skills for smooth functioning.

Studies have revealed that over 3,000 enterprises are created in Cameroon annually. The same studies say 75 per cent of the enterprises crumble two years after. Failing two years after creation is therefore not a new phenomenon in the sector.

Experts say such difficulties could be surmounted if enterprise promoters or owners remain foresighted in order to look out for failure indicators. Alain Mbila, a management expert, says enterprise creation is booming, unfortunately at a time of economic meltdown and high competition precautions must be taken. Local enterprises are therefore coping with a plethora of snags, but such stumbling blocks could be cleared, he notes. 

Business Climate

The Cameroon Business Forum has offered the country the opportunity to make strides in business, with some of its reforms implemented. However, according to some entrepreneurs, a lot still needs to be done to support local firms. “The business climate is not structured to favour local enterprises,” Patrick Fosso of the Cameroon Tracking Company, observed. His explanation was that procedures have not been simplified for them to compete favourably with foreign enterprises. “The fiscal pressure is high and we find ourselves paying taxes that do not allow us to survive for long,” he stressed.


The Bastos, Yaounde-based Ortho Service, has been able to win tenders and execute contracts. But what then is its worry? Executing contracts beyond a certain amount is not a given. An official of the enterprise who preferred not to be named said executing contracts worth over FCFA 30 million was difficult. Resources are limited and commercial banks in some cases have not been of help.

The guarantees and interest rates required of them are also scary. The Cameroon Tracking Company holds that some banks give the impression that they are not commercial. “Maybe, this is because of lack of trust in entrepreneurs who do not respect their terms of contract,” Fosso wandered, insisting that banks must stand by them for there to be win-win cooperation.

Human Resources

“We do not have human resources capable of prompting the company to growth. We have staff trained in local universities who in most cases are academically-oriented,” stressed Fosso. He said to stand the test of time, his telecommunication-based company is obliged to employ professionals from foreign universities. On the other hand, “Etablissment Promeb” is into wood work, and the Manager, Divine Ekwe Esong stresses the need for skilled labour. He often trains his staff, inviting foreign experts for better competiveness. He recalls that the main challenge is managing workers and pushing them to be efficient.

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