2 August 2011
Five visionary universities from across the country met in Yaounde to share their proposals in the nation's first National Problem-Solvers' Business Plan competition, which challenges forward-thinking youth to make a real impact in Cameroonian society.
This article was originally posted by ActivSpaces, a collaboration space and start-up incubator in Cameroon.
Harambe Cameroon, an organization promoting social entrepreneurship, recently held its first National Problem-Solvers’ business plan competition in Yaounde. 40 proposals had initially been submitted from university students countrywide but the top 5 were systematically selected. The teams behind them were in the capital city for 24 hours of incubation and a final live presentation before a public audience and a panel of jurists. ActivSpaces was present and impressed by the enthusiasm of the Cameroonian youth to undertake projects geared towards development of the motherland and the continent at large.
“If Not Now, When?”
Contestants in the business plan competition proved the capability of young forward-thinkers to make real impact in Cameroonian society. In the words of Nfinyo Mabu, CEO of Fresh Investment Corporation and one of the jurists at the competition, "“You [the youth] are not the leaders of tomorrow, you are the leaders of today.”"
The contestants all presented daring ideas in the spirit of “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Getting into activity now is also the driving force behind what we do at ActivSpaces. Community-based entrepreneurs should not wait for times to get better, they should make better times.
“If Not Here, Where?”
The theme of a “national problem-solvers” competition is heartwarming to ActivSpacers who live and breathe to build bridges across divides. Harambe grasps the reality that every obstacle presents a possibility.
The contestants observed issues like poor healthcare services, malnutrition, pollution, and transformed those into healthcare tools, nutrition control systems and recycling agencies, demonstrating innovative thinking of the first class. Here, where we have a multitude of problems, we equally have a myriad of opportunities.
“If Not You, Who?”
If you’re waiting for a champion to fight for your cause, the student-contestants will tell you that they found that champion within themselves.