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AN INVESTIGATION INTO ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES AIMED AT SUPPORTING BUSINESSES IN CAMEROON

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES AIMED AT  SUPPORTING BUSINESSES IN  CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Entrepreneurship assumes a crucial position in the advancement of economic development via its capacity to provide job prospects, cultivate innovation, and propel economic expansion. Acknowledging the importance of this matter, some nations, such as Cameroon, have implemented diverse initiatives aimed at fostering and cultivating entrepreneurial endeavours (Agu & Nwachukwu, 2020). A comprehensive comprehension of the historical context surrounding entrepreneurship development projects in Cameroon is necessary in order to assess their efficacy and pinpoint potential avenues for improvement. The objective of this background research is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the progression, execution, and consequences of entrepreneurship development endeavours in Cameroon (Baboucar , 2015). Cameroon, situated in Central Africa, has a multifaceted economy whereby industries such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and services make significant contributions to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Throughout history, the development of entrepreneurship in Cameroon has been shaped by several factors, including cultural norms, government regulations, and foreign influences. During the 1990s, the nation saw notable economic changes that resulted in the liberalisation of the economy and the facilitation of private sector growth (Davidsson, 2015). Following this, a range of entrepreneurship assistance programmes were implemented with the aim of fostering company expansion and promoting innovation. The government of Cameroon has shown a proactive approach in fostering entrepreneurship by implementing legislative initiatives, providing financial incentives, and implementing capacity-building programmes. The National Programme for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the National Entrepreneurship Support Fund (NESF) have been implemented with the aim of offering entrepreneurs financial aid, training, and technical help (Fast, 2021). The government's dedication to promoting entrepreneurial endeavours across all industries is shown by the establishment of business incubators, technology parks, and special economic zones. Collaborative efforts with international organisations, development agencies, and foreign governments have played a significant role in bolstering Cameroon's entrepreneurial landscape. The implementation of capacity-building projects, access to finance schemes, and policy reforms aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cameroon has been facilitated through partnerships with entities such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Cameroon has several obstacles that impede the expansion of firms, despite the presence of entrepreneurship development programmes (Fomumoh & Fomumoh, 2019). The aforementioned issues include insufficient financial accessibility, constrained infrastructure, bureaucratic obstacles, and a dearth of entrepreneurial aptitude. Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that socio-economic inequities, geographical differences, and cultural variables provide supplementary obstacles to the promotion of entrepreneurship in Comoros. Nevertheless, the nation also offers substantial prospects for the advancement of entrepreneurship, owing to its plentiful natural resources, a young population, and growing digital interconnectedness (Habib & Hasan,, 2017). Efforts have been made to provide support for entrepreneurship in Cameroon; nevertheless, it is essential to conduct a full assessment of the efficacy and impact of these activities. Prior research often concentrates on certain facets of entrepreneurship advancement, such as financial accessibility or policy examination, disregarding a comprehensive comprehension of the whole system. Hence, the primary objective of this background study is to address the existing research void by offering a thorough examination of entrepreneurship development endeavours in Cameroon, including their historical progression, met obstacles, and potential avenues for improvement. In order to formulate efficacious strategies and interventions, (Habib & Hasan,, 2017) it is essential for policymakers, development practitioners, and entrepreneurs to possess a comprehensive comprehension of the historical context surrounding entrepreneurship development projects in Cameroon. This background study establishes the groundwork for future research and policy making in Cameroon by identifying important trends, issues, and opportunities. Its goal is to create a favourable climate for entrepreneurship and company expansion. Therefore, the study sought to investigate entrepreneurship development initiatives aimed at  supporting businesses in  Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Entrepreneurship has been a vital catalyst for global economic growth and development in recent years. Entrepreneurship development programmes in Cameroon are crucial for promoting company growth, innovation, and job creation, given the presence of both economic potential and considerable constraints in the country. Nevertheless, despite the many endeavours made by both governmental and non-governmental entities to bolster entrepreneurship, the efficacy and influence of these endeavours remain insufficiently investigated and sometimes inadequately comprehended (Khelil, 2016). The issue at hand pertains to the insufficient comprehension of the entrepreneurial development environment in Cameroon, including the characteristics, extent, and effectiveness of current endeavours. Moreover, there is a lack of comprehensive documentation about the distinct obstacles encountered by entrepreneurs when it comes to obtaining support services, navigating legal frameworks, getting finance, and developing their firms. Insufficient comprehension of these difficulties and the efficacy of existing support systems impedes policymakers, entrepreneurs, and development practitioners from devising and executing focused interventions that can adequately meet the requirements of the entrepreneurial environment (Myers, 2019). Hence, the objective of this research is to examine entrepreneurship development programmes that are designed to provide assistance to enterprises in Cameroon. Through a comprehensive analysis of current programmes, policies, and support systems, along with conducting interviews with influential individuals such as entrepreneurs, government officials, and representatives from development organisations. Hence, the study investigate entrepreneurship development initiatives aimed at  supporting businesses in  Cameroon.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate entrepreneurship development initiatives aimed at  supporting businesses in  Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows;

Find out the existing initiative for supporting entrepreneurial development in Cameroon.

Evaluate the effectiveness of existing entrepreneurship development initiatives in promoting  business sustainability in Cameroon.

Analyze the impact of entrepreneurial development initiatives in business sustainability in Cameroon.

Identify the challenges affecting the effectiveness of entrepreneurship development initiative in accomplishing  business promotion in Cameroon .

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What are the existing initiative for supporting entrepreneurial development in Cameroon?

How effective are the existing entrepreneurship development initiatives in promoting  business sustainability in Cameroon?

What is the impact of entrepreneurial development initiatives in business sustainability in Cameroon?

What are the challenges affecting the effectiveness of entrepreneurship development initiative in accomplishing  business promotion in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The study will be signifivant to the following

Policymakers:  valuable insights can be gained to inform policymakers, development practitioners, and other stakeholders on strategies to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cameroon and ultimately contribute to sustainable economic development and poverty reduction.

Academia: the study will be beneficial to the academic communityas it will contribute to the existing work on the topic

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on  investigating entrepreneurship development initiatives aimed at  supporting businesses in  Cameroon. Empirically, the study will find out the existing initiative for supporting entrepreneurial development in Cameroon, evaluate the effectiveness of existing entrepreneurship development initiatives in promoting  business sustainability in Cameroon, analyze the impact of entrepreneurial development initiatives in business sustainability in Cameroon and identify the challenges affecting the effectiveness of entrepreneurship development initiative in accomplishing  business promotion in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship refers to the process of designing, launching, and managing a new business venture, often with the aim of creating value, generating profit, and exploiting opportunities in the market.

Development Initiatives: Development initiatives are actions, programs, or strategies implemented to foster progress, growth, or improvement within a specific context or sector. 

Support: Support encompasses various forms of assistance, resources, and services provided to entrepreneurs and businesses to help them overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and thrive. 

Businesses: Businesses refer to entities engaged in commercial activities with the primary objective of generating revenue and profits. 


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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