Students of the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, IRIC have been schooled on women empowerment and entrepreneurship.
This was during a symposium organised by the Welisane Foundation yesterday Wednesday, December 9, 2020 in Yaounde.
It is also part of activities organised by the foundation within the ongoing 16day activism to end gender-based violence and gender inequality.
According to the founder, Welisane Mokwe Nkeng, the choice for the IRIC was an opportunity to give back to their alma mata the knowledge they have acquired from the field while shedding light on contemporary issues of gender equality and entrepreneurship.
“We came here to talk to the students especially females to be assertive in the society and how they can be entrepreneurial.” she told News Upfront adding that;
“when they live from IRIC and may or not go to the public sector, they should start something on their own and be self sufficient and be able to make profit and as well be at the decision making table.”
The journalist cum diplomat added that “we realised that young girls and women do not have opportunities to be in the decision making process, to be leaders, and assertive so we decided that we should come here and impart into them the knowledge and skills necessary for them to be social or economic entrepreneurship and also talk about the importance of gender equality in the world of entrepreneurship.”
Going by Prof Machikou N. Ndzesop, moderator of the symposium and IRIC alumnus said statistically, women make up the minority of entrepreneurs in the Africa continent despite being the majority demographically.
“There’s an inequality in the access to entrepreneurship to women compared to men. About 22% of entrepreneurs in Africa are women despite the fact that they make up the majority of the population.” she said stipulating that the forum was “for us to identify and explain the reasons why they are less represented in the entrepreneurs”.
While emphasising on the fact that apart from difficulties in access to capital and resources, the student have what it takes to be inspiring entrepreneurs but need to summon courage and take the risk to engage into.
On his part, US-based entrepreneur, Njukang Asong told the students “you got to be brave, be a sales man, take risk, think out of the box and be innovative to be an excellent entrepreneur.”
Meanwhile, to support the efforts of the Welisane Foundation in empowering youths especially young girls and vulnerable persons across the country, Njukang Asong and his business partner donated the sum of 1,000 US dollar.
“The goal is to make sure that she can continue doing what she has been doing which is to support women and inspire them as it is part of our value systems for our companies.” Asong asserted.