On 13 December 2022, the Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, H.E. Achille BASSILEKIN, III presided over the Solemn Graduation Ceremony of the second batch of the National Pilot Enterprise Nursery of Edea (NPEN) incubates during which seventeen (17) trainees received awards.

The Government granted them a subsidy of CFAF one hundred million (100,000,000) as seed fund, to launch their activities. It will enable young promoters to start their activities on a small scale, and to validate the assumptions in their business plans, in order to increase the value of the enterprises created. The aim remains to secure additional funds to truly run their projects.

While handing over their cheques, Mr Achille BASSILEKIN III reaffirmed his determination to always listen to the concerns of the incubates. He also promised them that, if necessary, appropriate training will be organised to complete their training.

The representative of these incubates, Mr Corentin KENFACK DJCHETSONG, took the floor and expressed the sincere thanks of the entire 2nd batch for the subsidy and praised the training quality as these will enable them to set up without too many difficulties. He also invited the trainees, each in their own field, to speed up prototyping to produce locally.

The ceremony was enhanced by the presence of two members of Government, namely MINEFOP – Issa TCHIROMA BAKARI, and MINTRANSPORT – Jean Ernest MASSENA NGALLE BIBEHE, and the Secretary General of MINJEC, personal representative of the Minister. The Senior Divisional Officer of the Sanaga Maritime Division, the Divisional Officer of Edea I, the Mayor of the City and traditional and religious personalities were also present.

Before the award ceremony, these personalities were given a tour of the new classrooms, where they could see by themselves the new equipment for the practical activities of the NPEN incubates.

The laureates benefited, for several months, from technical, academic and professional supervision. The trainees with business creation projects received coaching in identifying and developing their entrepreneurial potential; determining the services needed to support their projects, implementing incubation activities and monitoring incubated businesses; qualifying the economic and industrial feasibility of their projects prior to seeking funding; and providing secretarial, administrative, installation, technical and business support services in areas such as management, technology, finance and accounting.

While enrolled, those incubates had startups or operational SMEs under 5 years benefited from technical support in the field of marketing, productivity, quality, prototyping, packaging, etc. They also capitalised from information received during their training on business opportunities and related support institutions. Thanks to their academic-professional stay at the NPEN, the trainees were also able to boost the networking system with a pooling of members favourable to inter-company experience-sharing, the establishment of useful contacts networks and the exchange of services.

Created by Decision No.0076/MINPMEESA/CAB, the NPEN is an operational support public structure for the development of the private sector. It is located in Ntoumba, Edea, in the Littoral Region and under the supervision of the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts. The NPEN is a reception, training and support centre for project holders and, above all, a reference centre for innovation, creativity and assistance in the development of businesses in the sub-region. As a reminder, the first batch of 18 trainees received their diplomas from MINPMEESA on 22 July 2020. Among the laureates, the twelve best received a grant of CFAF one hundred million (100,000,000) and are now operational on the market.

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