From 21st to 22nd July 2014, held at Yaoundé the Cameroon National Inception Workshop of the CORY (Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth) project. YPARD Cameroon was invited to provide inputs to the Cameroon design of the project and also as a potential national implementing partner. On the behalf of the coordination team, the Centre region representative, Gwladys Mabah, took part to the workshop.
What is CORY?
CORY is a new initiative which aims to help young men and a woman living in rural areas to become a good agroentrepreneur.CORY vision is to create entrepreneurship opportunities for rural youth in West and Central Africa including Gambia, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon. In Cameroon, the implementing zones are Centre and North-West regions.
From 2014 to 2017, the project objectives are to :
- Train 43,200 rural youths (15-35 years old) in entrepreneurship in agricultural and non agricultural fields; Create 480 businesses in rural areas owned and managed by youths; Train 2,400 mentors; Create a "Young Entrepreneurs Without Borders" (YEWB) network, Launch the CORY website (www.coryproject.org)
1. Knowledge management and survey of business development services
The first component is to identify the gaps and learn from failures and successes of past and current business development services in order to avoid replication but rather fit in missing areas and thereby adding value.
2. Rural entrepreneurial training, mentorship, and business development services
The second component is to foster experimental training by bringing in the REVCEL (Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experience Learning) training for non agricultural business and the SELF (Songhai Entrepreneur and Leadership Fellowship) training for agricultural business and by bringing in mentors to follow-up and coach young entrepreneurs.
3. Financing by micro-credit lending
The third component is not to give loans to youths for their businesses but rather to mitigate the risks of non repayment by training and coaching the youths, negotiating low interest rate with financial institutions and taking 20% of the risk on the loans obtained by the youths.
CORY Entrepreneur Ecosystem Snapshot and Rural Youth Surveys
The surveys forms were presented by the project coordinator, especially what was expected from the participants.
For the CORY entrepreneur ecosystem snapshot survey, they were assigned to evaluate the current state of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cameroun, and to suggest actions having priority.. They were also assigned to identify and name organizations, programs, projects involved in business development services for youths in Cameroon.
For the CORY rural youth survey, they were assigned to evaluate the knowledge, skills and features of rural youths and to suggest the selection criteria of youths for the CORY project.
Partnership with CORY
There are 3 types of partnership with CORY: mentor, service provider and national implementing partner (NPI).
A mentor is an individual who offers expertise in one or many services provided by CORY.
A service provider is an organization or an enterprise which offers services for CORY activities. The difference with a implementation partner is that while the relationship between a service provider and CORY is a business one, a NIP is a member of the CORY implementation team, thus it is part of the project. It can provide expertise in one or many components of the project.
Individuals and Organizations profile forms were provided to workshop participants, so that they can fill them if they want to be a partner to the project and give them back to CORY management team for further discussion.
What are we done during this workshop as Young professionals?
We moderated and reported what was done in one the discussion groups on CORY Entrepreneur Ecosystem Snapshot and Rural Youth Surveys.
We filled in the CORY Entrepreneur Ecosystem Snapshot and Rural Youth Surveys forms. Based on Ypardians potential at country level, we thought that it is the occasion for our member to develop their various skills in field study and data analysis
There was a discussion on the level of education (secondary or equivalent) as selection criteria of rural youths for the CORY project. We suggested that this should apply only for the selection of the first youths who will be trained and then train and coach others youths. For the others, only reading and writing skills in one of the official or popular local languages should be required. So YPARD as youth’s platform must be involved in the selection process of the beneficiaries.
In the annual activity plan submitted to the participants, Country orientation and selection of young entrepreneurs for the first round of training are planned simultaneously. We suggested that the selection of youths for the first training starts after the country orientation since this orientation aims to fit in the CORY project with the Cameroon context and one of the outcomes of this activity is adapted selection criteria.
We also nominated YPARD Cameroon as a national implementing partner. YPARD Cameroon can be a partner for the implementation of the CORY component 1 and 2 (Knowledge management and survey of business development services, Rural entrepreneurial training, mentorship, and business development services) in Cameroon Centre and North West regions. The implication of YPARD to these two components can be the occasion to be assured that Youth voice is really taking into consideration during the project implementation. At this level can better carry out youth advocacy during monitory and evaluation of CORY at national level.
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