ACCRA, Ghana – In the world of entrepreneurship, some dream and hope their ideas become reality whilst others seize any available opportunity to make their dreams come true. In the end, what these people want is to have something they can proudly call “MyOwnBusiness”. Laurent Georges is one such example. While in his final year of secondary school in Cameroon, Laurent faced serious financial challenges.
Exploring ways to find solution, his sister told him about a youth entrepreneurship program she had heard of in Cameroon. Seeing himself as a future entrepreneur, Laurent without a doubt took his sister’s advice and joined Nestlé’s My Own Business (MYOWBU) program.
“From a pushcart operator to owning my own operator site, the MYOWBU program has considerably changed and blessed my life. From 2015, I have been able to completely pay all my school fees till now where I’m in research cycle in university. I have become a real support to my family!”, Laurent said.
Laurent’s business now employs 32 people. Through self-employment, Laurent has now become financially independent. Like Laurent, Ahou a young mother in Côte d’Ivoire earns a living through this program selling around 200 cups of coffee a day.
As a street vendor, “This is how I earn money which allows me to be independent and take care of my child”. From Ghana, Edward Yaw Kumah started as a Salesperson in 2007. Today, he owns an operating site, providing job opportunities for youth in his business. Edward sees a bright future with this business and hopes to expand across the country and provide more job opportunities for others.
MYOWBU presents an opportunity for young adults such as Laurent, Ahou, and Edward to venture into entrepreneurship to become financially independent. It is also a call for businesses to engage youth and help build their entrepreneurial skills.
Rabie Issa, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Professional and Nestlé Waters strongly believes that “The growth of Africa’s economy can be accelerated if we integrate youth development as a core aspect in business operations. Nestlé will continue to find the right partnerships to create enabling entrepreneurial environment and help young people thrive in Central and West Africa”.
As part of Nestlé Needs YOUth Initiative, MYOWBU is benefitting over 5, 000 young people and seeks to double its youth outreach with entrepreneurship to 10, 000 by 2025.
Currently operational in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal among others, the program provides commercial equipment including pushcarts and shoulder kits as enablers for interested youth with the dream of starting and owing their own businesses. Nestlé’s MYOWBU contributes to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.