Women entrepreneurs need credit and skills
Emilienne considers Cameroon an Africa in miniature. One in which the role of women is still perceived as the stay-at-home mother doing household chores.
“In Cameroon women have no access to credit from banks, and other ladies in some parts still suffer from early forced marriages and are deprived of education.”
However, in her view, this scenario is changing. As a digital arts student in the TechWomen Factory project in partnership with UN Women, she has gained invaluable tech skills alongside entrepreneurship experience to build her own small business.
“The difficulty to get credit from banks by female entrepreneurs is the biggest challenge that limits their growth and productivity. If I had access to the money required to start a natural juice bar, I would have been running my juice bar already.”
Emilenne was born in a village called Pinyin and her past hides a brutal reality. After her father was murdered, she roamed the streets in order to raise money and sustain her family. She got involved with the Cuso International organization as an internally displaced student and trained in the production of pastries and natural juices. At the TechWomen Factory she foresaw a brighter future for herself.
Emilienne grew up in great hardship, knowing that her entire family was struggling to survive. However, this never diminished her expectations and hope for a better life. She still considers growing up in Cameroon an experience that taught her to be stronger and better.
Emilienne says that if she can survive Cameroon, she can survive anywhere.