October 22, 2023 – In conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, the WIDU project celebrated the achievements of Cameroonian entrepreneurs during its inaugural WIDU Awards ceremony on November 17th at the Mont Fébé Hotel in Yaoundé. The event highlighted exceptional entrepreneurs who have benefited from the valuable support of the WIDU project, honoring 15 of them for their successful journeys and contributions to the development of a sustainable local economy.

WIDU Awards Cameroon

The ceremony was inaugurated by the Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy, and Handicrafts, Mr. Achille Bassilekin III, and Her Excellency the Ambassador of Germany, Dr. Corinna Fricke. These distinguished guests applauded WIDU's efforts to catalyze entrepreneurial potential in Cameroon.

Mr. Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy, and Handicrafts specifically emphasized the promotion of women's entrepreneurship, which was particularly highlighted during the ceremony, honoring "all women entrepreneurs who invest every day in sometimes challenging conditions, contributing to job creation and wealth in our country."

An Innovative Approach for Cameroonian SMEs

The WIDU.africa project, operating in Cameroon since 2019, stands out with its ambitious mission. By focusing on the valorization of funds transfers from the African diaspora in Europe, WIDU aims to strengthen the capacities of local entrepreneurs and promote sustainable economic development. During the WIDU Awards ceremony, Tom Sorensen, the regional coordinator of the WIDU project, emphasized the importance of the diaspora in the project's overall approach: "It all starts with the diaspora. The diaspora registers on the WIDU.africa online platform to support entrepreneurs they know in Cameroon. The demand for WIDU support is very high; we receive between 100 and 150 requests per month from the diaspora."

With this innovative and digitized approach, nearly 3.24 million euros have been jointly invested by entrepreneurs and their diaspora members in support of micro and small businesses since the launch of the WIDU project in Cameroon in 2019. This has supported more than 1,831 micro and small businesses across Cameroon, with nearly half of them managed by women. It has also facilitated the creation and maintenance of over 3,210 jobs.

Overall, across the six participating countries, WIDU.africa, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and mandated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), supported over 4,980 businesses in its first phase, with 46% managed by women, and contributed to the creation and maintenance of over 9,315 jobs, 50% of which were held by women.

Focus on a Critical Project Component: Entrepreneurial Support

The importance of coaching for Cameroonian entrepreneurs was a central theme during the WIDU Awards ceremony, highlighted by the presence of WIDU's coaching partner organizations in Cameroon, namely African BIB, the Association of Cameroonian Engineers and Computer Scientists (VKII), and Africa Design Innovation. These partners reflected on key moments and strengths related to supporting micro and small businesses through their respective collaborations with the WIDU project in Cameroon.

Mrs. Krystel Nopoudem Sidonie, CEO of Africa Design Innovation, particularly testified to the opportunities offered by this collaboration in favor of creating an ecosystem conducive to the growth and professional development of entrepreneurs through a productive and positive on-the-ground approach: "This first phase of the project has been a long and beautiful human adventure. The team worked to understand, design, and organize WIDU's mission on the ground, (...) and thus put all the potential of WIDU at the service of entrepreneurs in Cameroon. (...) These are 4 years of a journey that has enriched us with lessons about life, about the relationship with others, about self-transcendence, about integrity at work, and about what it means to create value."

Coaching sessions played an essential role in strengthening entrepreneurial skills, providing strategic advice, practical tools, and personalized guidance to both award winners and all entrepreneurs supported by WIDU. This holistic approach, combining WIDU funding with personalized coaching, consolidated the success of entrepreneurs honored during this ceremony, illustrating the crucial importance of support in the entrepreneurial journey in Cameroon. By incorporating this dimension, the ceremony highlighted WIDU's enduring commitment to entrepreneurial development, offering an inspiring model for similar initiatives in the region. In total, 3,555 coaching sessions were conducted during the project's first phase, which concluded on September 30th, with 93% of participants expressing satisfaction.

A Variety of Sectors Representing Cameroonian Entrepreneurial Excellence

Awards were presented in five categories, each reflecting a crucial aspect of the Cameroonian economic fabric. The Innovation category honored entrepreneurs who brought innovative ideas and creative solutions. Crafts showcased the richness of local heritage, while the Young Entrepreneurs category rewarded the vitality and boldness of emerging entrepreneurs. The Agribusiness sector was also celebrated, highlighting those contributing to the growth of the agricultural economy. Finally, the Green Sector category emphasized the importance of ecological innovation and sustainable development.

The winners shared inspiring stories of perseverance and success, underscoring the tangible impact of WIDU's technical and financial support on their businesses. Entrepreneurs expressed gratitude for the project, testifying to its crucial role in enhancing their capacities and realizing their entrepreneurial dreams.

"Beyond the money, it's the recognition of the efforts, determination, and our commitment to developing our local products. It's always invigorating to be recognized." Hippolyte Nozawo Tchoffo, founder of Cholocaterie Nohi.

Throughout this day of celebration, the five sectors honored also had the opportunity to showcase their expertise in a fair focused on "Made In Cameroon" craftsmanship. It was an occasion to discover numerous local, artisanal, creative, and traditional products crafted by beneficiaries of the WIDU project.

Honoring these visionary entrepreneurs, the WIDU Awards Cameroon ceremony has left a strong mark on the Cameroonian entrepreneurial landscape, inspiring future generations of entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams with determination and confidence. If you missed the WIDU Awards Cameroon ceremony, you can relive this exceptional event in its entirety on our social media platforms via the following link: https://fb.watch/orjViaSbVX/.

Discover the 15 winners of the WIDU Awards Cameroon 2023!


• 1st prize: GIC Bellomar, manufacturing of hydroalcoholic gels and bleach from spoiled fruits, founded and managed by Martial Oden.
Diaspora donor: Kemogne Romuald

2nd prize: BAVRJ, production and marketing unit for bakery and pastry products made from local flours, founded and managed by Marcel Guy Nganta in Yaoundé.
Diaspora donor: Diana Boakye

3rd prize: "Mon Linge," a company specialized in laundry and cleaning services and training, founded and managed by Marie Jose Miasse in Douala.
Diaspora donor: Mr. Kamleu Giresse


• 1st prize: Chocolaterie Nohi, specializing in the production of chocolates made from organic cocoa in Douala.
Entrepreneur: Hippolyte Nozawo Tchoffo
Diaspora donor: Rostand Longtchi

"Beyond the money, it's the recognition of the efforts, determination, and our commitment to developing local products. It's always motivating to be recognized."

2nd prize: Sourcing & Trading SARL, chocolate production based on cocoa and cashew nuts in Yaoundé.
Entrepreneur: Paul Hervé Evona
Diaspora donor: Christel Mgba

3rd prize: Extrait Végétal SARL, transformation of fruits and vegetables into high-nutritional-value products for those who want to take care of their health. Entrepreneur: Yolande Ndoungue Kitio in Douala.
Diaspora donor: Christelle Nguemfo


• 1st prize: Mellow Group, precision manufacturing using laser technology, CNC, and plasma in Douala. Entrepreneur: Sandra Aboh Tembei
Diaspora donor: Fokam Foadieng Jacques Isacar

"I am so surprised to receive this award; I didn't know I would receive an award today! I'm really grateful to WIDU and to my coach. She kept making sure that we are making progress every step of the way, and I am so grateful for her. It's recognition for hard work, and I am so grateful all of this hard work paid off. I am planning to expand my activities in Cameroon."

• 2nd prize: Rapha BIO, manufacturing of herbal teas. Entrepreneur: Guy Armel Tiam Mba in Douala.
Diaspora donor: Herve Donald Teguim Kamdjou

3rd prize: Agro ANKH, specializing in products and services useful for the establishment of sustainable agricultural, food, and health systems in Dschang. Entrepreneur: Donasson Dioril Anafack
Diaspora donor: Justin Nguimfack


• 1st prize: B.M.C. Engineering SARL, an engineering firm involved in mechanical manufacturing, maintenance of production equipment, and the production of agricultural machinery. Entrepreneur: Bony Maurel Wabo Toam in Douala.
Diaspora donor: Annick Carelle Toam Kommogne-Mobou

2nd prize: Liyana-Afrikdesigns, promotion of African design through clothing and the popularization of the discipline among interested youth. Entrepreneur: Evira Liya Ngum Ambe in Yaoundé.
Diaspora donor: Elvis Suhayinwi Ngwa

3rd prize: Padisco Shoes, manufacturing of durable shoes suitable for our environment for everyone and at a lower cost. Entrepreneur: Jean-Paul Leinyuy Fonyuy in Bamenda.
Diaspora donor: Viban Valerie Mbiydzenyuy


• 1st prize: Biogaz Technology, providing domestic gas to the population at reduced prices and contributing to the protection of the environment and ecosystem. Entrepreneur: Solange Epie Mengale Eloe in Limbe.
Diaspora donor: Enow Blec Eta

2nd prize: Product Related to Agricultural Sector (PRA), using banana trunk waste for the production of affordable packaging and as a contribution to ecosystem protection. Entrepreneur: Armelle Sidje Tamo in Yaoundé.
Diaspora donor: Philippe Landry Bebine Ngouloukou

3rd prize: Help Services Cameroon, collecting household waste to help populations in remote and non-remote areas far from communal waste disposal bins and where the national waste collection company has no access. Entrepreneur: Cédric Ludovic Fokam in Yaoundé.
Diaspora donor: Didier Nguelefack

Honoring these visionary entrepreneurs, the WIDU Awards Cameroon ceremony has left a strong mark on the Cameroonian entrepreneurial landscape, inspiring future generations of entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams with determination and confidence. If you missed the WIDU Awards Cameroon ceremony, you can relive this exceptional event in its entirety on our social media platforms via the following link: https://fb.watch/orjViaSbVX/.