Nchemty Nelson is a 25-year-old master’s degree student in Epidemiology and Control of infectious diseases. As a student, he had challenges making provision for some of his basic needs like food, clothing and rent. He had to depend on his parents who are barely surviving. To fight this, Nelson had desired to be employed after his Bachelor’s degree. He submitted many applications but was never called up, even for an interview. In one of our interviews with Nelson, he said, “I really got frustrated when I could not have a job. All my hopes were lost. I could not provide for my basic needs like food, clothing and house rent, yet I could not continue asking from my parents who were getting bored each time I asked them for money. I also desired to further my studies but did not know how to go about this. I even thought I could have a part time job, but it was not forthcoming.”
In June 2018, Nelson attended an entrepreneurship seminar organized by Missional enterprise partnership Cameroon (MEPCAM) on how to raise capital/resources for a business, how to identify and manage business risk and how to identify a problem from within a community and turn it into a business. He felt very motivated by this training as he expressed “I am really impressed with the new ideas about business, which I had never known; I was only thinking in one direction-how to get a job to provide for my needs. I am now convinced that I can make a living from business.”
Again, in March 2019, he was invited to an awareness campaign where a MEPCAM team talked to people on the importance of “Thinking Outside the Box”. Here is what he said after the event, “I have really not been thinking outside the box. All I spent my time thinking was how to get a job, and that is what everyone wants. I never thought otherwise. I now understand that if I
think the way every other person is thinking, I will not find it easy. I can only make a difference if only I think differently and now is the time for me to make that difference.” Nelson explained
Now, with this mindset, he decided to put into practice what he has learned from MEPCAM. Nelson started saving from his bucket allowance. He did not spend all that his parents gave him, as was the case before. After saving part of his bucket allowance for about five months, he was able to have a sum of CFA 30,000 ($51.33) with which he started his business. He buys coconut from the market and after peeling off the shells, he chops it into small pieces and then fry. He also removes the oil from the coconut, which he parcels inside a container before distributing to different stores around his community.
He makes a profit of about CFA 10.000 ($17.11) in a week and about CFA 50.000 ($85.56) in a month. He can now pay his rents, pay his schools fees and support his parents instead of being supported by them. In our recent discussion with Nelson, he said “ I have now realized that one can only make a difference if one thinks differently, I bless God for MEPCAM, for giving me a change of mindset and moving me from a dependent adult and a job seeker to an independent job creator.” Nelson is presently receiving a training on real estate business, which he wants to establish in future. He is therefore, using the already established business as a stepping-stone.