PAVING THE WAY FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN BAMENDA through Digital Literacy Training and Mentorship.

Ndimofor Aretas
Posted April 16, 2018 from Cameroon
PAVING THE WAY FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN BAMENDA
Celebrating with Sophie Ngassa after a successful and impactful event.
PAVING THE WAY FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN BAMENDA
PAVING THE WAY FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN BAMENDA: Sophie Ngassa in action playing a lead role during the event in a skit about women who face the challenge of "Not engaging in self-promotion or “tooting their own horn,”" (1/10)

"Fear of Technology - Be Gone!"

For over a decade and a half, I have carried this question in my mind;

"How can my skills in technology help my community?"

With 9 years of experience as a High School Geology Teacher and over 10 years as a Digital Literacy coach, a Microsoft Office Specialist Master (MOSM) in Microsoft Office 2013, a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) of the Microsoft in Education community, and member of the YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) Network, my community impact was almost limited to my school and the students I taught until I was introduced to Social Entrepreneurship by my Mentor early in 2016.

Though I am used to volunteering, my first major impact as a Social Entrepreneur was in June 2016 when I was chosen as one of the three Lead Trainers in the Digital Skills Empowerment and Certification of over 150 Educators in Bamenda.  This was during a project under the "21 Days of Yello Care Program for Educators" organized by MTN Cameroon in collaboration with Microsoft.

Since then my interest in community empowerment has steadily grown and it is thanks to my quest for community empowerment through Digital Literacy that I met Sophie Ngassa on 16/04/2018 (Two Years Ago) - more on our exploits in my next post.  But I must mention here that she introduced me to several community empowerment opportunities including this wonderful World Pulse community.

From January 2018, I embarked on some serious online research on Women Entrepreneurship and how I could find a common ground with them through my work.  Fortunately, being a member of the YALI Network which has a huge library of free online courses for its members, I took a course on "Understanding the Rights of Women and Girls " which solved my worry and I immediately set to work!

On March 1 this year, I received a mail, asking me to make a pledge to Support Women Entrepreneurs in my community.  Among the options was an opportunity to train Women Entrepreneurs.  Being already engaged in Entrepreneurship Training and Mentorship, I pledged to support the women in my community through Training.

Several mails later, I was encouraged by the YALI NETWORK to hold a #YALI LEARNS EVENT under the #AFRICA4HER campaign which I successfully did and decided to share with you through this post.

The event which was held under the theme; "PAVING THE WAY FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN BAMENDA" was aimed at the following;

  • Discussion on the need to support women entrepreneurs and women in the workforce.
  • Discuss Strategies to resolve challenges Women Entrepreneurs face
  • Form a Business or Entrepreneurship Support Network for Women.

We had an educative video from E. Diane White  who is an author and nonprofit executive with expertise in economic development, sustainable investing and gender equality.

This is the link to the video:

Paving the Way for Women Entrepreneurs

Through the hosting of this event I understood that Female Entrepreneurs in my community face some major challenges when trying to start or run a business including:

  1. Not being taken seriously
  2. Not engaging in self-promotion or “tooting their own horn,”
  3. Seeking too much approval or being a people pleaser, and
  4. Fear of technology.

 

Thanks to the invaluable support of women in my community, especially Ma Sophie Ngassa, I recorded an attendance of 43 participants (which was more than the 30 I had initially expected!)

We are now in the process of building a strong support network for women Entrepreneurs in Bamenda with the mission to help the Female Entrepreneurs to overcome these obstacles.

The video of the event is available on YouTube here.

The most important thing I got from hosting this event was that I discovered the I can play a major role in helping Women Entrepreneurs in my community by helping them to fight their "fear of technology" through Digital Literacy Training, Mentorship and Technical Support.

Online tools can really create life changing connections and open doors to unlimited resources and opportunities when used for good.

This post was submitted in response to Transmitting Change.

Comments 23

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  • jlanghus
    Apr 16
    Apr 16

    Hi Ndimofor. Thanks for sharing your post and photos about your collaboration with Sophie, YALI and also what you are focusing and working on. I LOVE the photos and event video. You are all on fire:-) Good job! I'm looking forward to more updates on how you are empowering women. Have a great day!

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    Apr 16
    Apr 16

    Hello Jill,
    Thank you for always being the first to share your thoughts on my posts.
    I believe your business is reaching greater heights and wider audiences by the minute...

    I knew you would love the videos and photos.
    Yes we are on fire and we are already making some progress with our mission.
    I won't hesitate to keep you posted on every milestone we reach.

    cheers!

  • jlanghus
    Apr 17
    Apr 17

    Hi there:) You're very welcome. Well, I hope so. It's kind of you to say that:) Sounds great on the updates!

    Have a great day!

  • Tamarack Verrall
    Apr 16
    Apr 16

    Hello Ndimofor,

    What a great photo and collaboration with Sophie. And what a great event. I loved seeing and hearing all the participants, and the fun skits. It is so good to know that you have made a commitment to this work.

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    Apr 16
    Apr 16

    Hi Verrall,
    My commitment to my passion was fueled by yours.

    When I read of how you travel far and wide to encourage women to find hope and speak out, I thought wow, I could also do something with the little I have.

    Collaborating with great people like Sophie is really bringing a lot of positive changes to my community.

    Thank you for your encouragements. I can assure you that they are not in vain.

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    Apr 16
    Apr 16

    Hi Verrall,
    My commitment to my passion was fueled by yours.

    When I read of how you travel far and wide to encourage women to find hope and speak out, I thought wow, I could also do something with the little I have.

    Collaborating with great people like Sophie is really bringing a lot of positive changes to my community.

    Thank you for your encouragements. I can assure you that they are not in vain.

  • Tamarack Verrall
    Apr 17
    Apr 17

    Thank you for the encouraging message!

    Tam

  • rachel_2
    Apr 16
    Apr 16

    Great to see you helping to empower women in this way!

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    Apr 16
    Apr 16

    Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for your encouragements.

  • Sophie Ngassa
    Apr 17
    Apr 17

    Hello Aretas, You are doing a great job. Welcome again to World Pulse. I see you enjoying the benefits of the site. Together we will make the difference for women in Cameroon. Thanks for all your support.

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    Apr 20
    Apr 20

    Well said Ma Sophie....
    Like you always tell me... "Together, slowly one step at a time!"

    Thank you for always putting me in the right places.

    (I still have my socks in mint condition...)

  • Evelyn Fonkem
    Apr 22
    Apr 22

    Great job Aretas

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    May 03
    May 03

    Thank you very much.

  • Bim Adegbite
    Apr 25
    Apr 25

    Awesome!!! Love the collaboration, love the passion. Great work!

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    May 03
    May 03

    Thank you so much Bim.

  • Adeola Samuel
    May 15
    May 15

    Hi Ndimofor,

    I'm so excited to see the support you are giving the women in your community. We hope the train keeps moving. Weldone!

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    May 16
    May 16

    Hello Adeola, thank you very much for leaving your thoughts on my story.
    I am doing my best to keep the train moving.
    cheers.

  • rehema lyoka
    May 28
    May 28

    This is really good, May God continue to bless you ,

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    May 29
    May 29

    Thank you very much Rehema.

  • nelsa nabila
    May 28
    May 28

    Wow I am enlightened by your work and how you have used technology positively to impact lives. keep soaring my brother.

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    Jun 03
    Jun 03

    Dear Nelsa, Thank you very much for reading my story and sharing your thoughts. I find great satisfaction in knowing that you were positively impacted by my work.

    Best Regards

  • Hello, Ndimofor,

    It is encouraging to see you collaborate with Sophie. I am glad that you use your expertise to play a major role in helping women overcome their "fear of technology". May there be more men who will follow your example. It is surely a great to see when men support women.

    Thank you for sharing and Welcome to World Pulse!

  • Ndimofor Aretas
    Jun 03
    Jun 03

    Hello Karen,
    Thank you so much for your encouraging words.
    I feel that supporting women in any way I can is the least I can do, given that I came to this world thanks to a woman in the first place.

    My wish is that more men should start seeing the need to support women in their own way.

    Best Wishes.