The typically Cameroonian turn of phrase “entreprise dans la mallette” (company in the briefcase) is not only part of the popular imagery. It is a reality. Indeed, according to study carried out in September 2016 by the Cameroon Economic and Social Policies Analysis and Research Centre (Camercap), think-tank mainly financed by the State, out of the 31,298 establishments created in the country between 2010 and 2015, only 53.2% declared carrying out operations.
“In practice, these are ‘on paper’ and most often one-man businesses”, explains Camercap. Which notes that these Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) on “paper” hardly create jobs, and even less added value in the economic sense. “Their life expectancy depends on the one of the credit mandate issuers and are more in line with the redistribution of the national riches”.
Camercap notes that SME owners are not ambition leaders. Because, “close to 99% declared their turnover as being lower than [FCfa] 100 million; additionally, 12% of owners declared a turnover lower than [FCfa] 15 million”.