In the past decade, Young African #entrepreneurs have been reshaping Africa. From the movie, fashion, to agricultural industries, Africans have been making headlines. #Cameroon is no exception to this progress. Despite the challenges we face as a country, a good number of youths are determined to own businesses.
A few days ago, Afro Hustler met with one of Cameroon’s young Entrepreneur (in his cosy office in Buea), who has taken his fate in his hands, and decided to become his own boss. Ewang Atabe – Founder and CEO of #AECO LIMITED. Below are the excerpts from sn interview with the budding entrepreneur.
Can you tell us who you really are?
I am Ewang Atabe, from the South West region of Cameroon. I did my secondary and high school studies in Bishop Rogan College small Soppo and professional studies in accounting and Business from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Basics knowledge in Oracle Database administration and Microsoft office specialist. My professional profile includes the following:
Co-founder of isolutions International in 2011. Country manager of Cameroon Trading. (2011- June 2016). Founder/CEO of AECO LTD.
I have a strong passion for Education and the desire to create jobs for people. Becoming a successful entrepreneur has always been a driving force in life, as I desire to provide solutions to some of Africa and world’s problems. My ability to bring people together and cause them to work alongside with my creative thinking nature have been my working tools in climbing life’s ladder.
Why did you decide to start a business?
Firstly, I saw a need in the services I am offering. Some of the services am offering or intend to offer are not yet available in our community . For those available, I intend to bring in a better approach to improve on the quality of the services. One other thing is to be able to create jobs for others.
Tell us what AECO LIMITED is all about in just one sentence?
AECO LIMITED is a multifaceted service company.
Who is your ideal Customer?
My ideal customer is the general public. Given that I have several services which cut across basic aspects of life, involving every caliber of persons, from educational to business solutions, and value added services to those who are not students nor business owners.
What products or services does your business provide? Aeco Ltd offers Education Services, Business Representation, Event planing and Conferences.
What differentiates your business idea and the products or services you provide from others in the market?
I am bringing in a new approach in the services my company offers, order than what those who are in the industry are doing. For example, in my educational services, I bring access to quality education which is what I think our education systems need to produce the right results through the use of Technology and Youths.
At business representation I am out to do the complete opposite of what those who are in the industry are currently doing, which is looking at representing foreign companies to market and sell their products and services at home.
But at AECO LTD we identify home based small and medium size companies, and individuals who are producing or offering special products or services but not reaping the full benefits of their work. We market and sell their products and services at home and abroad in a bid to take them and their products/services to the next and highest level, which they are are unable to attain on their own.
Our event planing and conferences department is committed to bringing in Europe and America’s standard of events and conferences to Africa. We are looking at being able to organize conferences which will see us bring the worlds finest speakers from the world’s leading industries in our chosen fields (Health,Education,Technology and Agriculture) to our conferences, taking Africa to the next level.
Your business based in Buea, Why not Douala, which is the “known” business terain of Cameroon?
Buea is a small town, but growing at a very fast rate. As a start up, I think starting in Buea will be the ideal thing as to grow my business since the town itself is growing. Again, when it comes to education in Cameron, the best place to carry out a test and be able to have good results is Buea, and still the best to introduce change in the education system of the country. Also, in Buea I will be exposed to the right technology expertise I need to build my services.
How big is your team, and are you looking at hiring more employees?
My current team size is 8. But as days go by the number keeps adding with new deals being signed for business representation and should we succeed with the product we intend to launch for business representation, then in the long term we should employ about 1/10 of the worlds population.
What’s your revenue model? Our revenue model differs from service to service. For business representation, our main source of revenue comes from commissions we receive from sales of our representative’s products or services. For event planing and conferences – we get paid for our services by those who hire them. Our education services are more of free services, the department is supported by our other services and we intend to get sponsors and fundings .
How soon does it take for your products or service to be available? Our services and products are readily available apart from our tech services which are still under construction. As soon as the construction work is done, the service automatically becomes available at all times for our customers. All our other services are already available and always available 24/7 for our customers.
Who are your competitors in the market? Currently in our education service we do not have any competitor as the service we are bringing in is not yet available in the current educational system. For business representation, there are some people who are offering the service. But as I mentioned earlier, they are doing the opposite of what we want to do, which is to promote local producers service providers by representing them to markets and sell their products and services home and abroad. For our event planing and conferences, we have lots of competitors, like hotels and other service companies who are offering these services but with the standard we offer we will stand out amongst the many.
What have been your set backs before your business got to this point? Our main set back has been lack of finances to enable us run at full scale.
Are you looking at raising funds?
Definitely, we are looking at raising funds.
Where do you see your business in the next 5yrs?
We see our business at that top level with every person in the entire globe consuming our services.
There is a wind of progress sweeping through Africa. Will you be part of it or will you sit and complain about the government. Innovation starts with identifying small problems in our local communities and stepping in to bridge the gap. Ewang is doing it. So can you.
I’ll suppose some readers of this post might have some unknown subject lines to discuss with Ewang. Incase you are one of them, here is his contact details :