Cameroon launches SME-centric apps to attract investment

This week has seen the launch of a government-supported innovation to attract investors to Cameroon – in the form of SME-centric apps.

According to ITWeb Africa, the country’s Small-to-Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (APME) has rolled out two applications to support what is described as a growing SME market. One, NotaPME, is a rating app and the second, MyOBus, is for business plan development.

NotaPME enables an enterprise to fill in a series of forms that offer information about its business, performance and sector, and allow it to be rated. There are six risk categories based on the rating – from Very Low Risk to Proven Defect.

MyOBus is an online business development platform. It can, says APME, offer educational assistance in the design of a company’s business plan. The app has an admin interface with specific clearance access accounts to accommodate a range of users, from administrators to APME advisors, accredited external consultants and beneficiary users. It can function with or without internet connectivity.

For banks and investment companies, these two applications will, APME suggests, provide additional information on the credibility and financial health of companies while helping to improve risk management. The government wants to use the applications to attract potential investors who would welcome the chance to more easily access measurable and factual details of a given business, its growth, its risk-worthiness and related opportunities.

Assuming take-up is good and the apps function as hoped, banks and investors could well be grateful; they will be furnished with easy-to-access information about the financial status of SMEs and their relative credibility as investment targets.

SMEs might also like the apps. Over 90% of them operate in the information sector, according to the National Institute of Statistics, and this system could improve their business processes.