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Using creative mentorship, microcrediting,and establishment of sustainable businesses for displaced women and girls in the South West Region

Photo of Lovet  Tarh-Nyuo Ekwen
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

An estimated 350,002 women and young girls are displaced living in host communities in the South West, and neighboring Littoral regions of Cameroon due to the Anglophone crisis. These women and young girls did not only suffer from family separation but abandoned their businesses, jobs which were their sources of livelihood. Considering the fact that most cannot start a business in their host communities due to economic hardship, and others lack creative abilities to fend for themselves, they are sinking in extreme poverty, sorrow, and pain. One of these displaced girls (Dora) told me that she wishes to get a loan to begin a business for a living, but banks find it difficult to grant her the loan. To solve this problem, my team (a group of creative experts who were displaced) and I provide creative mentorship, micro crediting and establishment of sustainable businesses for displaced women and girls. We train them with several income-generating trades which are; • Fashion and make up arts, • Hairstyling, • Pastry making, • Agro-processing, • 3D Epoxy deco, • Farming, • Writing projects for scholarships • Web and graphic design. This creative mentoring sessions coupled with grants given to displaced persons for the commencement of sustainable businesses is indeed a ray of joy.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE targets the communities of Buea, Limbe, Bukwai, and Douala found in the South West and Littoral regions of Cameroon. These communities are the focus because they inhabit close to 70% of internally displaced women and young girls who have very limited assistance and response to their challenges (lack of creative skills for self-employment, low support, and economic hardship).

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE builds the bridge of creativity on-demand/ access to business finance between the displaced and the needs of host communities. Through ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE, displaced girls become a new generation of Cameroonian innovators highly needed in the working environment and business society.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE gives creative skills to unskilled displaced women and young girls enabling them to fulfill the needs of their host communities. It goes beyond meeting the need of displaced persons but providing services their host communities cannot do without. For example, the community of Bukwai has limited access to inclusive agro-processed products needed for food and skincare, and their people are forced to travel to neighboring towns in search of these products. With displaced women trained into skilled agro-processors in this community, the people will benefit from their products directly and needless movements. Also, this is a multiplication mechanism which can transform many displaced girls into solution providers. Displaced girls who are already creative and financially viable can industrialize others to be innovative and serviceable to their communities.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

With ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE, displaced girls get transformed from unemployed to employed, financial lack to financial gain, and from living in need to living to serve their communities with diverse trades.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

The inspiration behind ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE is the experience of the ZEALOUS team members who were displaced and now are contributors to society. Some are members of the community where displaced people inhabit. Therefore, they are a symbol of hope that ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE will aid displaced girls.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE (ZGC) is for displaced women and young girls who fled from Mamfe, Muyuka, Yoke and are living in Buea, Limbe, Bukwai and Douala which are some of the major host communities. ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE will bridge the gap between displaced persons and needs of host communities through creative mentorship and micro credits enabling them to be self-employed and build their communities.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

The host towns (Buea, Limbe, Bukwai, and Douala) are eco-touristic zones in Cameroon which currently are in huge need of several creative services for development. A good example is a high need for 3D epoxy deco in banks, hotels, schools, restaurants, churches, and malls. The training of displaced persons in these creative fields will be a massive advantage and profit to them in providing these services. The image attached is the product of our young ZGC mentee who was displaced, trained by ZGC staff, supported financially, established his big and profitable coconut oil business which makes him among the best producers to meet the high demand of coconut oil in Limbe, Buea, Mutengene and Douala.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

I work with NGOs, social enterprises, business partners locally and globally who join me in implementing ZEALOUS- GET CREATIVE such as ABEMO- WOMEN OF VISION Cameroon, University Study USA, Agrilife Association, Georgiaz Pastries, ZOE International and other several companies. In the future, I hope to work with other communities and tech companies in reaching more displaced girls.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Majority Adoption: We have expanded the pilot significantly and the program product or service has been adopted by the majority of our intended user base (i.e. 50% to 83% of the target population or 50,000 to 1,000,000 users).

Group or Organization Name


Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

ARMOR was created by a young VLIR-UOS Scholar; Ekwen Lovet. After he completed his studies in Belgium, Lovet returned to his home town, Buea, and discovered so many youths fled to other towns and countries in search for a better living due to insecurity and the high rate of poverty in Cameroon. He also discovered that most were young entrepreneurs who gave up on their businesses. To sustain young peoples’ entrepreneurial visions, Lovet created a network of multi experts who were displaced teaching young Cameroonians on how to apply for business grants to scale their businesses, and providing skills-based training. ARMOR began in 2015 as a social enterprise educating young people with skills on applying for small business grants, scholarships, and entrepreneurial skills to unleash a generation of new innovators highly needed in the Cameroonian business society. Based in Buea- Cameroon, ARMOR and several partners engaged in the training and micro crediting of many IDPs.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

Buea/South West Region


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sai Kishore Nellore

Hi Lovet Tarh-Nyuo Ekwen  your idea is amazing as in the dialogue on migration, the challenges faced by adolescent girls and women are not only with relocation and adapting new culture but also have to deal with sexual exploitation and trafficking. In this context, I invite you to have a look at the work my colleagues are engaged in, and helping adolescent girls and migrant women in India Hasina Kharbhih and Ibadaphunshisha Blah where Impulse NGO Network has developed a comprehensive platform that can be replicated and deployed in different regions to support women and adolescent girls. Migrant smuggling often leads to the crime of human trafficking. Many adults in their attempt to escape war or natural disaster end up being trafficked and forced or sold into slavery. The majority of women and children end up in sexual slavery. Let us work together make migration safer and more regular and after reviewing what Chau Tang Duncan  and Tom Duncan are doing with the Migration Lab Program I think there is tremendous scope for building strong partnerships with them and other mission aligned ideas on open ideo to join forces in addressing this illegal $150 billion dollar a year human trafficking industry. We would have to look at the challenge of trafficking at a global level and at the same time create livelihood opportunities to the immigrants at local level. The confluence is the idea that we are working on and can check out the same at:

Photo of Lovet  Tarh-Nyuo Ekwen

Hello Sai Kishore,
Thanks for your contribution. I admire your work in helping adolescent girls and women in India which is similar to my work in creating sustainable livelihoods for displaced women and young girls. Let's explore opportunities for collaboration