Posts bymichael.kongo

CCAM in Benin

On the third of December 2017, Professor Frederic Kalala, the Chair of Congolese German Center of Microfinance, told the students of M2 Microfinance that they would be traveling to Benin for the annual excursion.  At first, the students were excited for the opportunity that the DAAD gave them to have such a trip.  But Professor Kalala told them that they would also have to present their papers in the annual conference of Microfinance at the University of Abomey Calavi and more than that, they would have to evaluate three microfinance institutions. Obviously, the pressure had gone up since the students knew that they would need to invest extra time in their busy schedule.

Once in Benin, the students were impressed by the cultural differences between RD Congo and Benin. One of them said that “Benin was a wonderful experience, people are calmer than Congolese, everyone minds their own business. We were almost invisible if it wasn’t for the bus that came to fetch us, no one would have noticed that a bunch of student from the Congo were there.”

It took them three days to visit the three institutions ESU OLA OTAN, FESECAM and ALIDé the three impressive microfinance institutions in Benin. The goal was to analyse five topics: social performance, governance and rating, risk management, audit and financial performance.  To get that data, the students interviewed the Executive manager of each department that was studied, from the CEO to the accounting manager, the human resources manager, audit department manager and risk management department and internal control manager.  Subsequently, they did the data collection, such as financial statement, audit report, internal control report and document on social performance management and cash book.  The assignment was to evaluate and analyse the management of the three institutions and then give their recommendations to the Executive in charge of the department on how to improve their businesses; let’s keep in mind that those are professionals who have been in business for ten plus years.

After the presentation, The CEOs and the staff of the three microfinance institutions were amazed at how the students handled the pressure and did the job. The president of the board of FECECAM (CLCAM) said that he has been in the business for more than two decades and he has never had this report done in a few days and well done indeed. Even the professor Welé Idrisou, the secretary’s general of minister of Benin in charge of microfinance, was very impressed.

However, the main event of the trip was the annual meeting of microfinance in Abomey Calavi, the biggest university in Benin with 80 thousand students.

Four of the best papers were selected and four courageous students presented their topics in front of the panel, a room full of professors, expert in microfinance and PhD students. The Dean of economics and management Faculty of Abomey Calavi and the panel congratulated the four students and invited them to do their future research in Benin.

Thanks to the DAAD, the reputation of the Congolese German Center of Microfinance stands behind the republic democratic of Congo, the expertise of our alumni is valued everywhere they go. Every year, the Microfinance institution in Kinshasa calls for them and the impact can be seen with open eyes as 90 % of the alumni that finished last year are already working.

 

CCAM Alumni Meeting: It was a family reunion

“It is more than a meeting, it is a family reunion” said Professor Bakengela Shamba, the Director of the Congolose German Center of Microfinance. For the first time ever, the CCAM assembled one hundred thirty alumni. Nevertheless, this number was nothing compared to the ambiance felt on whatsapp (“rencontre alumni group”). On that day, more than two hundred alumni all over the world were gathered together to participate in the event. For example, there was Patrick Fossa from Cameroon who uploaded the participant form on Google. Adama Ouattara from Burkina Faso was so present that many of his ideas were taken into account while elaborating the program.

 


The main part of the event was the five workshops that took place or let’s say the mentorship sessions. From the first intake to the last intake, the alumni took their time to advise the actual students of M1 and M2 Microfinance on how they should face their professional life. They have shared their experience good or bad and the way, they have overcome their challenges.

 

 

The question was asked ‘is the Congolese German Center of Microfinance selling a dream?’ The fact is: They all admitted that the CCAM is the best education program in DR Congo and maybe that is the reason of their proudness. They thought the world would be under their feet once they have their diploma. But, the reality was different. The professional life is not only led by high performance and high achievement but by politics as well; to succeed you have to know the game and remain humble.

 

To finish, a football match and many other games were organized to entertain everyone and a nice meal was presented before the rain started falling.

 

Emotional intelligence: a tool to increase the performance of the entrepreneur in DR Congo

Many people were shocked when the Harvard business review in 2016 has listed the most to least empathetic companies in the world, no surprise that Facebook was the first on the list. As the world will always remember Mark Zuckerberg issuing a statement on his Facebook account about the fatal police shooting of Philando Castileb in USA saying that “While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond’s, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important — and how far we still have to go”.

The deed made by the CEO of Facebook is called empathy and Daniel Goleman considered it as one of the components of the emotional intelligence if not the most important one. Empathy is the ability to see the world from another person’s perspective the capacity to tune into what someone else might be thinking and feeling about a situation (Osisioma, Nzewi & Osisioma, 2016, P.3)

The world is changing so fast with technology and social media, entrepreneurs in Kinshasa must learn and develop some new skills to run their businesses successfully. Many studies have shown that opportunity is the key element that make a difference between a successful entrepreneurs and a common one. Chell, Hawort & Bearly (1991) argued that successful entrepreneurs have the quality of seeing business opportunities and starting appropriate actions.

Being able to recognize opportunities will enable entrepreneurs in Kinshasa to face the competition in the market place. Kinshasa being the capitol of the Democratic Republic of Congo is overflow by the foreigner’s investor such as: Lebanese’s, Indian, Kenyan, Chinese and many others. One of them told me that “it is easier to make money in Kinshasa than in India”.

According to Baron (2008), the application of emotional intelligence is considered important in business. This is because positive emotions enhance entrepreneurial creativity and opportunity recognition.

Emotional intelligence is the best tools for the entrepreneur in Kinshasa; however, they must be willing to learn and to master the five components that defined it such as : Self-awareness,  Self-Regulation (or  Management), Motivation, Empathy (Social  Awareness), and Social Skills  (Relationship  Management).

As the Harvard business review said “Empathy has never been in more explicit demand from corporate leaders” and I believe that this is so true for the entrepreneur in Kinshasa.

CHREA – the fruit of Congolese German Center of Microfinance

Three CCAM alumni have created a successful consulting firm. Christian Eanga, Dave Mobhe and Christopher Mukoka decided not to seek for a job but build their own wealth. They were confident with the knowledge gained during their time at the Congolese German Center of Microfinance.

CHREA Strategy was created in September 2016, only two months after their graduation and less than a year later, Christian Eanga, Dave Mobhe and Christopher Mukoka are moving to a bigger office. Dave Mobhe said that there are three courses or module they used every day to run their business. The module of Professor Patrick Bakengela Politic and Strategy of Enterprise is the foundation of CHREA Strategy.  « As consulting firm the module of strategy and politic of enterprise helps us to run our firm while solving the problem of clients, we have to thanks the Center for the trip we went to Bukavu and Goma, witnessing the way Prof Frederick Kalala was consulting two of the big microfinances intuitions in the eastern part of the Congo, inspired us to create CHREA », said Dave.

Today, CHREA Strategy employed one full time employee and one intern.

Employee theft within Small Businesses in Kinshasa, DR Congo – By Michael Kongo

Growing up in a business family where almost everyone was an entrepreneur such as father, mother, uncle, brother in law and even neighbors. What seemed to be a family thing in one of the small town in the Republic of Congo was in fact, one of the greatest activities in the world. According to some authors (Kuratko &Richard, 2004; Davis and Harveston 1998; Hodgetts, 2004; Lam, 2009), more than 90 percent of all enterprise in the world is a family business. In Malaysia, SMEs accounts for 99.2 of all businesses GDP (SME Annual Report 2006- Negara Malaysia).

However, Researchers have shown that  only 30 percent of all families businesses go  into  the  second  generation  and  more  or  less  15  percent  that  sees  the  third  generation  (Friedrich,  2011&  Davis  1998). Employees’ theft is one of the main reasons for that failure as it is responsible   for   about   33   per   cent   of bankruptcies that occur (Walsch, 2000; Kennedy, 2012; Nkonoki, 2010; Gill, 2008; Katsouris and Aaron Sayne, 2013; Hinds, 2005 Hollinger and Davis (2001).

Kennedy (2012) argued that employee theft occurring specifically within small businesses has received much less empirical attention, and almost no attention has been given to how these acts affect the owners and managers of small businesses and the study of Iyenda (2005) has demonstrated how it was difficult to build a successful enterprise in Kinshasa and adding the employee’s theft on top it can only cause more damages.

The present article has asked one question “How employers and owners can protect their family business from theft and fraud”

The  retail  council  of  Canada report  have demonstrated the 10, 10 and 80 rules that said that 10 percent of your employees will never steal from you, the other 10 will always steal from you whenever the circumstances that goes hands to hands to the greedy one. But what is so interesting is that the rest of the 80 will go either that way or mostly depending of the opportunity that has been presented to them.

The hanover insurance group has proposed some rules that entrepreneur can use among that: Pre-employment Screening, Procedural Controls and Devices, Improving Job Satisfaction and Apprehension and Prosecution.

This study stated that these principals are relevant in Kinshasa and it will reduce theft among employees. Please read more in the attached article.

Admission at CCAM Part I

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122 candidates showed up at the Congolese German center of Microfinance to write their admission tests. Only 35 of them will be selected. The tension was high as the team of the CCAM were guiding them to the venue. Next week, the best will be invited to individual interviews. Only 12 will get the bursary from the DAAD.

On the 28 of septembre at 9H45, Professor Bakengela, the Director of the Program presented the center and the DAAD in the class and more than that he adviced the candidates to give their best so that they e excellent. Excellence is the center’s middle name!

A great performance of the students of the Congolese-German center of Microfinance!

Once again the students of the Congolese-German center of Microfinance have well performed in the final, in total 75% was graduated at the 30th of July 2016 and the best moment was when the Rector of University has called the best student Alain Tamela, one of our student from Cameroun, he was the one who received the RAWJI price.

The official graduation ceremony for the academic year 2015/2016 took place on July 30th. We are very proud and would like to congratulate the CCAM graduate Alain Tamela, who obtained the highest grade from the whole university!

Tamela

Once interviewed by Michael Kongo, the program assistant of the center, Mr Tamela said that coming to the DR Congo to study at the center was one of the best decisions that he has never made in his entire life. The quality and the condition that he had studying allowed him to give the best of him.

Two weeks before the graduation, Professor Bakengela was contacted by Advans Bank wishing to hire students from the Congolese-German of center of Microfinance.  This shows the reputation the educational programme as well as the students of the center has gained in the last years.

CCAM in the spotlight

Journée “Acces au Financement“

The Congolese-German of center of Microfinance was once again in the spotlight when hosting the sixth edition of « acces au financement in DR Congo» on the 25th of June 2016 at Université Protestante au Congo.

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This forum has gathered 450 entrepreneurs and many others banks  and institutions of microfinance. Professor Patrick Bakengela was the main speaker of the event and has represented the center at the event, the focus of his speech turned around three topic s, that were discussed:

  1. The first one was about the management of the SMES
  2. The second one was about how can someone became the best banker
  3. The third one was about  how an entrepreneur get a good deal with banks

It must be mentioned that this forum was an initiative of the “financial inclusion fund in DRC” another project of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.