Meet Paulette Mpouma

11 Jul

Each day, until July 23rd, we will be introducing you to one of our current Entrepreneur Training for Success students.  These women are artists, artisans and creative entrepreneurs with talent, passion, vision and entrepreneurial drive to start-up their own businesses and lead change in their communities.  Read about the amazing work they are doing and join us on July 23rd as we celebrate their graduation.

Paulette talking about The Africa Memory Game in our Entrepreneur Training for Success Class

Paulette Mpouma, a refugee from Cameroon, is the inventor of the Africa Memory Game (Afriqu’enjeux).  When Paulette joined her husband in the US in 1998, she had little knowledge of English but received support from friends, Lutheran Social Services and Ayuda.  She found a job in the Pentagon City mall in a store selling African art, and she soon realized the appreciation that American consumers had for these pieces. So she launched her first small business connecting African artists with the American market.  With help from the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Paulette was able to launch her business, gain self-confidence, and build English and business skills.

For several years, Paulette had the idea to create the Africa Memory Game in order to teach her four children about their own roots.  But it was only after the successful start of her art business that she was ready to take a chance on her idea.  In 2009, using her expertise in education on Africa and building connections between African and non-African countries, Paulette developed Afriqu’enjeux, the bilingual game, written in English and French that incorporates information on African history, geography and culture.

Paulette says,

“I came to EWI because I was looking for help with my business development. After creating my business two years ago, I was in need of new avenues and ways to expand. From finances to legal questions, I have answers to a lot of problems I could not solve myself.  I received a great training and feedback from EWI’s mentors, and guidance to focus on increasing sales, using social media for networking and selling as a socially responsible business by contributing a part of the profits to help children suffering from diabetes in Cameroon. After completing EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success, I have the confidence in my product and am working toward my goals.”

Paulette currently sells her game online and in 16 locations nationally and internationally, and though EWI’s Micro-Enterprise program. Paulette gives 10% of her business sales to charities in Cameroon fighting juvenile diabetes, a disease she says, affects many young children, cutting their life short because they are unable to get the care they need.

Read more at www.theafricameorygame.com

RSVP for the graduation gala, Women Architects of Change.

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