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A Gloucestershire-based marketing agency, Elephant Creative, has partnered with the Anglican Diocese of Cameroon to launch a new social business project. 

Elephants Abroad is a social business project created to support, educate, mentor and empower women setting up their own business.  Initiated by UK-based marketing and business consultancy, Elephant Creative, the project will launch in partnership with Mother Estelle and her contacts in the Anglican Diocese of Cameroon.

Founder of Elephants Abroad and Managing Director of Elephant Creative, Helen Hammond, said: “With an increasing number of women starting out in business, developing their education and taking responsibility for their families, times are changing in Cameroon.  Elephants Abroad aims to target those women who might not have had the best opportunities in life.  Who may have had troubles leading to this point, and who need some help getting started on the business ladder.  We will make time for those who haven’t been able to take the traditional education route.  Who suddenly have to support their families and who need an experienced, friendly mentor as well as a support network and business-related education to get going”.

The project will launch in June 2015 with its first conference in Cameroon.  Helen Hammond, Managing Director of Elephant Creative, will travel to Cameroon to lead a pilot event, for Cameroon-based trainers, and will include a series of training modules, spread over two days.  Following this pilot event the organising group will seek to expand the project to grow to allow leading female entrepreneurs and business-women from across the UK (drawing from Elephant Creative’s associate and client network) to present at future evenings as well as involving other invited groups who will teach practical manufacturing tasks, alongside this business start-up training.

The project seeks to develop Elephants Abroad’s offering with seed-funding (for businesses set up by course attendees), academic accreditation and wider funding, prior to launch.

Founder Helen Hammond met with Mother Estelle from the Anglican Diocese of Cameroon in Cirencester at Easter 2014, along with her husband Bishop Dibo, when they were both visiting the town as guests of Reverend Canon Leonard Doolan, Vicar of Cirencester himself a Canon of Douala Cathedral, Cameroon.  During their stay the two founders of Elephants Abroad were able to meet and plan the project launch, in particular their first conference.

Mother Estelle said: Women in Africa, particularly Cameroon, carry out businesses as a means of livelihood, but do not pay keen attention to following the principles of business success so that their work can grow.  This partnership comes in apt and timely to the women of the Diocese because of its vision to support, educate, mentor and empower women in setting up their own businesses.  It is also our intention not to limit this opportunity within the Anglican family, but to also extend an invitation to our fellow sisters of other churches and groups connected to and within the Protestant ecumenical circle in Cameroon so as to have a wider impact in the nation”.