At Centurion, we pride ourselves on our ability to empower our people with training and professional development that propel them to successful careers. We extend that same commitment to the business communities we proudly serve. We introduced the Centurion Business Mentorship Program, a Pro Bono initiative that will offer free legal services to start-up companies and small businesses, in Cameroon in February 2016. The program is now available in all African jurisdictions, as of April 2016. Centurion’s Business Mentorship Program is designed to support young and innovative entrepreneurs with legal and business advice, including corporate structuring, labor and employment, and tax and customs issues.
The Centurion Business Mentorship Program is an initiative born of Centurion’s observation of the shortage of sustainable programs directed at supporting and advising less privileged entrepreneurs and business minded individuals in the community, in respect of the legal challenges relating to the establishment and operations of small businesses.
These businesses are often their owners and are the family’s only source of income and hope for a brighter future. The prosperity of these owners is directly linked to the business’s success. The Centurion Business Mentorship Program is Centurion’s response to these unmet legal needs.
We have noted that among others, structuring flaws, often built in during the start-up phase, often cause companies to fail or severely impact their functionality. Start-ups, for example, do not usually attract experienced mentors or advisors and are often faced with immediate financial challenges. Subsequently, they are unable to pay legal consulting fees. As a result, crucially important elements of the structure such often get missed or are done the wrong way.
As a pan-African law firm and steward for development of local communities, Centurion recognises its responsibility to contribute to the larger community and contribute to the fight to combat poverty and improve the quality of life of the community.
In particular, Centurion recognises the need to encourage and cultivate socially responsible business leaders and practices that will benefit business and society, and help achieve social, economic and environmentally sustainable development.
Through this Program, Centurion aims to narrow the divide between the advantaged and disadvantaged members of society by providing much needed support to the less privileged and often marginalised members of the community who would otherwise have been excluded from commerce and equitable justice due to a lack of resources.
The Program receives no remuneration or fees for its services, and all work is done on a pro bono basis. Our vision is to provide professional and quality legal and business advisory service to the community whilst creating sustainable job opportunities and investing in future leaders.
Through the phased application process and collaboration with local partners we are able to identify the services that are most needed and can be of maximum benefit to our beneficiaries. The Program is designed for people who have an emerging company and:
- Want to know where to start and whom to talk to
- Want to assess the feasibility of their business ideas
- Want to put the correct legal foundations in place for their business
- Want to build a business plan and share it with funders, service providers and other stakeholders
- Want help to understand legal obligations
- Don’t want to make easily avoidable mistakes
The Centurion Business Mentorship Program is available to participants in all African countries. We will carefully evaluate all applications and contact those that are successful directly.
Centurion is welcoming applications to enroll in the program and receive free legal services. We will determine eligibility based on the following criteria:
Company type: Small or medium-sized enterprise
Age: 5 years maximum
Employees: 50 maximum
- Any sector accepted, preference given to digital and technology firms.
- National or sub-regional service/product provider
- Positive impact on the community
If you think you are eligible for the Centurion Mentorship Program, download the application form (it can be filled in digitally) and send it to us by email with an accompanying cover letter detailing your interest in the program.