5 Wood Business Ideas in Cameroon

Looking for a business idea to invest in Cameroon? Peruse these wood business ideas which you can start in Cameroon with little capital.

Wood is a popular material in making products from because of its beauty and practicality. Many people, especially in Cameroon will continue to look for and pay for products made out of wood.

Woodworkers who produce beautiful handcrafted wood items always sell. You need extreme creativity to produce handcrafted wood products. However, if you didn’t know, it’s a rewarding way to make money.

The government through its fiscal policies, is encouraging the transformation of wood and wood products in Cameroon. This is an opportunity for any entrepreneur or investor who may take advantage of these wood business ideas.

Did you know that China is the greatest importer of wood from Cameroon with a share of 29.44% according to World Integrated Trade Solution? The irony is that the same China turns around and sells most of the finished products from wood to Cameroon.

Almost every middle-class Cameroonian has at least bought an imported furniture once in their life.

The worst of it is that the quality of the finished wood products from China to Cameroon are made from wood waste. Imagine they get a chunk of your wood and send back the waste for you to use.

However, the government of Cameroon has put in place some measures like the move to add a 25% VAT to imports of toothpick. This is a welcomed measure to promote local production and transformation of wood and wood products in the country.

You also have the reduced corporate tax rate of 28% for domestic companies and tax incentives for businesses that support youth employment.

Start a furniture or wood business in Cameroon

If Cameroon can spend 5 billion US Dollars every year on the importation of toothpicks, then you can understand how important the market is.

The market is there for the wood business ideas I will share with you, and will continually grow. You will stand a better chance in the market by producing locally, especially with the new fiscal advantage put in place.

Below are some wood business ideas you can start in Cameroon:

1. Toothpick fabrication

Toothpicks, Wooden, Teeth, Toothpicks, toothpick manufacture

Toothpicks are highly sought for in Cameroon and the entire world.

Toothpick importation costs Cameroon more than 5 billion USD every year. It can be found in almost every home, eatery businesses, and the hospitality sector in Cameroon.

The irony is that Cameroon is a great exporter of wood, yet imports common toothpick. Don’t you think this is the height of dependence which we need to stop in order to grow.

This is a great opportunity for you to take advantage of and become one of the first in the market to produce locally. The earlier you do it, the better.

NB: The same machine line producing toothpicks can be used to produce wood and bamboo sticks for soya, bamboo & wood chopsticks, chewing sticks, alaska sticks and many other customized products.

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2. Custom-made furniture

Room, Interior, Showpiece, Design, Chair

The overall objective of this business idea is not only to contribute to a sustainable society, but to create jobs and training opportunities for many people.

There are a great number of carpenters, wood sculptors and many others in the furniture sector in Cameroon who are under-utilizing their skills.

In Cameroon, once a woodworker comes up with a design that becomes popular, the rest impose it to customers by mass producing same.

They do it without thinking of the customers needs, taste, different dimensions of their house or space available. Some of these mass produced designs end up being waste as they can’t sell.

Starting a custom-made furniture business means you want to design products at customer’s taste (needs, space, house color, etc) or selling your own designs.

You need to tailor your designs to the needs of your customers. You can put together the various skills need so as to better manage them meet these needs.

You can decide to choose a specific niche where you will be a specialist. It can be home furnishings, cabinetry, office furniture, etc.

You also need to identify a target market – you can decide to sell to commercial, residential or resort customers.

NB: many Cameroonians go for imported furniture because they love its uniqueness. Unique furniture is what is lacking in Cameroon.

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3. Sustainable Wood fuel Production – Wood Pellet Production

Pellets, Wood, Fuel, Heating, Stove

More than 60% of households in Sub-Saharan Africa use wood fuel as the main source of energy for cooking.

In 2012, the annual demand for firewood and charcoal for wood fuel in urban areas in Cameroon was an estimated 2.2 million tons and 336,530 tons respectively.

This demand will continue to increase with the increase in population and the growth in cities.

For the past years, the government of Cameroon has been coming up with strategies to promote the processing of timber.

Start a wood pellet production business can be a major opportunity for you to start a sustainable business with little capital.

Wood pellets generate low emission, high combustion efficiency and less emission harmful substances. The operating cost is cheap, work input requirement is low and energy-efficient.

The global wood pellet market was put at 10.491 billion USD in 2019. This was expected to grow to 23.604 billion in 2025.

NB: Businesses like restaurants, bakeries, fish and meat smokers, households, iron smiths in Cameroon depend on wood fuel for their economic survival.

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about Wood Pellet Production and other wood business ideas.

4. Wood Briquette Production

Briquettes, Lightning Bomb

Wood briquette, just like wood pellets are made from dry untreated wood chips and other biomass materials.

They’re compressed byproducts from wood and a great alternative for our traditional firewood.

Wood briquettes are made from wood chips that have been pressed with high pressure. This turns the wood into a fuel like brown coal.

Just like the wood pellet mill, a wood briquette press is also cheap and can be fabricated here in Cameroon.

Briquetting technology is yet to be popular in Cameroon and many developing countries because of the lack of knowledge and technical constraints involved.

Wood briquettes can be used as fuel for cooking in eateries, hotels, boarding school and factories that use boilers.

NB: More than 75% of households in Cameroon use wood fuel for cooking [Source: National Household Survey]. Imagine you have just a small potion of this market.

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5. Saw milling

Wood business ideas, sawmill

Wood is a popular material in making products from because of its beauty and practicality. Many people, especially in Cameroon will continue to look for and pay for products made out of wood.

With the government gearing towards the transformation of wood in Cameroon, starting a sawmill is a great opportunity for those who have the capital.

You can start a sawmill with just a wood slicing, surface planer and cutting machine. With these, you can transform wood for both export and local use.

NB: If you’re smart, you can make use of the wood waste that you get during production.

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6. Production of Household Items & décor

Architecture, Interior, Room, Modern

Wood waste can be used making wooden toys, dress / coat racks, wooden bowls & utensils, picture frames, plant boxes, coffee cup and wine racks, etc.

The items mentioned above are inexpensive, but profitable woodworking projects you can engage in with ease.

NB: The global market for finished wood products is expected to be USD1.8 Trillion by 2027 [Source: Globe News Wire].

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7. Woodcarving

Wooden Mask, Art, Mask, Wooden

Original and unique woodcarvings sell very well. There is a great market for it locally as well as out of Cameroon.

You can open a specialty retail shop as well as organize or take part in arts and crafts shows. You just need the right advertising methods in order to easily attract potential clients.

It should be noted that woodcarving adds more value to wood than other uses of wood.

NB: Woodcarving was usually linked with tourism and till today, the sector still gives a very positive feedback to tourism.

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Are you ready to start seize these and other wood business ideas and opportunities in Cameroon?

Opportunities stare at you everywhere in Cameroon. Many believe that opportunity in Cameroon depends on luck and connection. No! Opportunity meets only those who are ready and those who go for it!

We can develop a business plan for these and other wood business ideas, or any similar one, if you are interested. For further clarification, do book an appointment or email info@openhubdigital.com.

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