Today, the Jobtech Alliance, steered by Mercy Corps and BFA Global, announced its first cohort of ten companies that are creating accessible, and appropriate jobtech solutions that connect young people to jobs. Four companies will join the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator and six will participate in the Jobtech Innovation Lab.
The Accelerator will provide $200,000 in grant capital, bespoke venture building support, and access to industry experts through a six-month program that will equip the companies with the tools to grow their ventures.
Over the next year, the Jobtech Innovation Lab will work with six companies to help them develop new products or services, grow and create more jobs, support their commercial growth strategy and gender-focused business strategy, improve their operations to better deliver services, reach new markets, or remove barriers to access for marginalized people, especially young women and refugees.
The four companies selected to participate in the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator are:
- Fitted [Nigeria]: a digital platform eliminating inefficiencies in the custom tailoring industry in Nigeria by utilizing Machine Learning (ML) to generate measurements, thus allowing tailors to focus on their core business of sewing.
- Jemla [Ethiopia]: a B2B e-commerce wholesale platform helping informal retailers access a wide variety of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) products at affordable prices with free delivery to retail stores within 24 hours.
- Mon Artisan [Burkina Faso]: a skill-on-demand digital platform for artisans and gig workers in the informal sector offering a wide range of services including plumbing, home repairs and maintenance, IT support, and others.
- Tana [Kenya]: a tech-enabled marketplace that connects global companies to vetted and trained remote team members on the African continent, with a focus on early-career tech & data roles. Their mission is to be a career launchpad for brilliant young Africans to learn, earn, and build the future.
“It’s exciting to kick-off the first cohort of the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator and continue implementing our acceleration work in the fintech and digital commerce space. Our collaboration with Mercy Corps through the Jobtech Alliance will enable us to support platforms in Africa” said Michelle Hassan, Co-director of Jobtech Alliance.
The six companies selected to participate in the Jobtech Innovation Lab are:
- Jumia [Uganda]: the largest Pan-African e-commerce platform with a sales agent program dubbed Jumia Force (JForce), enabling freelance consultants to earn a commission by supporting consumers to place their orders on Jumia across the country.
- Power [Kenya]: a platform offering a suite of digital financial services (earned wage access, loans, insurance, savings) to workers in Africa.
- Rwazi [Mauritius]: an on-demand market intelligence platform utilizing “mappers” to collect consumer data from emerging markets, providing multinational companies with actionable insights to drive revenue and expand.
- Scrapays [Nigeria]: a waste management platform facilitating the recovery of recyclable materials by using USSD, mobile technology, and Internet of Things (IOT) to allow individuals to own and operate waste material recovery businesses.
- Tendo [Ghana]: an online platform enabling anyone to start an online business with zero upfront inventory by connecting wholesalers to resellers.
- Wowzi [Kenya]: a multi-channel digital advertising marketplace connecting brands and creative agencies to social media content creators (influencers).
“We are not going to solve the problem of youth unemployment in Africa with any one jobtech platform,” explained Jobtech Alliance Steering Group member, Paul Breloff, about the Jobtech Innovation Lab, “but by investing at the tip of the spear, in innovation and experimentation, these platforms teach us about what works and where to go in this emerging sector.”
The Jobtech Alliance aims to support the growth of jobtech companies focused on creating more economic opportunities for young people in Africa, and to share key findings with actors in the ecosystem. With this first cohort of ten companies, they are taking a significant step towards achieving this goal. Platforms interested in applying for the next cohort can visit https://jobtechalliance.com/acceleration/.