Four startups helping young people across Africa find jobs, build careers, and prepare for the future of work were selected to receive $20,000 in funding in the first Future of Work Africa 2021 accelerator program run by Village Capital with support from IFC and Moody’s Foundation.
The four startups, TERAWORK.COM Limited, Mosabi, Irawo and CoffeeChat, were selected by a group of peer entrepreneurs at the end of the four-month virtual venture development program, which supported the 15 startups with training, and access to industry experts, mentors, investors and ecosystem networks to scale their ventures.
“This is our first Future of Work initiative and I hope it is the first of many. It has been a pleasure working with this group of founders solving such a critical challenge for the continent. I am glad to see such innovative solutions being built and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to support and elevate these ventures as we continue to expand our scope of work in this space.” Audrey Mate, Program Manager – Africa, Village Capital.
The entrepreneurs evaluated each other’s startups through an investor lens, using eight specific investment criteria that leverage Village Capital’s Abaca Pathway, which utilizes the “Venture Investment Readiness & Awareness Levels (VIRAL)” framework, that enables entrepreneurs to evaluate and better structure their ventures for investment. This process identified TERAWORK.COM Limited, Mosabi, Irawo and CoffeeChat as “most investment ready” and will receive $20,000 each in funding from IFC. The four companies are focused on the following:
- TERAWORK.COM LIMITED (Nigeria) is a one-stop freelance marketplace helping African talent earn income globally through freelancing.
- Mosabi (Sierra Leone) links fintech and edtech with embedded, gamified upskilling for Africa’s financial products and platforms that helps advance financial health and inclusion for the continent’s grassroots entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
- Irawo (Benin) is a digital community that provides tools, resources, and education to help young Africans unlock their highest potential and monetize their unique skills.
- CoffeeChat (Mauritius) is a coaching-as-a-service platform that enables companies to offer one-on-one executive coaching for their managers across Africa.
The full list of companies in the Future of Work accelerator program were:
– Angaza Elimu (Kenya) is an edtech company that uses AI for on-demand quality and relevant education delivery.
- BeSingularity Sales tech Solution Plc (Ethiopia) is a sales recruitment, training, and deployment provider.
- Fundi App (Tanzania) uses mobile technologies to connect vetted and background-checked handymen operating in the informal sector with decent work opportunities.
- Gradely (Nigeria) is a personalised learning platform that empowers schools and parents to significantly improve student learning outcomes.
- ICT for Development Kenya (Kenya) trains rural youth in Kenya on IT skills for job creation.
- Prim-U (South Africa) is a beauty & wellness platform that connects professional service providers and suppliers with customers to provide salon experiences on demand.
- Stars From All Nations (Ghana) is an education company that unlocks the potential of African youth through an immersive career accelerator program called ReadyForWork.Africa.
- Tustawi Professional Education Ltd.(Kenya) is the first sector-specific e-learning specialist for professional development in Kenya, using technology to develop job-specific and market-relevant customised training.
- Urbansense (SouthAfrica) is an on demand service app that connects local vetted service providers with customers, regardless of complexity of the job.
- WorkNasi Plus (Tanzania) is a platform empowering businesses in Africa by connecting them to the best-skilled freelancers and remote workers from across the continent.
- Yu’sure (Zimbabwe) is a mobile-first insurance solution, connecting established insurance providers with unemployed youth creating a decentralised channel for insurance product distribution.