Four African startups have been shortlisted to receive US$20,000 in funding at the culmination of the first Future of Work Africa accelerator programme run by Village Capital with support from IFC and Moody’s Foundation.
These startups have been helping young people across Africa find jobs, build careers and prepare for the future of work.
Started in 2009, Village Capital has supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through its investment readiness programme, while the VilCap Investments fund has invested in more than 110 programme graduates.
Its latest programme, Future of Work Africa, is an accelerator for startups that are working to address the high rate of unemployment across the African continent. This programme was launched in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Moody’s Foundation.
According to the World Bank, youths account for 60% of all of Africa’s jobless. In North Africa, the youth unemployment rate is 25%, but is even greater in Botswana, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa, among others. With 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa has the largest population of young people in the world. In most African countries, youth unemployment “occurs at a rate more than twice that for adults,” notes the African Development Bank.
Earlier, Twenty-three startups were selected to take part in the accelerator programme, and now four winners have been peer-selected, securing US$20,000 each in funding to help reduce the unemployment rate in Africa through their activities.
The winning startups are:
Terawork, Nigeria: it’s a one-stop freelance marketplace, helping African talent earn income globally through freelancing,
Mosabi, Sierra Leone: the startup links fintech and ed-tech with embedded, gamified upskilling for Africa’s financial products and platforms
Irawo, Benin: a digital community that provides tools, resources, and education to help young Africans unlock their highest potential and monetise their unique skills.
CoffeeChat, Mauritius: a coaching-as-a-service platform that enables companies to offer one-on-one executive coaching for their managers across Africa.
Commenting on the announcement, Audrey Mate, programme manager for Africa at Village Capital said “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.”