Mercy Corps and BFA Global are in charge of the Jobtech Alliance, an ecosystem-building project for inclusive job technology in Africa. Recently, they announced the launch of two programs: the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator and the Jobtech Innovation Lab. These programs help digital platforms connect people to jobs that help them make a living.
The goal of the Jobtech Alliance is to make it easier for entrepreneurs to build platforms that provide good ways to make a living, are open to everyone, and help people find decent work.
Building on the experience of BFA Global’s Catalyst Fund model, the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator will host two groups of four early-stage innovators making affordable, accessible, and appropriate jobtech solutions that connect young people to jobs.
The Catalyst Job Accelerator will focus on new ideas that meet the following criteria:
- A technologically enabled innovative product and business model
- The ability to scale and significantly increase jobs and income
- Give the team resources that would make it much easier for them to test and improve their product.
- The startup’s target market or operations are in one or more countries: Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Sudan, and South Sudan.
We’re starting to change the conversation about the future of work and what can be done by giving entrepreneurs access to knowledge and networks that can help them grow their businesses, said Michelle Hassan, Kenya Country Manager at BFA Global.
The Jobtech Innovation Lab collaborates with jobtech platforms on individual sprints that have the potential to increase the platforms’ scale, impact, or inclusivity with their users.
- Creating new products or services
- Improving products, operations, or marketing so that services can be given better, new markets can be reached, or barriers to access for marginalized groups can be removed (particularly young women and refugees)
- promoting market expansion, particularly in underserved areas
There are numerous excellent opportunities for jobtech platforms to expand their scale, impact, and inclusivity across the continent. Still, there is a lack of time, capital, and capacity to capitalize on them.
“Mercy Corps Jobtech Alliance Program Director Chris Maclay said, “We’re excited to work with these platforms to help them reach their business goals and improve outcomes for their users.”
Each chosen company will get funding and personalized help building their businesses. They will also have the chance to work closely with the BFA Global and Mercy Corps teams, industry experts, mentors, and ecosystem partners to grow their impact.