Updated: Sep 4, 2020
Written by Quadri Oguntade
Why IFA: One of the major reasons that startups fail in Nigeria is the challenge they face attracting top talents to help them grow their business venture. Most thriving innovative startups must compete with big organizations in the Financial services, Telecoms, or Oil & Gas industries in the highly competitive talents marketplace. However, these big corporations have advantages over most young startups because of their brand name recognition and their ability to pay high salary for top talents. While innovative startups have continued to secure funding (as of 2019, startups in Nigeria raised a total of $663 million) in Nigeria, they still have a high probability to fail because of their inability to secure top talents (81% of Nigerian tech startups have difficulties in hiring applicants with the right technical skills).
On the other hand, nearly 500,000 students will graduate from universities in Nigeria this year; only 1 out of 2 will be able to find a job. This grim reality represents the youth unemployment problem, in which approximately 63% of the 25 million youth are unemployed in Nigeria. The major cause of this unemployment problem is that students graduates without acquiring labor demanded skill-set or experiences. This asymmetry between well-funded startup not able to secure talents and graduates not able to secure employment is what Innovate for Africa (IFA) aims to address.
How does IFA close this talent gap?: Innovate for Africa (IFA) trains and matches talented African youth with innovation driven startups like yours so that your startup is more likely to succeed. Our mission is to create the next generation of African innovators while supporting existing innovators like you to strengthen the whole innovation ecosystem. We strongly believe we can inspire youth entrepreneurs that can build sustainable business in Nigeria and across the globe.
In May 2020, we launched a successful pilot program, proving that our recruitment and training process provides value to startups. The startups that have partnered with IFA are enjoying the impacts that our fellows have brought to their organization.
“Stanley has been an amazing fellow. Within the first two weeks that he joined my organization, he has identified a critical issue in our business process. He worked with the team to implement a solution and that has helped increased our customer retention.” - CEO of SplitSpot Inc.
Introducing The IFA Method
What does a partnership with IFA include?
We have simplified the way you recruit top talents. We take the burden away by providing you fellows that have developed skills such as data analysis, product management, digital marketing; needed to succeed in a startup environment. Our innovation readiness training has been carefully crafted by educators, entrepreneurs, and consultants with educational training from MIT and Harvard universities. These fellows can work with you regardless of where your startup is located. IFA provides these unique value proposition for your organization:
Streamlined Recruitment – You get access to our database of IFA fellows who have been carefully selected as self-learners with a growth mindset and grit.
Access to top talent at a subsidized rate - Our fellows are ready to work at your start-up at a subsidized rate of at least 100, 000 Nigerian Naira (~$260 USD). After the fellowship, salary and continuation of the position can be negotiated on your own terms
Graduates trained to work at start-ups – Through our Innovation Readiness training program, fellows strengthened their hard skills as they developed the soft skills needed to work in a fast-paced startup environment.
Professional Development and Support - Our fellows receive mentorship and guidance as well as monthly professional development from IFA for the remainder of the year.
We will be onboarding a new set of fellows for our January 2021 cycle and you could be one of the lucky startup organizations that can hire from our top talents pool.
Learn more about our program at our website: https://www.innovate4africa.org/
Become an IFA partner toady to hire a fellow from our future cycle: https://www.innovate4africa.org/hireafellow
Together we can inspire the next generation of innovators.