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Innokiq, a Ghanian firm founded by four graduates from Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology has developed mPawa, a job matching application set to change the way firms on the continent hire.

 

The mPawa team of  Maxwell Kofi Efrem Donkor, Nancy Neizer, Anthony Agyekum-Mensah and Shadrack Kwabena Boadu say its Africa’s next big thing for recruitment.

 

TechMoran caught up with Maxwell Kofi Efrem Donkor, co founder and CEO and this is what he told us;
What is mPawa  and what does it do?
mPawa is a mobile job matching application specifically developed for blue colour recruitment in Africa. The technology is built around a unique matching algorithm leveraging the power of web to SMS to deliver instant job notifications to job seekers and allow for employers to know in real time which job seekers match their requirements and have accepted to work with them. It again tracks a job seekers work history providing for the first time a Linkedin-like platform for blue colour workers.

When was it launched and where?
mPawa is currently in its beta phase but gaining some traction in the Ghanaian city Accra. It is live for beta testers both employers and job seekers and can boost of about 2,000 job seekers already.

Who is on your team?
mPawa is the flagship application of Innokiq. Innokiq is a company founded by four graduates of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, Accra Ghana. They are Maxwell Kofi Efrem Donkor, Nancy Neizer, Anthony Agyekum-Mensah and Shadrack Kwabena Boadu.

What inspired you guys?
Two of the co-founders had worked in the blue collar space for sometime right after school. Interesting enough, they couldn’t document this time and couldn’t share it.From this experience, we thought of building something that will empower blue collar workers. Get them closer to their next jobs, document their work history and give them a portal to sell themselves better going forward but using mediums they can afford now.

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How does mPawa work?
With mPawa, job seekers register and receive job notifications using SMS. Employers on the other side post jobs on their personal dashboard. Once posted, mPawa automatically matches the requirement to all job seekers with qualifying skills sets and notify them accordingly again through SMS. Once matched job seekers accept the preliminary job offer, they apply for such jobs using SMS through mPawa, allowing mPawa to forward their electronic CVs to employers. This completes a job matching and placement process.

Whom are you targeting?
mPawa primarily targets blue collar workers in the whole of Africa. Even though the strength of the application can cater for other labor sectors in the market, it is skewed to focus on the blue sector and become a brand for such engagements.

What is your business model?
With mPawa job seekers use the application for free without any cost. Signup, notification and application for jobs are completely free to job seekers. Employers on the other side, pays to successfully find a suitable match through mPawa. We give them access to the pool of job seekers and by the automatic matching algorithm save them time in shortlisting and actually making matches, once they make a selection, we charge them a per-head service fee.

Who are your competitors?
Generally we are in competition with both online and traditional recruitment firms.

How unique are you from the competition?
Our unique VP and differentiation has to do with our market focus and unique matching algorithm which needs no human input to make matches. This allows us to take advantage of this blue ocean and stand out against our competition. But we currently have no direct competition

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Any funding yet?
We received initial seed funding from the Meltwater Foundation. We received $90,000.000 from the Meltwater Foundation

Partners, clients?
We have a few client we are working with in the Construction sector and currently in partnership with a major Recruitment firm in Ghana pioneering this idea and innovation.

Challenges?
Our major challenge has been taking clients through the learning curve. Aligning mPawa to solve their pressing needs and pains using technology which has not been the norm from old. We are mitigating this challenge by working closely with our clients to define their problems and match mPawa as a solution to them and give them training in using our solution.

Future plans?
We plan to scale to all of Africa in a few more months to come and make mPawa the centre for blue collar recruitment.

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