In Nigeria and Africa at large, there is a huge disconnect between learners’ academic qualifications and the skills needed to accomplish tasks in the workplace.
Significant reforms are therefore required to revamp the education system to match skills needed in the workforce especially in Nigeria where over 43% of its 186m citizens are learners in the country’s various institutions.
According to the Oxford Business Group, “As the population continues to grow, pressure on public services, including education, will increase. Without further reform, the public school system is likely to come under severe stress. A competent and skilled workforce in which the experience of graduates matches the demands of the market is key. If the government can adapt accordingly, it will be able to capitalise on the youth bulge, increase economic productivity and reduce the dependency ratio.”
Governments, however, do not have enough resources to amend their education standards instantly or as fast as needed by the workforce to increase economic productivity.
Hence, students graduate from universities with certifications they can’t apply in the real professional world and the same lack employable skills and experiences needed in the Professional environment. Some of these students are in careers chosen by their parents or guardians and most of them have no clue what they want to become.
Mentorships.ng, an online mentorship platform has launched to connect students with industry professionals in the tech and business world in a move expected to help bridge the current skills gap and increase economic productivity.
Launched on July 22nd this year by Emmanuel Uduebholo, the platform aims to provide one-on-one weekly mentoring sessions for students to help them to break into their desired industry.
Just less than a week old, Mentorships.ng currently has over 25 registered mentors listed on the platform with more applications under review.
“These are Mentors who have been in the Industry, well experienced enough to coach novices, students or younger professionals on real-world applications and ethics,” said Emmanuel Uduebholo, the founder and CEO Mentorships.ng.
“I set out to build Mentorships.ng because I believe that every student and young grad need industry mentors to give them that confidence, and guide them in building required skillsets so that they can break into any desired Industry they want.”
According to Uduebholo, the motivation for building mentorships.ng was from personal pain as a student at Covenant University. Uduebholo says when he was trying to break into the tech, he needed a mentor to guide him on what to do and how to go about it as he didn’t know where to start from.
“So I started reaching out to industry professionals on Linkedin, but it was really awkward. I didn’t really get anyone who would be committed to mentoring me because some of them had busy schedules while the rest ignored my request. So I thought about building a personal platform where I get to book Skype interviews with them at different dates and times,” he told TechMoran.
Uduebholo then humbly started as a tech blogger interviewing mentors and publishing the content to help student and young grads learn from their experiences. Later on, he thought of a platform that could connect the two one-on-one. Mentorships.ng, the online career platform for students and professionals was the result.
How it works
Mentees signup for free on the website platform, click on find a mentor and search for mentors based on categories like Software, Engineering, Business, Data, AI, Cyber Security, Startup and many others. Mentees then apply to the mentor information having their challenges, goals and expectation. Then the Mentor approves their application with a payment link sent to them (Thanks to Paystack!) after which they begin their mentorship experience with their mentor.
Mentorship is both online and offline with a simple weekly pricing model, ‘Pay as you go’.
The platform aims to help users build relationships as that is key to learning and growth. The platform also has tools and features to enhance mentorship experience between Mentors and Mentees.
· Audio call
· Tasks and Projects to assign to mentees
· Coding challenges and supports
. Physical meetups
“In conclusion, getting a mentor isn’t as hard as we thought and thanks to Mentorships.ng for making the process easy for students and young professionals to have access to vetted industry professionals,” he added.
Business model and competition
Mentorships.ng business model is simple. Mentees apply to mentors and make payment for the mentorship duration. 80% goes to the mentor, while 20% goes to the platform as a processing fee. So Mentorships.ng gets 20% off every payment made.
The platform’s competition include Micromentor, GrowthMentor, DesignLab and Codementor.
Before finding the online career or skills mentorships platform, the founder launched Crefounder Magazine App, an online magazine for young entrepreneurs two years ago. The magazine failed shortly after launch leading to the founder launching a simple landing page for Mentorships.ng which saw him sign up 50 mentors and 100 mentees in just one month.