Steered by Mercy Corps and BFA Global, the Jobtech Alliance, an ecosystem-building initiative around inclusive jobtech in Africa, has announced the launch of two programs– the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator and the Jobtech Innovation Lab– designed to support digital platforms that connect people to work opportunities that build livelihoods.
The Jobtech Alliance aims to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to build platforms that deliver quality livelihoods, are inclusive, and enable users to engage in decent work.
“By building an ecosystem where entrepreneurs have access to knowledge and networks that can help scale their businesses, we’re starting to change the conversation about the future of work and what can be achieved,” said Michelle Hassan, Kenya Country Manager at BFA Global
Building on the experience of BFA Global’s Catalyst Fund model, the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator will host two cohorts of four early-stage innovators creating affordable, accessible, and appropriate jobtech solutions that connect young people to jobs. The Catalyst Job Accelerator will focus on innovations that meet the following criteria :An innovative product and business model enabled by technology ,the potential to scale and meaningfully increase jobs and income ,grant resources that would substantially impact the team’s ability to test and improve their product.
The target market or operations of the startup are in one or more of these markets: Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Sudan, and South Sudan
The Jobtech Innovation Lab partners with jobtech platforms on individual sprints which have the potential to enhance scale, impact, or inclusivity of platforms with their users. This could include :Developing new products or services, enhancing products, operations, or marketing in order to better deliver services, reach new markets, or remove barriers to access for marginalised populations particularly young women and refugees and supporting market expansion, particularly towards underserved markets
“There are many great opportunities for jobtech platforms to increase their scale, impact, and inclusivity on the continent, but there is a lack of time, capital, and capacity to deliver on them. We’re keen to work with these platforms to further their business goals and improve outcomes for their platform users,” said Chris Maclay, Mercy Corps Jobtech Alliance Program Director.
Each of the selected companies will receive capital, bespoke venture-building support and have the opportunity to work closely with the BFA Global and Mercy Corps teams, industry experts, mentors, and ecosystem partners to scale their impact.