Future of Work

23 Startups Selected for Village Capital’s Future of Work Africa 2021 Accelerator Program

Top two peer-selected startups in each cohort will receive $20,000 in funding from IFC

Nairobi, Kenya (May 19, 2021) —Village Capital, with support from Moody’s Foundation and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the 23 early-stage startups that were selected to take part in Future of Work Africa 2021, an accelerator for startups that are working to help young people find jobs, build careers, and prepare for the future of work.

A total of 23 companies were selected to participate in the program as part of two cohorts in May through August 2021. The top two peer-selected companies in each cohort will receive $20,000 in capital to help scale their businesses.

“In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 230 million jobs will require digital skills by 2030,” said William Sonneborn, Senior Director for Disruptive Technologies and Funds at the International Finance Corporation. “Initiatives like Future of Work are helping open new opportunities for African youth by supporting innovative startups that leverage technology to expand access to digital skills and provide more efficient ways to match talent in the job market. We are pleased to expand our partnership with Village Capital and work together to support these entrepreneurs and their impactful solutions.”

“Moody’s is excited to deepen our partnership with Village Capital through the Future of Work – Africa program,” said Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Moody’s Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and President of the Moody’s Foundation. “Equitable access to resources that prepare young people for employment is essential for the global economic recovery. We are pleased to support a program that not only provides job training and opportunities for young people, but also addresses systemic constraints preventing Black entrepreneurs from accessing capital.”

“Africa’s workforce is projected to be the largest in the world in the coming decades, with hundreds of millions of people below the age of 25 starting to seek employment,” said Adedana Ashebir, Village Capital’s Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East. “But there is simply not enough quality and quantity of jobs for this young and growing population. Village Capital is excited to support these 23 startups helping young people in Sub-Saharan Africa better prepare for and manage the future of work.”

Each startup selected for the accelerator will have the opportunity to work closely with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to develop the networks they need to scale their impact.

All startups in the program will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s global online network that helps entrepreneurs analyze and structure their businesses for investment. The network also matches them with the right investors and resources.

Here are the 23 startups working to help young people in Sub-Saharan Africa better prepare for and manage the future of work:

  • ACE Smart Technologies (Zambia) provides equal access to education through technology to more than 35,000 students in Zambia.
  • Afrilearn (Nigeria) is an education technology company that improves access to education by leveraging seasoned teachers, animators, and developers to deliver affordable and world-class education.
  • Angaza Elimu (Kenya) is an edtech company that uses AI for on-demand quality and relevant education delivery.
  • BeSingularity Sales tech Solution Plc (Ethiopia) is a sales recruitment, training, and deployment provider. 
  • CoffeeChat (Mauritius) is a coaching-as-a-service platform that enables companies to offer one-on-one executive coaching for their managers across Africa.
  • Drivers Nigeria (Nigeria) is Africa's first digital driver's platform focused on providing and connecting vetted trained professional drivers to employers and vehicle owners on-demand and in real time.
  • Ecomake Innovations (Ghana) provides practical engineering skills training and hands-on STEM skills to students for employment.
  • Emploi (Kenya) is a smart talent sourcing and management platform that uses predictive analytics to score and match job seekers to roles.
  • Eneza Education (Côte d'Ivoire) is an edtech company that provides curriculum aligned revision material in all subjects for primary and secondary learners on any device.
  • Fundi App (Tanzania) uses mobile technologies to connect vetted and background-checked handymen operating in the informal sector with decent work opportunities.
  • Gradely (Nigeria) is a personalised learning platform that empowers schools and parents to significantly improve student learning outcomes.
  • ICT for Development Kenya (Kenya) trains rural youth in Kenya on IT skills for job creation.
  • Irawo (Benin) is a digital community that provides tools, resources, and education to help young Africans unlock their highest potential and monetize their unique skills.
  • Mosabi (Sierra Leone) links fintech and edtech with embedded, gamified upskilling for Africa's financial products and platforms that helps advance financial health and inclusion for the continent's grassroots entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
  • Prim-U (South Africa)  is a beauty & wellness platform that connects professional service providers and suppliers with customers to provide salon experiences on demand.
  • Stars From All Nations (Ghana) is an education company that unlocks the potential of African youth through an immersive career accelerator program called ReadyForWork.Africa.
  • TERAWORK.COM LIMITED (Nigeria) is helping African talent earn income globally through freelancing.
  • Tustawi Professional Education Ltd.(Kenya) is the first sector-specific e-learning specialist for professional development in Kenya, using technology to develop job-specific and market-relevant customised training.
  • Urbansense (SouthAfrica) is an on demand service app that connects local service providers with customers, regardless of complexity of the job. 
  • Wootlab Foundation (Nigeria) is a software development and talent management platform focused on creating employment opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed youth through technical upskilling.
  • WorkNasi Plus (Tanzania) is a  platform empowering businesses in Africa by connecting them to the best-skilled freelancers and remote workers from across the continent.
  • Yu'sure (Zimbabwe) is a mobile-first insurance solution, connecting established insurance providers with unemployed youth creating a decentralised channel for insurance product distribution.

For more information, reach out to Rustin Finkler at Village Capital (rustin.finkler@vilcap.com)

About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates. 

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.