Getting You(th) Hired in Tanzania
Elevator Pitch: Share a concise summary. Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.
Nikweli is the first job-matching platform in Tanzania that has an ultimate goal of reducing poverty and spurring economic growth. We are a people bank; not a job bank, unlike traditional job boards.
We are faster, cheaper, and able to reach 90% of the urban population through mobile.
WHAT IF Inspiration: What's one way your project dares to ask, “WHAT IF?”
What if, every year, we can help 850,000 new entrants to the Tanzania labour market? What about in Sub-Saharan Africa?
Problem: What problem does your solution address?
In Tanzania, 850,000 candidates enter the labour market each year. Most struggle to find employment due to financial constraints, few connections, and inaccurate knowledge. Employers complain about time and financial cost to find honest and good workers.
There is an imperfect labour market with asymmetric information and inefficient hiring methods. The formal job market excludes large groups in society as a result.
Solution: What is the proposed solution?
With more than 90% of job seekers able to use a simple phone – compared to only 12% with internet access – there is an enormous opportunity to leverage mobile technology to provide a scalable recruitment solution.
Nikweli is faster, easier and more efficient for employers and job seekers alike than our competitors. Candidates register their professional details from a simple phone. Employers search, sort, and shortlist candidates via an intuitive online interface.
Nikweli improves transparency and ensures easier access to information for workers. Our goal is to help job seekers successfully transition to formal sector employment.
Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how your solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Juma is 25 and finished his apprenticeship as a carpenter. He has no capital and few connections. Every morning for the last 3 months, he spent lining up outside employer’s doors trying to get an interview. The transportation and time cost causes him to almost give up. Every year, 850,000 Jumas enter the labour market in Tanzania.
Now imagine trying to hire Juma. You spent the last two days interviewing 30 candidates lining up outside your door. Only 2 barely meet your criteria. You have tried posting online, but only found overqualified candidates as only 12% of Tanzanians can access the internet.
The worst part is that Juma and you never meet. Nikweli makes it easier for employers and job seekers to find each other.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?
In Tanzania, there is currently no comprehensive solution tackling information challenges in the employment market.
Based on feedback from our prototype testing (10 companies signed up/week, 80% positive response) and top-down market estimation (2.5% of target market in 1st year, 20% market share in 3 years) we project to reach the base of 960 companies within 3 first years of operations. In 10 years time when the solution will be rolled out across the region we expect to grow our base of employers to 10,000.
We managed to build a database of 300 candidates in one month time and we estimate to reach number of 500,000 registered candidates after 3 years of operations and 5 million in 10 years time.
We estimate that 75,000 candidates will find employment through Nikweli platform within the first 3 years which will enable them to have significant improvement of incomes.
Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward?
Nikweli is based on a sustainable business model. After the initial pilot phase of verifying underlying assumptions and rigorous evaluation of impact, revenues coming from employers paying for the contact information of the pre-selected candidates will fuel Nikweli’s growth. Direct sales, mobile marketing efforts, and partnerships with relevant organizations will allow for rapid growth of our twofold customer base: employers and job-seekers. For the first three years, we will build our customer base across Tanzania. Subsequently, we envision expanding to other countries in the region.
Sustainability Plan: What is this solution's plan to ensure financial sustainability?
Nikweli is a for-profit social enterprise based on a sustainable business model which does not require large upfront capital expenditure. Our main revenue is employers pay per lead for the contact details of suitable candidates. We predict breaking even in the third year of operations.
Funding: How is your project financial supported?
Friends and family, Foundations, Businesses, Customers.
Marketplace: Who else is addressing this problem and how does the proposed solution differ from these approaches?
Job postings: in newspapers - expensive and slow. On internet - limited reach; time costly to pre-screen candidates.
Recruitment agencies: Expensive, non-transparent, slow. Targets professionals.
Subcontracting: Expensive, few reliable subcontractors.
Word-of-mouth: Limited reach, corruption prevalent.
We are different because:
1. Employers use instant search, instead of slow replies from job posting. A search takes 30 minutes; a job posting at least 2 weeks.
2. We use familiar, and fast growing, technology (SMS/USSD) to reach 90% of the urban population.
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.
When Agnieszka was working in private sector development, she encountered over and over the same story: employers cannot find good workers, even in lower skill positions; job seekers complain about lack of funds and connections to find fulfilling employment. During Tiffany's field work, she also interviewed youth with the same lack of knowledge and ability.
The Aha! moment came when both founders were discussing and realised it was mainly an information asymmetry problem, which can be changed.
Team: What roles does your team consist of (i.e. full-time vs. part-time staff, volunteers, board members, etc) and how do you plan to expand the team as the project grows?
Tiffany: Over 4 years of East African field operations experience. Brings detailed local knowledge and implementation skills.*
Agnieszka: Former World Bank private sector development Economist in Tanzania. London Business School MBA. Brings contacts and business acumen.*
Jumbe: Tanzanian national with 5 years of IT experience. Previously, advisor on Zanzibar Ministry of Land ICT Land Registration project.**
* full time
** part time