Ethiopian software development training and jobs startup Gebeya has partnered the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to implement the Digital Gender-Ethiopia Programme, aimed at increasing the number of female software developers.
Disrupt Africa reported in 2016 on the launch of Gebeya, which aims to graduate 5,000 students in Ethiopia over the next five years. The startup also launched in Kenya in January of 2017, and has since expanded to Silicon Valley, the UK, Djibouti and Senegal.
The startup trains individuals in software development and entrepreneurship, and then helps place them in relevant jobs. It has now partnered IFC and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to implement the Digital Gender-Ethiopia Programme, which will provide training to 250 female software developers and seed funding to 20 female entrepreneurs whose digital business ideas will be supported by Gebeya.
Selected entrepreneurs will receive technical and strategic guidance on business development from Gebeya, alongside advisory services from IFC worth US$50,000, to support mentorship programmes from globally recognised digital entrepreneurs.
“The project will enable the company to increase its scope beyond the current student-paid model to include a cohort of female software developers whose training will be financed through this scholarship programme,” said Amadou Daffe, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Gebeya.
“Women constitute 50 per cent of Africa’s population but only contribute 39 per cent to its Gross Domestic Product. This is a result of their inability to afford tuition, societal misconception around women and career ability, inadequate familial support as well as gender stereotypes. We can no longer stand back and watch as intelligent, capable African women are pushed to the sidelines. We have to do our part to close the gender gap in technology where females are highly underrepresented.”
Gebeya will be responsible for identifying talented candidates who can benefit from the programme based on needs. The training will be conducted in four, six-month cohorts.
“IFC is committed to helping women find opportunities through skills development that lead to good-paying jobs. Gebeya’s training differs from others in the market through its blended curriculum that includes basic and advanced programming and real-world, job-readiness skills,” said Henriette Kolb, manager of the IFC Gender Secretariat.
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Nigerian startup Coreum has launched its platform allowing individuals to co-invest in property and earn returns from rental income and capital gains.
The Lagos-based Coreum, which went live today (February 1), aims to make investing in real estate accessible to more people, regardless of age and economic status.
It offers a wide range of products tailored to each individual’s financial capabilities and goals, including rental income generating assets such as residential and commercial real estate to capital gain assets such as land.
“I tried to purchase land in a choice area in Lagos State but couldn’t because my savings at the time as a salary earner weren’t sufficient. After critically analysing the possibility of saving more, I realised it might be impossible to still get the property as real estate prices appreciate over time,” said Coreum co-founder Oluwafunsho Awoniyi.
“After speaking with a few friends, we thought of the possibility of coming together to co-invest in properties and make returns over time but we had to put a legal framework behind how this will work. We have spent the past year putting the legal framework and structure together, not just for our benefit but for people like us who would like to co-invest in real estate.”
The startup has partnered FBN Quest Trustees to protect the interests of co-investors and members and ensure there is transparency and accountability. All assets are acquired and held in trust by the firm.
Each property on Coreum is divided into 100 equal slots, with each valued at one per cent of the property price. As a co-investor, users can purchase however many slots they desire, and diversify by investing across different locations and property types.
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Six Egyptian tech startups have been named winners of the country’s Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre’s (TIEC) Start IT competition, winning a year-long incubation package, business services and cash.
Launched in 2010, TIEC is an affiliate of Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), created with the aim of driving innovation and entrepreneurship in ICT, and mobilising the different components of the ecosystem.
The nationwide Start IT business plan competition is hosted by TIEC, targeting Egyptian entrepreneurs with ICT-related prototypes or proof of concepts, and who wish to commercialise their ideas and turn them into enterprises.
Six winners of the Start IT competition have been selected, with each securing a one year incubation package at TIEC, and a range of business services and cash valued at EGP180,000 (US$10,200) total.
The winning startups include Garment IO – a smart IoT platform providing garment factory managers and owners a complete overview of production processes, labour performance and production cost calculation; cloud PoS platform for small shops El Zatona; and Green Fashion Store – enabling users to market recycled products such as clothes and bags produced by households using factories’ fabrics remnants.
The list is completed by mobile app Mowafer Care, which facilitates the provision of medical services for individuals who cannot afford to have medical insurance; Marketizer – a PoS platform for management and sales of inventory for small shops; and culturally-sensitive matchmaking platform Harmonica.
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South African ed-tech startup Zelda is looking at expansion to other African countries and Europe on the back of raising an angel round and seeing strong organic uptake.
Founded in 2017, Zelda is a bursary management platform that helps organisations find and filter talented youth to support through university.
The platform combines personality assessments with machine learning to help students make more informed career decisions and improve their chances of success while studying, and helps companies make a positive impact on South African youth while creating a strong pipeline of talent for future hires.
Zelda was launched by Jasanth Moodley, Carla Wilby, and Dominic Schorr, three engineers who met at the University of Cape Town, in response to the growing discourse around university funding and access to higher education.
“We all had our own issues with higher education and decided to try make sure that other students didn’t face the same struggles. We noticed that one of the biggest gaps was the lack of personalised guidance – there are loads of articles on the internet that give advice, but very little that tells you as a students exactly what you’d best be suited to doing. We’re filling that gap,” said Schorr, now the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO).
“So where previously someone would have to fork out a couple of grand to see an educational psychologist and sit for three hours to take a psychometric assessment, we try and make that accessible to everyone. That’s not to say that those services aren’t useful or important, but not everyone can afford it.”
Now everyone can, they are taking advantage of it. Zelda has already had over 500 student downloads, without any marketing at all, and the potential of the platform has been spotted by many. It was accepted into the Injini ed-tech incubator programme essentially upon launching, securing funding and support, and closed its angel round at the end of last year.
“Having grown a tech-heavy team of eight engineers since starting, we’ve predominantly focused on the machine learning and career guidance platform for students,” said Schorr.
“With this latest round of funding Zelda will be focusing on sales and improving our client-facing services, leveraging the experience and networks of our investors.”
The startup has a three-tiered subscription model. Tier one has a zero monthly fee, with a substantial commission on successful placement of applicants, while tiers two and three have greatly reduced commission but higher monthly fees for added features. It is still early days, but Schorr and his team are confident of success, and planning expanding into other markets once they perfect their model in South Africa.
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