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The Flip’s Future of Work YouTube Series

Jun 17, 2024 | Unpacking the Box

The Jobtech Alliance collaborated with African start-up podcast, The Flip, to make its first YouTube docu-series, focused on jobtech and the future of work. The series already has 25,000 views and counting, and provides insights into:

(i) The nature of work for most young people in Africa as a digitally-enabled portfolio of work;

(ii) The potential of jobtech platforms to improve livelihoods for young people in Africa; and

(iii) Some of the business opportunities and challenges of building jobtech platforms in Africa. 

The ideas presented in the series represent those of the Flip, but are informed by work being done by the Jobtech Alliance across Africa. You can view the full series as a playlist here, or check out the videos with summaries below:

Episode 1: What We Get Wrong About Jobs in Africa

This episode introduces the nature of employment for most young Africans, as a portfolio of work or mixed livelihoods in the informal economy.

Key insights:

🌍 Africa faces a missing jobs crisis with only about 3 million jobs being created for 20 to 22 million youths entering the job market every year.

💸 Despite significant investments, the unemployment gap remains wide. The approach to creating jobs should recognize and address the informal economy, which will continue to be the norm for a significant portion of the population. The future of work for Africans is not a formal job, but a technology-enabled portfolio of work in the bustling informal economy.

💸 Young Africans are increasingly turning to jobtech platforms like Tendo to create portfolios of work and earn additional income. Tendo, a platform based in Ghana, enables anyone in Africa to start an online store with zero capital, with 70% of its users being women who use it as a source of side income. Resellers use social media to sell products and Tendo fulfills the order, acting as a source of truth and recommendations for the end buyers. These platforms, while not a singular solution to unemployment, offer new opportunities and even an alternative path to formalization. 

💰 Jobtech platforms in Africa must balance finding viable business models while delivering quality of work to its users.

Episode 2: The Future of Work Will Be Bootstrapped

This episode recognises that young people in Africa take an adaptive approach to navigating the informal economy, and encourages actors to consider a similar approach to ‘bootstrapping development’.

Key insights:

👷‍♀️ The concept of “bootstrapping development” suggests that imperfect institutions can produce good outcomes by adapting to evolving conditions. 

🌱 The video presents examples of individuals like Mark, who holds multiple jobs to survive, and Shalom, a refugee who utilizes jobtech platforms to build a diverse portfolio of work. These are examples of bootstrapping in the future of work in Africa, where formal jobs are scarce and informal work is prevalent. 

🔑 Jobtech platforms can play a role in organizing informal markets and unlocking growth opportunities, ultimately creating paths to formalization and standardization.

Episode 3: African Small Businesses Have Many Challenges. Can These Platforms Help?

The final episode explains how jobtech platforms can help small businesses in Africa to overcome challenges to their businesses and grow.

Key insights:

👔 Fitted is one Nigerian jobtech platform which responds to sector challenges by enabling tailors to create and store measurements, improve operational efficiency, and connect with fashion brands. These platforms aim to help tailors grow their businesses by generating demand, improving revenue streams, and providing new revenue streams. 

📈 Despite the challenges and expenses of building these platforms in Africa, the potential impact on users and small businesses makes it a worthwhile investment. 


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