By Brian Yatich
This startup is seeking to re-write the story of young professionals by building a diverse portfolio of projects they do.
The growth of Information and Technology has sparked new innovations which have changed lifestyles and eased business and services, right from searching for apartments and homes, food delivery and to now hailing a cab from just a click away.
But with all these contemporary innovations, finding opportunities which can make it possible for these other lifestyles to become true has becoming a thorn in the flesh, jobs, internships and scholarships these days are a tussle, coupled with the growing demand of the job market plus the number of students graduating to get a spot in the buzzing field of employment has become a growing need with lengthy processes.
Unemployment and skills inadequacy is adamantly high in Kenya and is even considered one of the biggest socio-economic problems currently facing the youth.
The job market has become highly competitive and employers are looking for skilled candidates that offer much more than just a tertiary qualification, employers are starting to source candidates based on personal branding as a whole package.
Inspired by the need to chip in on this industry and to provide jobs, internships and scholarships based on qualification, Bernard Momanyi, the CEO and co-founder at Briglobe which has come up with a web platform in one of his initiatives dubbed “Onesha”, the internet based software is a web app that enables young professionals showcase their skills by building a diverse portfolio of projects they have done in and outside schools, they can also highlight various achievements like awards received, competitions attended and things like volunteering opportunities they have engaged in, all this is shown by use of video and images that highlight such.
All this is important qualification data critical to finding young people opportunities such as internships, being sub-hired, permanent employment and finding them scholarships. Onesha will soon launch a feature that enables students teach each other skills sets they have by creating skills videos.
“We realized most employers look at the transcripts of students but they have also ignored the projects they have been doing in school or that skill you learnt on YouTube, for example if you are in school and you do economics but at the same time you are good in graphic design, there is no way your employer or the university itself will recognize that particular skill, we want to put all this information on one dashboard that maps out what each student can do apart from the specific course they are studying” he says.
Founded in 2014, Briglobe challenges the recognized barriers to employment as it seeks to connect the gap between job-seekers and corporates through an online web app.
Armed with his own savings and with several entries in competitions and pitching in seminars, he slowly gained some capital to develop his business which has since attracted Angel investors.
For company profiles on Onesha, each company profile will have a video done showcasing the company office and culture to potential employees, have pictures and testimonies of some of the employees who work there and pictures of the work place.
“The service further seeks to empower institutions with critical student analytical data on what skills each student in the university has outside the field of interest, this data will enable the university formulate polices on capacity building and help Government understand skills distribution in institutions of higher learning, imagine a system that tells you how many students in University of Nairobi have a skill in music production compared to other universities in one unified dashboard across the country “He says.
A user has the option of customizing his projects and achievements portfolio in what they call a visual CV that can be sent to a potential employer or any other professional with an interest in them in form of a link, pdf or slide show.
“The end goal here is to map out all relevant student skills data that is currently scattered everywhere in institutions and universities of higher learning, the interface then provides this data to the government and relevant companies for capacity building, we want to do what LinkedIn has done for the professional world. We want to even go further and partner with specific universities in Africa and all over the world in the next 2 years that can give students with outstanding portfolio scholarships or engage them in exchange programmes, this will open up the thinking of these students to a global level ” he adds
Since they started working on the service back in 2015, Momanyi discloses that they have been working close with the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University, with several groups of students in a bid to fast-track it, he indicates that they will incorporate other university to the service once it kicks off.
“University of Nairobi accepting and showing interest in our product is a show that other universities need this product, in the next five years, we are looking at sailing this product across the region.”
“We have been working with a group of students in the last few months and we have since launched a campaign where we are just trying to show them how the app works” he says.
Momanyi is determined that Onesha will score on, offering a life-time virtual achievements to users, which includes users building working relationships with corporates.
Momanyi together with his 7 member team says that they are currently in talks with other schools to enable more students in the creative fields to Show case their skills as the Service is set to prelaunch at the end of this month.
Lack of adequate funding for them has been a great challenge, a major challenge he says that is affecting promising African startups; he also says that they require rich advertising for them to move forward.
“In this country we have a lot of talent and skills especially in the creative industry, but funding and exposure to opportunity remains a great challenge especially for startups” he indicates.
There expectations as a company, he says is to cover a quarter of African Universities in the near future.
The service is set to make money through annual university subscriptions for data as well as job placement premiums.
Momanyi concludes that recruiting the right talent with motivation and passion is the right way to go.