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Photo credit: Faiz Mustafa / Mercy Corps Photo caption: March 15, 2023. Khartoum, Sudan. Mercy Corps team members Mary Lupul, Program Specialist (left), and Doreen Owino, Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Manager (right) are pictured at the Jobtech Alliance Khartoum meetup.

Powering systems change and the future of work

Photo: Mercy Corps' Mary Lupul, Programme Specialist & Doreen Owino, MEL Manager at the Jobtech Alliance Khartoum meetup in March 2023. Credit: Faiz Mustafa / Mercy Corps

Small Foundation is pleased to announce a new partnership with Mercy Corps to support Jobtech Alliance, an ecosystem-building initiative to advance inclusive jobtech in Africa.

Jobtech digital platforms connect people to employment opportunities through gigmatching, jobmatching, and e-commerce. The Jobtech Alliance community is made up of startups, funders, supporters, policymakers, and researchers. Jobtech includes:

  • Platforms for offline work
  • Platforms for digitally delivered work
  • Tech-based skill development
  • Digital services for microenterprises
  • Digital tools for worker enablement

540 million people worldwide will find work through digital matching platforms by 2025, with significant growth expected in Africa. However, the jobtech ecosystem is nascent, and its learning and community infrastructure is fragmented.

Jobtech Alliance is meeting this challenge by supporting jobtech platforms across ten African countries through an accelerator and innovation lab, and hosting a community of practitioners interested in the space. With a vision that every person has the opportunity for dignified, purposeful work, Jobtech Alliance aims to build a more viable, scalable, inclusive and impactful African jobtech ecosystem.

Small Foundation has provided an unrestricted grant to strengthen Jobtech Alliance’s systemic capacity and support its documentation of systemic tools, resources, and practices. This is Small Foundation’s first investment to support the systemic capacity of a partner. With shifting demographics and technology reshaping working practices and job creation, jobtech is already impacting the rural African workforce and small business sector. Small Foundation sees this investment as critical in understanding these dynamics whilst strengthening skills for ecosystem leadership.

Chris Maclay, Director of Jobtech Alliance at Mercy Corps, says:

“Jobtech Alliance is an ambitious initiative that seeks to change how labour markets work across Africa through inclusive jobtech solutions. We know systems-level transformation will require collaboration between jobtech platforms, investors, researchers, policymakers, and more. We are incredibly excited to partner with Small Foundation to expand our capacity to grow and create more jobs across Africa and inclusively strengthen the burgeoning jobtech ecosystem.”

Photo: Mercy Corps’ Sudan Country Director Sibongani Kayola speaks at the Jobtech Alliance Khartoum meetup in March 2023. Credit: Faiz Mustafa / Mercy Corps

Interested parties can join the Jobtech Alliance community.

Jobtech platforms operating in (or expanding into) Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda that are interested in exploring acceleration and innovation lab services can register interest through this portal.

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