Country Portfolio Nigeria

CFYE launched the first Call for Solutions in Nigeria in 2020 to co-invest in innovative private sector-led initiatives that provide businesses with access to suitably skilled personnel and realize employment for youth in either 1) Digital Jobs or 2) Technical Craftmanship. The below portfolio represents the winners of the first Call of Solutions. After our successful first Call, we plan to launch a second Call for Solutions in 2022 to attract even more innovative ideas to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria. Our Country Lead for Nigeria is Dr. Nneka Enwonwu.

Nigeria’s Job Market & Youth

More than half of the youth population (around 24.5 million) aged 18-35 are currently either unemployed or underemployed in Nigeria. While the population of job seekers in the country keeps growing, the market struggles to create enough opportunities, especially for the youth. Those who do find employment usually end up in the informal economy, which poses many disadvantages, including less income security and little access to financial services. The main employment sectors in Nigeria include waged employment in formal or informal enterprises, household enterprise activities, or agriculture.

Nigerian youth have wide-ranging aspirations for decent work. However, there are many obstacles they face in realizing these ambitions. There is a mismatch between education and the expectations of employers as many youths are not trained in soft skills, digital skills, and employability – skills that employers are looking for. The lack of access to relevant training is a significant roadblock to finding decent employment. Moreover, many Nigerian youths have entrepreneurial ambitions that they cannot fulfill because of the lack and/or low quality of entrepreneurship education.

“There should be access for youth to workshops, seminars and paid internships that allow them to identify the skills needed for emerging sectors and to learn the ones they are good at.” 

As in most economies, a “missing middle” exists in Nigeria: access to finance and Business Development Services is limited for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), holding them back from developing their business that will result in job creation. CFYE’s Call in Nigeria aims to bridge this gap facilitating the necessary environment for businesses to create youth-centered jobs.

Planned Impact

Our Portfolio in Nigeria

Based on Nigerian youth’s ambitions and the current needs of the employment market, we developed a portfolio that prioritizes digital technical craftsmanship jobs. The total number of planned jobs based on the portfolio of the first Call will surpass 17.000. Around 8.900 of these projected jobs will be new jobs, while the rest will be realized by matching youth to relevant jobs or improving the conditions of existing jobs to achieve decency in work.

More than 75% of the planned jobs (around 13.000 jobs) our implementing partners in Nigeria plan to create will be for young women. 

CFYE’s Nigeria portfolio clearly reflects the youth’s and employment market’s ambitions in developing the digital and technical employment sector. Our partners operate in the most diverse fields – from digital marketing training to sanitary pad manufacturing – yet all bring innovative ideas to solving youth unemployment, catering to the desires and skills of youth.

With CFYE’s investment, we will be able to scale the impact of our proven and tested solutions to reduce unemployment in Nigeria. We will train young women, especially in less privileged communities, in high-income digital marketing skills and match them through our newly developed job-matching platform to secure decent jobs.

The financial and technical support from CFYE, supplemented with our matching contribution, will afford us the opportunity to unlock the 1,300 new jobs. We will invest in the upskilling program “Hugo Academy” as well as data-secure production environments and data-secure, company-issued workstations. 

ReelFruit has been upskilling many employees over the last few years, but lacks the capacity to scale this for expansion. CYFE’s support will help us increase the chances of business growth, leading to increased job creation for youth and women. The support will also help us deploy the training to other enterprises.

The GrainPoint Project is focused on empowering women in rural areas. With CFYE’s grant, we will reach more women and provide them with skills and opportunities for decent work: better prospects for personal development, a stable income, social protection, and safe working conditions.

CFYE’s grant will enable us to expand our market, improve on our distribution channels, and increase our production capacity. This will ultimately lead to more created jobs and improved working conditions of the existing staff. With CFYE’s support, we strive to empower more women than we currently do.

Innovectives is offering thriving employment and skills development opportunities for Nigeria’s youth with SME in a Box, especially for young women: a full suite of digital financial services (DFS) and an online training academy accessible via an Android-based point of sales machine, combined with physical training.

Releaf’s business model optimizes agricultural productivity in Nigeria’s oil palm sector through efficient digital farmer sourcing and palm nut pre-processing technology. With CFYE’s support, we can remove barriers to decent work for women and youth, proving a model for agri-tech and agribusiness careers.

Our overall goal is to train and place more youth into decent digital jobs. With the CFYE support, we will have upskilled 1,750 youths and reaching ten times more women than we have previously reached in the past training programs. The top 72% of those youths (1,260 people) will be placed into decent digital jobs.

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