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. After our successful first Call, we launched a second Call for Solutions in 2022 to attract even more innovative ideas to tackle youth unemployment especially women in Nigeria. The second Call focused on 1) Jobs for women or 2) Digital enabled jobs across service sectors. In 2023, CFYE lunched a third Call in Nigeria with the aim to attract innovative business models that is in alignment with the Dutch Consulate’s Combi-tracks: Integrated off-grid solar and sustainable horticulture, and so the third Call focused on 1) Renewable Energy, 2) Agriculture or 3) Digital Technology, where we are now finalizing the results. Our Country Lead for Nigeria is Amarachi Kalu Okorie.
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 second Call in Nigeria aims to bridge this gap by facilitating the necessary environment for businesses to create youth-centered jobs.
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 our project, Empowerment and Employability, we aim to create entrepreneurship opportunities for young women in Nigeria. With CFYE’s investment and support we will be able to reach more young women than we otherwise could of have. It will also assist us with the empowerment of women and the creation of decent employment for youth.
Our project FLiT, is an apprenticeship program that has already helped 500 young people transition into full-time jobs in the technology industry. The project aims to transition African women into tech. During our programme, young women will be trained on Data Science, Cloud Computing, Software Development and Product Management while being paired with companies of different sizes to work as trainees.
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.
Our project, FINWOMEN, promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth for young women. The CFYE support will help us with the recruitment of eligible young women entrepreneurs and business owners, the training of successful female entrepreneurs and business and it will provide us the needed financing for 400 new start-ups and 600 existing businesses.
Our project, the Mamamoni Female Agent Network, wants to close the youth unemployment gap in Nigeria by offering decent employment opportunities. CFYE will provide us the critical funds to scale up our Mamamoni Female Agent Network. It is likely that with the support of CFYE, the project will proceed more quickly and/or reach more young women than it otherwise would have.
To provide decent jobs to young women, we want to train them on producing various hair products and provide them with all the logistics and marketing activities that are required to make a sustainable source of income for women. We plan on doing this by using the STEEC approach – Sourcing, Training, Employment, Empowerment and Community. This approach focusses on sourcing unemployed and underpaid women in target communities, providing them in-depth training by expert facilitator.
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.
Through our groundbreaking WEFash Impact Project, we aspire to revolutionize the fashion landscape by equipping women with technical and digital skills, thus unlocking a realm of enhanced opportunities. Our project proposes a remarkable 300% increase in Yetroselane’s production capacity within the next two years. This leap will be achieved by seamlessly integrating circularity, sustainability, and AI into our manufacturing processes, as well as automating our administrative operations.
Our project is centred around the creation of a community innovation space. The goal of this space is to create employment opportunities, inspire grassroot innovations, and foster a collaborative ecosystem. We will create training programs to address the skills mismatch between young job seekers and the tech industry labor market. We will also prioritize the training and employment of women, aiming to have 50% young women in the entire cohort through our program.
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.
Our Hello Tractor Mech hubs Project, focusses on training in-demand skills to Nigerian youth and matching them to employment opportunities in the agriculture sector. With our project we want to face the challenge of youth unemployment and provide access to affordable and reliable mechanisation.