Meet Hugo, Africa’s first future-of-work company, claiming space for Africa’s youth in the global digital economy.
Hugo is seeking to unlock 1,300 digital-work opportunities for African millennials in 3 years, with emphasis on women and working mothers, beginning with Nigeria.
The challenges we address are:
- Unemployment/underemployment among the young urban educated youth, aged 21 – 35.
- Gender imbalance: Emphasis on young women (aged 21-35) and working mothers (aged 24 – 35), who suffer disproportionately higher rates of unemployment/underemployment.
- Capacity building in digital-skills-of-the-future: Nigerian youths are not trained in the soft- or digital skills required to outcompete their global peers for global ICT/gig-economy opportunities.
- The concentration of Nigeria’s labour force in its informal sector: 53% of Nigeria’s labor-force participation is in its informal sector, as are 75% of all new job opportunities.
- Long-term income and employability transformation
- Remote-Operators-As-A-Service: We contract/partner with global technology companies to create full-time, digital (remote-work) jobs for Nigerians, in Nigeria, who work as remote team members for our global partners/customers but as FTEs of Hugo. As part of our project, Hugo is seeking to upgrade its infrastructure to ‘data-secure compliant’ in order to tap a vast trove of opportunities currently withheld from us by our partners/clients.
- As driven/demanded by our clients/partners, we design upskilling content and education- programs for our youth, in the soft- and hard skills of the future they need to thrive in the digital economy. As part of our project, we are seeking to formalize this into ‘Hugo Academy’ and scale it.
- We screen and invite into our program urban, educated Nigerian youths, upskill them and MATCH them to full-time remote jobs that we CREATE through global partnerships with fee-paying clients.
- We target young female graduates, and working mothers (who need additional flexibility to raise families while working). Our model enables us to match these target groups with relevant job opportunities that are willing and able to accommodate their specific needs.
- We migrate up the value chain over time, by continuing to encroach upon more complex, value-adding work in the gig-economy, thereby improving incomes, employability and professional resilience in our youth through deliberate capacity-building.
To access ‘private data’ workflow opportunities, where our opportunity to create another 1,300+ jobs in 3 years lies, Hugo needs to invest in two directions, which will represent iteration-2 of the model, and are currently out of reach given our financial profile. As follows:
- Invest in formalizing its upskilling program into ‘Hugo Academy’, where all of our screening, recruiting, and upskilling will take place
- Invest in what our industry refers to as ‘Data-Secure Production Environments’ and ‘data-secure, company-issued workstations’
These two items represent the collective locus of CFYE’s potential additionality, too expensive for Hugo to undertake as a self-financed organization.
Specifically, a grant from CFYE, supplemented with our matching contribution, will afford us the opportunity to invest in each of these directions and unlock the 1,300 new jobs our clients have committed to over the next three years, in ways we cannot access alone.
Further, Hugo is also seeking technical assistance around some of the softer elements to our strategy/model, specifically around GESI, Youth Enablement, and Monitoring + Evaluation strategies.