BizSkills Academy was started on the premise of how we could support local youth and women through helping them create economic opportunities for themselves. How might we give them better alternatives towards creating a self-sufficient life, other than the rather futile task of seeking job opportunities in a bleak labor market?
When we examined the cases of young graduates, it was obvious that they aspired to be employed. We are born, go to school, graduate, get a job, and live happily ever. However, the world has changed rapidly, with masses of graduates pouring into the labour market every year, bloating the available workforce to the point where they far exceed the number of available jobs. Our education system has been perpetuating this since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and little has changed thus far. People have been pursuing higher education, earning more degrees and diplomas, and being well-qualified has quickly turned into the norm. As a result, young graduates and women continue to find it difficult to get employment opportunities as the labor market has become more competitive.
We identified two main categories of graduates for our programme. Graduates who are seeking employment opportunities in the labor market are in one category. Graduates looking to create their own businesses, effectively creating employment opportunities for themselves, are the other category. Women are in a similar situation. Historically, women have faced many challenges in finding job opportunities. The labor markets are still rife with challenges such as a gender pay gap, that do not make it easy for women to have an equal chance, even when they are lucky enough to find a job. Thus, whether we are speaking of young graduates or women, both groups lack the necessary skills to help them achieve their goals of becoming active in the formal economy. This is where BizSkills Academy is prepared to support them.
Africa alone produces around 50 million graduates between the ages of 18 – 35, and most of them seek employment in the traditional labor market. BizSkills Academy’s participants learn entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills, such as understanding customer needs, developing your own business idea, creating a start-up, validating a business opportunity, managing projects, teamwork, managing change, communication, finances, problem-solving, and much more. For many, BizSkills Academy has proven to be the solution in guiding them to create employment opportunities for themselves, or by helping them to develop critical skills for the workforce, as innovators within organizations. The southern hemisphere, comprising of Africa, South America, and South East Asia, faces many challenges when it comes to youth and women employment. Especially now, and in a post-COVID-19 pandemic era, many countries in the west are also going to face huge challenges relating to employment opportunities due to slow economic recovery.
BizSkills Academy has been working on a scalable and affordable solution to help cope with the above-highlighted challenges. This is done through a web-based knowledge portal, toolkits, and a community that supports one another. We specialize in delivering world-class tools, content, hackathons, and virtual incubation programs that identify untapped talent from around the world, connecting them to experienced individuals and available resources in order to get good ideas off the ground.
Bringing mass entrepreneurship to underserved communities and people who survive at the bottom of the economic pyramid is a responsibility that BizSkills Academy does not take lightly. We have made it our responsibility to harness both the capacities and resilience inherent in these communities to create new ventures, which in turn solves many of the problems within these communities, finally creating the future they desire.
BizSkills Academy has undergone a remarkable evolution in the past two years as we strove to realize our vision. We are an organization that has made a commitment to producing better business leaders, better businesses, and a better future. One of the most profound changes over this time has been our own richer understanding of – and deeper commitment to – tapping into virtual entrepreneurship and incubation programs. These programs help to achieve six selected SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Through our supported new ventures and communities, we contribute to all the seventeen SDGs.
The five pillars of BizSkills Academy’s leadership vision are built around social and collective Impact, blended value, people-centric focus, value creation, as well as leveraging the power of technology. We democratize entrepreneurship education and the company creation process at the most affordable rates.
In keeping with that spirit, we invite you— and indeed encourage you—to share your thoughts on our work. We take this feedback seriously and always welcome both feedback and partnerships. We understand very well that to devise and sustain a complete solution is too big of a challenge for any single institution. We invite interested strategic partners to join our cause.
We live and work by our motto every day, to make sure that we produce “Better People, Better Businesses, for a Better Future.” I welcome you to BizSkills Academy and would like to show you why I’m proud to stand behind our team and our vision.
Amadou Thierno Diallo