24-year-old graduate turns down Bill Gates’ job offer, sets up company to upgrade Nigeria’s workforce
(Ecofin Agency) - Unemployment and underemployment have been on the rise in Nigeria, a country of 189, 559, 502 people as of January 1, 2017. The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in the third quarter of 2016, puts the unemployment rate at 108.03 million from the 106.69 million in Q2 2016.
With about half of the population made up of youth, unemployment rate has reached 45%. Nearly one in two graduates is unemployed. This signifies that younger youth struggle even more to find jobs and often remain unemployed for up to five years after graduation.
Due to this, many would jump at the slightest opportunity to work. Yet, when 24-year-old Chris Kwekowe (photo), after graduating as a computer scientist in Lagos, got an opportunity to work at Microsoft, he declined the offer.
His choice raised question, as that could be one of the best job opportunity he can get in his life.
Instead, in a bid to help youths like himself, Chris decided to set up his own company, called “Slatecube”, a platform designed to enable Nigerian students and graduates, find work.
Chris even had the courage to explain to Bill Gates personally, the reason behind his rejection, claiming that he wants to put Nigerian students to work with his start-up.
The computer science graduate and his brother Emerald, created Slatecube in October 2014 with the aim of helping young people to find work in Nigeria, where youth unemployment has reached 45%.
Slatecube enables young individuals to authenticate a course in a discipline of their choice, from finance to anger management. Once this training has been obtained, the platform allows them to gain a virtual internship, and work remotely for a company. If it goes well, companies can decide to employ their virtual trainee full-time.
According to Le Figaro.fr, this innovation, in 2015, earned Chris the Anzisha Prize, which honors the best young entrepreneurs on the African continent.
Today, the platform has recorded an employment rate of 80% amongst its users and has allowed companies to be able to save more by employing an experienced workforce through the services it provides.