Unemployment is a huge problem in Africa. What makes it an even bigger problem is the difficulty unemployed people experience in getting information about the few available jobs.
M-Kazi (Kazi is Swahili for ‘job’) is a Kenyan mobile recruitment service that allows job seekers to get information about available job vacancies and helps employers to target the right talents.
MKazi’s SMS-based information service can be used on basic mobile phones with no internet capability which are still very popular in many parts of Africa.
How MKazi works…
Spotting the difficulty in getting job-related information in the rural areas of Kenya, Nancy Wang (far right in picture above) with her M-Kazi co-founders, Lino Carcoforo and Mem Maina, started working on a cheap and easy way for job vacancy information to get to poor people who have no access to the internet but have basic mobile phones that can handle SMS.
MKazi’s pitch to investors for additional funding for the business.
By dialing a simple code (*838#), Kenyan mobile phone users can register for the service and choose to receive new job alerts for a daily fee of ten Kenyan Shillings (about 12 US cents).
When users find a vacancy they like, the MKazi service allows them to create a simple version of their resumes (CVs) and apply for the position.
On the other side, employers can access the system to view submitted applications and resumes.
M-Kazi allows employers to specifically target the kind of employees they want based on their submitted mini-CVs. This is now saving employers a lot of time, effort and money (especially agency fees) that the traditional recruitment process would have required.
With this service, small and large businesses can find suitable candidates (professionals and semi-skilled labour) for quick employment.
The future for MKazi…
M-Kazi has been attracting a lot of interest from foreign investors; the most significant of which has been the investment by Jerome Kisting, a Canadian angel investor.
The seed round which closed in late 2012 is believed to have raised thousands of dollars for the new venture.
MKazi has raised US$ 100,000 to date and is looking for an additional US$ 350,000. Using launch pads like Demo Africa, the three founders hope to get exposure, strategic partnership and mentorship that will be crucial to the long term success of the business.
According to a recent interview with the BBC, M-Kazi’s founders are planning to spread their innovation to other parts of East and Southern Africa where basic mobile phone-based solutions have proved to be very successful.
The team is also working on other innovative mobile solutions including M-Changa, Virtual Blackboard and Dial-a-Teacher.
Why you should be interested in exploiting Africa’s mobile app market
If you’ve read our article: 3+ Guaranteed Ways to find profitable business ideas in Africa, you will remember that our Number one path to finding great business ideas is to find a problem around you and fixing it.
MKazi only focuses on just one of Africa’s many problems. There are lots of amazing opportunities to create mobile apps that help to solve problems and challenges around you. And why should you be interested in the mobile app business?
We’ll tell you…
The global mobile app market is now worth over $50 billion but Africa has only a tiny share of this market. Although our continent is the world’s biggest and fastest growing mobile telephone market after China, we have barely explored the goldmine of apps that are possible on our simple and smart phones.
There is a huge and untapped market for apps ‘made in Africa for Africa and the world’ and almost no one is doing anything about it.
The best part of starting this business is, you don’t need to be a programmer or know anything about developing mobile apps. There are lots of tools and places on the internet that now make it possible for anyone to develop, launch, market and make money from mobile apps.
To find out how you can start your own mobile app business, you should read this article: Mobile Apps – How to make money from Africa’s untapped market for mobile telephone apps.
MKazi is proof that passion, creativity and basic mobile phones can still be used to create a successful business model. Are there problems or challenges in your environment that can be solved using the M-Kazi experience? What are you doing about it?
If you have any ideas, questions or advice on making successful mobile apps, we’re sure there are lots of people who are itching to learn from you. Please share this inspiring idea with a friend and remember to leave a comment in the section below.
To your success!