Sleekjob led by Richard Brandt, aims to be the centre of excellence that feeds Africa’s corporate world with skilled software engineers necessary for growth of many businesses across the continent.
Sleekjob Academy seeks to train developers and create opportunities for them by way of either starting their own companies or connecting them with companies that need their services as interns, freelancers or full-time employees. Sleekjob can be located in the capital of Ghana, One Airport Square, 8th Floor, Airport City, Accra.
Our time with this techie CEO proved worthwhile as he discusses what they have for the corporate world, the opportunities that exist for aspiring developers and entrepreneurship in this short inspiring interview.
What is Sleekjob and why has your coming into the market at this time become very crucial?
Digital and mobile development skills have grown rapidly in importance over the past several years due to the proliferation of smartphones. But the changes have been so swift that skills and talented developers are not adequate for the market especially in Africa. Sleekjob as a talent accelerator, trains highly motivated young people from all backgrounds with skills in technology – such as web and mobile development, online marketing, e-commerce, design – and connects them to employers or freelance job opportunities.
You carefully select developers and university graduates for training. Tell us why this is the case and what benefits do they derive from your academy?
We select highly motivated tertiary students because we believe that the process of turning someone into a high quality software developer all starts from the person’s determination. We select aspiring software developers — students and graduates from all backgrounds – who are determined to work hard. So we do not only select developers.
How does your Sleekjob academy transform a job seeking graduate to an employer?
Our training provides them with practical skills that will enable them launch their freelance careers or start their own tech companies. Also, during the program, they get opportunities to work on real clients projects and that offers them a lot of experience in project and client management.
Kindly share with us the competence of the trainers at Sleekjob?
Our trainers and mentors are high qualified software developers that had started their own tech startups in the past or have previously worked with reputable companies.
Since your inception, can you share with us some of your success stories?
Mohammed Zakari – a Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) final year student. Zak is now a freelance Front-End Web Developer after completing our training program and Sleekjob has since connected him to multiple clients based in Ghana and the US for freelance projects.
Rachel Anane-Antwi – A University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) student who runs her own Media and Photography Agency, Monarch Moments. Sleekjob trained Rachel in Web Development and Online Marketing.
How is Sleekjob coming to the rescue of corporate world in Africa and how do they get involved?
Sleekjob is providing young graduates with practical skills that the corporate world can employ to drive innovation and scale their businesses. They can get involved by requesting for developers, to take up our graduates for internships and job opportunities. Companies can also get involved by sponsoring our training program by way of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities).
What is your vision for Sleekjob in the next few years?
What will count as success for you as a young CEO?
To see a large number of our graduates using the skills gained in our training program to contribute to national development in both private and public sectors.
With hands-on experience, how do you advice startups manage co-founder conflicts?
Stay true to yourself and follow your passion.
What is your advice to aspiring tech startups in Africa?
Use technology to create scalable solutions that address real life problems to make life better for people.
Thank you, Richard!
For aspiring developers who want to benefit from the opportunities this startup company offers, register with their Sleekjob Academy or call (+233) 0205038911.
WATCH: Sleekjob Academy Student, Ibrahim from Ashesi University, Ghana.
What lessons have you picked from this inspiring African startup founder? Share your thoughts.
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Rahmon Ojukotola: StartCredits Hopes to Save Nigerians Billions of Naira
High interest rates on loans are a barrier to growth and economic prosperity, which is why StartCredits has developed an innovative way for Nigerians to borrow quick online loans without collateral on its loan market comparison platform.
It is the aim of this fin-tech startup to help Nigerians access finance and save money by comparing loan providers. Rahmon, the Director of StartCredits is strategically growing this company to be the preferred loan market for a number of online borrowers.
Rahmon Ojukotola currently sits on the advisory board to the Florida schools group and previously worked at the Bank of England and UBS. Our startup founder, is also a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Royal Economic Society.
With these credentials, he surely has what it takes to lead the competitive loan market. Let’s find out what Rahmon has brought into the market and his life as an entrepreneur.
How is StartCredits disrupting the traditional borrowing in Africa as you suggest?
StartCredits is disrupting traditional borrowing, as our product provides transparency and increases competition in the market to reduce interest rates for qualified borrowers. It also provides a new channel for Nigerians to borrow money.
From your enviable background why did you decide to leave all that to start a startup in Nigeria?
I worked in investment banking and central banking for a number of years and gained a finance MSc from the London School of Economics and chartered qualifications in accounting, investments, securities and finance. I decided to build a startup in Nigeria because there were opportunities and issues that needed tackling, and I thought I had the right skill set to do so. So I gave up a well paying job and decided to come back to try and build something that would hopefully contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria.
How unique are features of StartCredits?
We are the first and only business in Nigeria offering our services to all Nigerians who need loans. We have developed innovative proprietary risk models that accurately measure the borrowers probability of default. This improves our partner lenders’ ability to assess risk, and enables them to disperse more loans to qualified borrowers.
What has been the major achievement StartCredits has chalked since you commenced operation?
We have helped thousands of Nigerians to save millions of naira in interest rate so far and hope to save billions of naira in the coming years.
As much as people really need loans, Rahmon, what is your advice to stay out of debts?
My advice to Nigerians is to ensure you do not take out loans to fund lavish expenditures, loans should be used to finance good business plans. Also remember to budget for interest and other fees in any loans you do take, to stay out of debt. For more technical advice on debt management visit our website on http://startcredits.com
One of the notable features of your company is the stress on Data Science, how relevant is it?
Data science is at the heart of what we do at StartCredits. We utilise big data analytics to build innovative credits risk models, which help facilitate affordable lending to underserved qualified borrowers.
What great challenge are you facing in running your startup?
It’s pretty much to do with the adoption of the technology. Technology in general is all about finding the best ways to do things. In certain industries it’s easier to have the incumbents accept that, whereas in finance, people have become entrenched in how they do things. It’s highly profitable, so there’s more resistance to changing a winning formula. Finance is highly resistant to change, but people are slowly starting to adapt as you’re seeing with Blockchain technology, which I think has the potential to revolutionize the finance industry. The banks are slowly coming around, but are still highly resistant to change given the nature of the business. In Nigeria, it’s mostly trying to get the people to use the technology. People are highly suspicious of new technologies, so it’s a bit of a challenge
How do you foresee this industry going into the future?
The lending market in Nigeria will be one driven primarily by digital lending in the future, as it is more efficient. I also feel we will continue the cultural tradition of thrift lending (Ajo, Esusu), as it fosters community cohesion.
Tell us which African entrepreneurs inspire you and why.
I think all African entrepreneurs that have built successful business in the face of significant challenges deserve commendation. Saying that I find Ola Orekunrin’s work saving lives with flying doctors to be truly inspiring to all Nigerians and especially young girls. She is a role model who shows them if they study and work hard they can have a significant impact on the lives of many in Nigeria.
What financial advice can you share with fellow startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa?
My advice to entrepreneurs across Africa is to make sure that everything you’re doing is simultaneously helping you achieve your goals and make profits as well. Don’t leverage too much and try not to grow too fast. Also, make sure that what you’re doing is what people want. The whole point of doing business is addressing the needs of society. So make sure you do your extensive research, go out and meet people to listen to what they’re saying, and make sure you have the right skill set to execute your plan. Once all of that is in place, you’re good to go.
Thank you, Rahmon!
To find out more about loan rates and the company, kindly visit startcredits.com.
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