Africa Defense Forum
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Students Create Nigeria’s Online Jobs Giant


Three students had time on their hands in the summer of 2009 when university lecturers in Nigeria went on strike.

Instead of slacking off, Ayodeji Adewunmi, Olalekan Olude and Opeyemi Awoyemi started an online job search company. Five years later, their startup, Jobberman, is worth millions of dollars, employs 125 people and is still growing.

Although Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, it still has considerable unemployment problems, in particular among young people who are also more likely to be connected to the Internet.

Jobberman has become the largest job placement website in Sub-Saharan Africa. The number of companies using the site to find employees has grown from about 40 in 2009 to 35,000 in 2014.

The founders estimate that there are about 1,000 active users searching for a job at any given time. The site includes between 500 and 1,000 jobs each day. “The growth has been tremendous; it’s at rocket speed. One of the biggest challenges has been to keep up with the volume of work,” Olalekan said.

Still, there have been challenges along the way. “In the beginning a lot of people did not trust an Internet-based business because at that time a lot of people were using the Internet to perpetuate fraud here in Nigeria,” he said.

But as doing business online became more common, Jobberman prospered. Companies would dip their toe in the water with one or two postings, and then when they trusted the site, they would come back.

In 2012, some of Jobberman’s clients wanted to use the site to find workers in Ghana, so the company took its first work outside Nigeria. Two years later, it says it is now the biggest online job site in Ghana as well as Nigeria.

The company is expanding its reach to Kenya with a partner called Brighter Monday. The partnership also gives it a footprint in Uganda and Tanzania. “It is incredibly fulfilling helping people to become economically empowered by getting job placements via Jobberman,” founder Ayodeji Adewunmi said.

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