Intern 2

When Stutern arrived on the scene, I thought it was setting itself up have to compete with Jobberman down the road. The barely year-old startup links aspiring interns with Nigerian companies looking for young, cheap talent. I suppose they must be really good at what they do, because instead of provoking the descent of a giant bug-squashing foot from above, they’ve somehow convinced Jobberman that it is a good idea to work with them.

How would Jobberman and Stutern work together? It’s a somewhat convoluted arrangement, so we’ll just go with their “strategic investment” line. Jobberman will put resources behind the younger company — cash and business support. The part that is a bit of a head-scratcher is what’s in it for Jobberman. In return for its help, receives not equity. At least not right away. Instead, it will share revenues, with the option to invest at a later date.

The thinking is that access to Jobberman’s database, business network and institutional memory should help Stutern create stronger, killer commercial propositions and scale rapidly.
By itself, Stutern has helped match more than 200 interns with employers. The founding duo, twin brothers Taiwo and Kehinde Ayanleye joined the Co-Creation Hub’s Pre-incubation programme in January 2015, receiving $5,000 in seed.


Left to right: Tunji Eleso, director of pre-incubation at CcHub, Taiwo/Kehinde?, and Audu Maikori.

Now that I think about it, the new phase they are entering into with Jobberman is really like an accelerator programme, designed just for Stutern.

Taiwo and Kehinde are excited about the deal, and told TechCabal via email that partnering with Jobberman will allow them expand their internship matching solution to other emerging economies. The idea for Stutern came to the twins from first-hand experience of internship-hunting difficulties while they were both enrolled in a Master’s programme in the UK.

Stutern twins

Taiwo and Kehinde Ayanleye. London, 2014, via Twitter. Don’t ask me which is which.

Part of the business model of the venture they created to solve this problem on large scale is for prospective interns and employers to pay for guaranteed placements.

Going forward, and with Jobberman’s backing, Stutern plans on pursuing deeper relationships with Nigerian universities and government agencies. The deep pools of talent and vacant internship opportunities in that these represent could prove to be a rather effective growth hack in the medium to longterm.

Jobberman seems primed to keep its frontrunning position in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest jobs portal on the continent, and a wholly owned subsidiary of One Africa Media, which is in turn partly owned by Seek, the world’s largest employment portal. But for some time now, Jobberman has been doing a lot of “experiments” that suggest that it would like to diversify from its core jobs value proposition into adjacent opportunities. It has dabbled in CV evaluation, launched a skills acquisition platform, and most recently, quietly released a blue collar personnel recruitment service.

“We are happy to have Stutern on board as a partner company” says Opeyemi Awoyemi, one of Jobberman’s three founders. “Employment and employability are very huge problems in developing countries and we need to attack them from different angles. This partnership will enable us to do more faster.”

I guess only the paranoid survive. Jobberman probably figures the way to stay nimble and limber is to infuse itself with young blood. Effective today, Stutern will be known as “Stutern by Jobberman”.

Bankole Oluwafemi Author

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