Bookings Africa, the first Digital work platform in Africa where clients and professionals connect, is pleased to announce its partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), MTN, and the University of Lagos (UNILAG). to provide digital literacy training under the Lagos CARES (Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus ) to businesses that were affected by income loss and COVID 19.
The Lagos CARES program is a Lagos State intervention that seeks to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on small businesses. The aim is to provide relief and cushion the effect of income loss and COVID-19 on commercial activities in Lagos State.
The program will be implemented between 2021 and 2023 and will provide economic relief and recovery support to identified vulnerable people. The program specifically encompasses three key result areas, which include increasing cash transfers and livelihood support to vulnerable households; increasing food security and the safe functioning of food supply chains for low-income households, and facilitating the recovery of micro and small enterprises (MSMEs).
Bookings Africa identified four (4) barriers that prohibit the informal economy from participating in the African Digital Economy, which include: access to smartphones, data, digital literacy, and access to finance. To solve these issues, Bookings Africa has partnered with Lagos CARES through the Smart POS Pilot Programme, which will equip 500 informal Lagos based businesses with an Android phone that doubles as a POS machine, free basic digital literacy training, exclusively created by Bookings Africa and approved by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA). Other partners of the project, like MTN, would provide sponsored data to these devices. Through this partnership, the earning capacity of each Smart POS user is projected to increase by 2x with the use of the embedded Bookings Africa and agency banking applications.
The pilot phase of this case study is for three (3) months, during which the impact will be studied and reviewed by UNILAG’s Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre (ESDC). The Bookings Africa and LSETF projects are exclusive to Lagos State and the phones will be distributed across all 5 local government areas (LGAs) in Lagos.
The beneficiaries selected by LSETF must be semi-literate, have evidence of a consistent source of income, and be faced with the challenges of participating in the African Digital Economy.
As part of our partnership with UNILAG’s ESDC, the institution will gather quantitative and qualitative data from beneficiaries over the next three (3) months. The findings will be published as a whitepaper case study and distributed to all stakeholders and global organizations such as the World Bank. Research shows that the most underserved members of the informal economy are women and people living with disabilities, and as such, the devices will be distributed to 70% of women and 5% of people living with disabilities. This partnership aims to increase digital adoption and access to finance for informal workers.
Fade Ogunro, CEO, Bookings Africa said “Our aim, to unlock the earning potential of entrepreneurial Africans and commercialize their latent skillset across the African talent pool, excites us tremendously. The collaboration with LSETF, MTN, and UNILAG’s ESDC will have an impact on the next stage of our journey which will never have been possible without the aid of our investment partners Platform Capital and Unicorn Group, who facilitated our introduction to these organizations and aided with strategic execution.”
About Bookings Africa
BookingsAfrica.com is a pan-African digital work platform that enables African service providers, agencies, and professionals to digitize and monetize their skills by connecting clients efficiently and transparently to skilled professionals in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
As a leading technology platform, Bookings Africa is the only African freelance marketplace with a video call feature that allows clients to connect with service providers from procurement, payment to service delivery which is rendered end-to-end, online.
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was established by The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 to provide financial support to residents of Lagos State, for jobs, wealth creation, and to tackle unemployment.