Notes from a changing world...
May 2021
Technological advances, demographic shifts, rapid urbanization, evolving regulatory landscapes and now, the ever present pandemic routinely determine the pulse of labour markets globally, which in turn hold important implications for both the worker and the workplace.

Over 60-70% of labour markets in Asia & Africa are characterized by high levels of segmentation and informality, with disruptive trends and events causing considerable unemployment and income instability for the workforce. Low pay and wage inequality continue to present serious challenges in the country being able to achieve decent working conditions and inclusive growth.

Here are some of the key high level findings:

  • A significant share of workers now think that technology will impact their job going forward. While two-thirds of the workers interviewed believed that it would reduce their roles, the remaining had a positive outlook and think that technology usage will help them do their jobs more efficiently.

  • Almost 60% of the existing workforce considers their education and training to be inadequate for their current job. Even as a multitude of skilling/ TVET initiatives are taken up by the Government as well as private sector, only a small proportion (<20%) of the job aspirants/ incoming workforce we spoke to have attended vocational training primarily due to poor placement records.

  • Employers (majorly MSMEs) spoken to expect increased job creation over the next 5 years with possible recruitment of more contractual workers than in the past. Even as these MSMEs believe that reskilling of employees is key and are willing to invest in it, they also expect significant external support in achieving the same.

  • Even though the pandemic has pushed back progress made across multiple socio-economic fronts, it has presented us with an opportunity to build back better. We plan to focus on building a support ecosystem and bringing together relevant stakeholders for improving the quality of workforce, enabling market linkages, and supporting enterprises to provide better working conditions and a reasonable standard of living to their employees; so as to shape the future of work(ers) across Asia & Africa. 

For more information about our work on this please contact [email protected] 
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Happening in the Ecosystem
Opportunities for Entrepreneurs
Hindsight Ventures, the Africa focused vertical of Startup Réseau and Y-Center are presenting a "Founder Development Bootcamp" for entrepreneurs in Tanzania. FDB is a 4-Day "Experiential Learning" program for tech entrepreneurs.
Pangea is launching the scaleup program across Africa to find the best scaleups and grow them from Seed to Series A Round
The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is an annual competition that asks teams of students and professionals to address critical global issues with nature-inspired solutions.
Booster Kenya, a program by Segal Family Foundation, seeks to grow the organization capacity of early-stage civil society organizations that are working to bring about positive change to communities in Kenya. Reach out to [email protected] for more information.
The UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition seeks to source new startups and entrepreneurs that advance the contribution of tourism to rural development and support recovery.
Hindsight Ventures, the Africa focused vertical of Startup Réseau has recently announced a 3-Week East Africa Fintech Bootcamp, to enable early and growth-stage FinTech ecosystems in East Africa. Through the East Africa FinTech Bootcamp Hindsight Ventures aims to further revolutionize the local and regional FinTech ecosystems by spurring stronger local FinTechentrepreneurship, innovation and job creation in the industry.
The WE4F East Africa Innovation Call, is looking for innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SMEs) operating at the nexus of water-energy-food in East Africa.
Startup Week is an annual flagship program of Maharashtra State Innovation Society where 24 startups across 8 sectors get work orders of Rs. 15 lakhs each & a chance to pilot with the Govt. of Maharashtra.
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Happening Today!! Learn more about the Water and Energy for Food East Africa Innovation Call, in this open Q&A session. We’ll share more about the criteria and application process. If you’re thinking about applying or have already started your application, but have questions – join us! Feel free to submit your questions in advance on the registration link below, or ask them live during the session. Register Now
Thursday, May 27th, 2021
Impact Africa will be hosting a group of panelists from across the continent, that will be discussing the role of social enterprises in the creation of jobs. Find out how your enterprise could be creating jobs in your community. Register Now
Circularity 21, the largest online circular economy event is taking place on June 15-17. The event offers an engaging and informative program, expo and networking opportunities. connect, and accelerate our collective work in creating a circular economy. Register Here
Explore and contribute to the Innovative Food Systems Solutions (IFSS) portal and connect to the global community working to ensure sustainable and resilient food systems that provide affordable, safe and nutritious diets for the growing global population on a healthy planet. Access portal here
Circular Design Workshops. Click here
CASE launched a #COVID19CapitalRelief, a searchable database of over $1 trillion in COVID-19 cash relief resources available to small business and nonprofit entrepreneurs everywhere. Search Here

Built on the premise that although venture capital is the highest-profile type of investment; Adventure Finance: How to Create a Funding Journey That Blends Profit and Purpose by Aunnie Patton Power, suggests that the venture capital model doesn’t work—at least not for 99% of startups and small businesses. Buy here

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Job Opportunities
Social Venture Circle is seeking a Manager of Impact Investor Services. If you are interested in the position, or know of anyone that might be a good fit for the role, please visit or direct them here to learn more and apply. Learn More
Arifu is seeking highly motivated interns to fill the positions of Marketing and digital, Product management, Graphic design, UX design, grant and investment within the organization. 
Educate Global, a private investment firm committed to investing in high growth and purpose-led businesses in some of the world's fastest-growing regions, is looking for its new Investment Principal (Nairobi based) and Non-Executive Director (Mauritius based).

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Sankalp Forum was initiated in India in 2009 by Intellecap, part of the Aavishkaar Group, to create a thriving ecosystem for business-led inclusive development. Over the past 10 years, Sankalp has built one of the world's largest impact enterprise focused platforms that has showcased and discovered 1800+ entrepreneurs, through 25 editions and has connected them to 600+ investors. Sankalp has enabled enterprises and entrepreneurs and has helped raise over USD 270 million in funding and disbursed over USD 870,000 in cash grants. Sankalp Forum engages with Governments, Corporations, influential platforms like the G8 and G20, media and civil society to drive a paradigm shift in inclusive development approaches.