Unlimited job opportunities for everyone.
Founders: Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude, Ayodeji Adewunmi
Age of founders at start: 21, 25, 25
Year of foundation: 2009
Business Type: Job site
Present Staff Strength: 68
Net worth: over $15million
Countries present: Nigeria and Ghana
With majority of African able bodied youths without jobs, unemployment is arguably the continents biggest problem. Nigeria alone graduates nearly one million fresh job seekers annually. With this number perhaps another silent problem is Africa’s disorganised job market.
This was the situation in Nigeria till 2009 when three ambitious university undergraduates decided to take on Nigeria’s disorganised job market by providing an easy way to match unemployed people with their dream jobs.
Opeyemi, Olalekan and Ayodeji are the three young men who have carefully harnessed their ideas and skills to bring the ‘Jobberman’ to fruition. They met as undergraduates and sustained a friendship in school, which has evolved into a profitable business relationship.
As undergraduates of engineering and medicine, many would have been overwhelmed by lectures and projects with deadlines, these three still reserved some energy to ponder on a very important solution to a generational problem – unemployment.
Opeyemi always wanted to create social value and was well aware of the unemployment problem; especially knowing where the right jobs are.
This was the time most graduates had to buy two, three newspapers ‘everyday’ with the hope of seeing job ads, when they found none, the process had to be repeated the next day.
Their plan was to change the way people searched for and found jobs while offering employers a simple but effective channel to advertise vacancies and find the right talents to fill them.
Jobberman, Opeyemi recalls
“Was a product of an industrial attachment project wherein he discussed extensively with his friends. They bought the domain jobberman.com and jokingly created the website even though it wasn’t functional yet.”
In august 2009, ASUU embarked on a strike that eventually lasted six months. Opeyemi exchanged four text messages with Deji on making Jobberman a real business; it was precisely the opportunity that these young guys needed to launch Jobberman.
Nothing like this existed at that time; it was a blue ocean, a path never traveled.
Would it work?
They obviously were scared but ultimately they went on to create a whole new industry.
Working as a team, Opeyemi concedes “We argue a lot, but we have always disagreed to agree.”
Ayodeji sums it this way “We have complementary skills and complementary temperaments and respect one another’s viewpoints.”
Opeyemi and his friends had to depend hugely on their personal funding but as the Jobberman continued to grow in popularity, investors started offering a hand.
The team entered into its first strategic equity partnership with a Nigerian based start-up incubator and venture capitalist – L5Lab led by Chika Nwobi.
After about a year Tiger Global Management, a U.S venture capitalist investor with facebook and linkedin approached the Jobberman with an initial $1million Series A financing and investment. With their vast network, advice and business experience, this later proved to be of great help.
Jobberman has sought to remain relevant expanding their service offering to include jobberman learning, jobberman advisory, Jobberman cv appraisal and expanding to other West-African countries.
According to alexa.com, Jobberman is ranked the fifth most visited website in Nigeria and to keep things fresh and relevant, all jobs advertised have a 60-days life span.
The Jobberman teams belives
“Nigerian youths are not dull, the whites are not better than us, most of the things we cannot do (including writing a good CV) is because the school system doesn’t teach such.
We can learn and unlearn anything we are committed to. It is true we didn’t choose our parents, where we were born or the colour of our skin but we can certainly choose who we become tomorrow. We are ultimately responsible for our future.”
“How They Started – Innovative Nigerian Brands”
Written by Kachi Ogbonna
Reviewed by JOHN O.E For Hexavia.
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