Bag Innovation is a platform created in 2017 by a Rwandan company of the same name. The aim of this startup is to help students prepare effectively to enter the world of employment. Thanks to an innovative approach, the structure breaks with traditional processes and offers remote professional immersions. It's a proposition that has won over thousands of students, with Bag Innovation claiming to have reached over 8,000 people. In our Fanaka story of the day, we take you to Rwanda to discover Bag Innovation, an edtech resolutely committed to helping young students find work.
An inventive approach
In the edtech category, Bag Innovation is making a name for itself by taking active steps to revolutionise the current apprenticeship model in East Africa. Very often, there is a gap between the training provided in the classroom and the realities of the world of work. To remedy this, Bag Innovation is offering a remote internship system which provides students with practical experience to help them prepare for their degrees.
But how can a virtual internship bridge this gap? Simply by applying technologies such as augmented reality and machine learning. To these two elements we can add gamificationThis is a method that involves implementing practices and codes from the video game industry. In a very inventive way, Bag Innovation For the past 7 years, it has been trying to fill the gaps in an entire education system and enable young people to combine theory with practice.
Why this initiative?
Behind every start-up, there is often a story and a desire to change things. Bag Innovation's desire is to help young Rwandans to face up to the world of work, which is sometimes merciless towards the inexperienced. So, in May 2017, Yussouf Ntwali and Gabriel Ekman launched a start-up to help young people with few qualifications. At the time, there were over 42,000 students at the end of their studies, supposedly ready to enter the world of work.
Yet companies are complaining that they can't find qualified workers. How can you spend more than three years training and not be able to find a job at the end of it? The most obvious answer to this question was: the potential was there, but the training was clearly not sufficient to adapt to the job market. So the two entrepreneurs set about designing a system that would give students and recruiters what they were missing - the right skills.
Effective solutions to support students
Bag Innovation started out as a sort of student consultancy service. The innovative company hired young people and challenged them with case studies and practical projects to help them improve. This programme has enabled many students to better understanding the world of work, gain experience and access to a extensive network of employers. It was in 2020 that the concept evolved to have a wider impact, extending beyond Rwanda itself. The platform was created to offer more and more students the chance to acquire practical skills.
During the pandemic, Bag Innovation was in great demand, offering content that could be accessed remotely. The solution's website became a meeting place for recent university graduates and companies looking for talent. Like a social network, users - whether recruiters or students - create an account. They are asked to provide a certain amount of information about their academic background and interests. This data enables Bag Innovation to offer the most suitable placements to different student profiles. In this way, the Rwandan start-up, which has partnered with some fifteen universities and 170 small and medium-sized enterprises, has already reached more than 8,000 students.
And the achievements don't stop there. Bag Innovation has helped more than 600 students employment and a range of income-generating opportunities. The startup also offers partner organisations statistics to help them develop their business. She has been appointed Best edtech in East Africa by Ed-Tech Ex Globaland received the "Best Innovation", awarded by the Private Sector Federation.
In Africa, economic growth is not always synonymous with low unemployment. Similarly, the large population of graduate students graduating from our universities each year does not mean that companies have access to skilled labour. These are almost common realities on the continent. In Rwanda, Bag Innovation is using technology to change this. The start-up's ambition is to extend to the rest of the African region, which is likely to have an impact on teaching methods, unemployment rates and the skills of young African graduates!