Twin brothers, Kehinde Ayanleye and Taiwo Ayanleye, co-founded Stutern, a startup designed to bridge one of the biggest gaps in Africa – unemployment. The platform is focused on igniting Nigeria’s economic growth through skills and career development, connecting employers who need talent, to millennials with plenty of it.
The commitment to improving economic access in Nigeria of its two young founders, aged 26, has seen them selected to be part of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme that launched on 14 July 2018. The programme aims to create a global network of civic changemakers – and Kehinde and Taiwo have been handpicked to help kickstart its arrival in Africa.
“We started Stutern after we had completed our Master’s Degrees in the UK,” says Ayanleye. “When we came back to Nigeria, we were overwhelmed by the increasingly high level of unemployment in our home country. Around 3.6 million young people join the labor force every year, and only 400,000 applicants eventually land a job. That means millions of people remain unemployed. We knew that our acquired skill set could tackle this problem and make a difference.”
The twin brothers spent their time developing Stutern as an accessible platform to connect the right talent to the right employers. This made sense as many young Nigerians were seeking an opportunity to build their careers.
“Our platform has been extremely successful in attracting talent and connecting people to jobs,” says Taiwo. “Over the past months, we’ve had a 96% placement rate for the talent that we sign-up; when we started our placement rate was only 40%. It’s been a long journey, and there’s still so much more to do, but we’re seeing more and more youngsters signing up and finding work. It is remarkably gratifying.”
The brothers are focused on creating a business that will have a long-term impact that extends beyond the borders of Nigeria. “We’re looking to provide more jobs and help more people build skills so we can transform our country and our economy,” says Ayanleye. “Our participation in the Obama Foundation may allow us to move forward with a deeper level of support and make a difference to the very real problem of youth unemployment that faces Nigeria, and countries beyond our borders.”