Boston startup building a new way to work in West Africa
Ajuma Technologies, Ltd. has announced their plans to launch in early 2021. Ajuma Technologies is reinventing how West Africans work by putting small businesses and self-employed workers at the center of the experience. Their mobile app, Ajuma, is a platform that combines a service marketplace and a business management/booking platform into a single app. It was built specifically with West Africa's numerous small businesses and freelancers in mind.
The interface is similar to a hybrid of QuickBooks and TaskRabbit. When someone needs a service, they can create a post on the Ajuma marketplace. Local businesses in that category are notified and can bid on the job. When a customer receives a bid, they can review the provider's profile and accept whichever quote they prefer. A contract is created and payment is held by Ajuma until both parties agree that the job is complete. Once finished, the service provider has access to their funds via the Ajuma mobile wallet or Mobile Money.
The app will allow users to track their income and expenses, get business reviews, create invoices, accept payments, and spend their money on virtual debit cards. "West Africa has about an 80% self-employment rate and very mobile-focused economies. There is no question that West Africa is ready for a revolution in the way people work," said Daniel Heinen, co-founder of Ajuma Technologies.
The company has bigger plans than just a mobile app. Sydney Vandyck, co-founder, said: "This company is geared towards making a difference in the lives of people of colour. When it comes to Africa, the continent has been disenfranchised for far too long."