A Tale of 2 Applications to the TEF programme
As an undergraduate of the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, Aaron Ejeme worked as a freelance digital marketing specialist, servicing clients from around Nigeria. Aaron took his skill a step further by subscribing to Global online platforms that helps freelancers get jobs but his experience on these platforms left a bitter taste. The stereotype of been an African made him get no jobs on these platforms and this he says made him realize that several millions of freelancers across Africa are facing this same challenge.
In 2016, Aaron decided to create a solution to solve the challenge of freelancers across Africa, but to do this he needed funding and training and hope he says came for him when he heard about the TEF programme “I first heard about TEF around January 2016 when I watched Mr. Tony Elumelu on the CNN Money show on CNN with Richard Quest. And I Instantly signed up”. But with limited information and no clear picture about his Idea, Target Market, Market Size, the Problem i was planning to Solve, My Break-even revenue and Break-even Volume, Aaron was not selected on the TEF programme for 2016.
As an entrepreneur, this setback rather than dampen his ambition, spurred him to make more enquiries about his idea and better refine his idea. In 2017 with a much more knowledge about his business, Aaron applied for the TEF programme for the 2nd time “I had a better Picture of what I wanted to do. I reapplied and got the Famous mail from Mr Tony Elumelu himself, and he called me “ Fellow ENTREPRENEUR!!”
With his selection came the birth of Sourcegig, an online Marketplace that helps Startups and SME’s find and hire the best graphic designers in Africa. Sourcegig’ believe in the philosophy of Africapitalism helps it to focus on Africa based – Freelance Designers who are selected after going through a skills verification test.
With an operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Sourcegig is helping small businesses cater for their design and creative needs and has since launched its Public Beta Phase, which is currently been used by over 500 users, over 350 verified Freelancers, over 50 Jobs completed and about 2,000 USD in revenue in the Last 6 months.
This Aaron says would not have been possible but through his participation in the TEF programme. “ The 12 weeks training was an eye opener from Refining my Idea, Understanding the Problem ( do people really need your solution?), Calculating My market size, Building an MVP and Offering VAlue to my customers. I have kept each page of the 12 weeks programme and I regularly consult my notes to apply the learnings from the programme in the way I run my business daily. The funding from TEF helped us purchase online tools, build a stronger Team and helped us reach out to customers via online adverts.
Beyond the current challenges (expensive/unreliable internet data to high cost of online infrastructure and the low level of trust involved in patronising online business) Aaron and his operating team of 5 are innovating by expanding their platform to include a network of young people – “design evangelists” and also create mobile applications which will help clients make realtime requests to the proposed 5000 verified designers from across Africa.
With several awards and recognition like British Council Business Acceleration Bootcamp Abuja 2018 Class , AYADA Labs program all coming since his participation on the TEF programme, Aaron is thankful for not giving up after his first application.
For Aaron and his team, this is just the start of a journey of impact. You can signup as an Employer and post your job request www.sourcegig.com, or a Call or Whatsapp message +2348136035368.