Phase 1 of Ajira Digital mentorship program is creating online entrepreneurs across the country

The mentorship program for the over 7000 new online workers trained in June and early July 2017 continues to create online work entrepreneurs in Kenya; contributing  to alleviation of unemployment among the youth. To ascertain the progress made towards the project attaining the set outcome, KEPSA initiated a tracer survey to a random sample of 807 trainees who have successfully transitioned into mentorship.

Arising from the survey, while a majority of the mentees did not have prior experience in online work, it is evident that the project is impacting positively on the lives of the youth going through the program with regards to the newbies transitioning to online work as evidenced by 75% being able to successfully sign up on the different online platforms and have their profile accounts approved during mentorship. According to the sampled survey results, of the 67% who have started bidding on online work platform, 49 % have won bids and started earning from online work. The earnings made from the individual won bids ranged between $10 to $ 320, while the cumulative earnings reported by the mentees earning from the different online work platforms during the one month mentorship has surpassed $100,000; all being positive outcome of the Program as evidenced by the success stories from the Program beneficiaries outlined below. However, the gender disparity in technology uptake seems conspicuous as substantiated by 29% female and 71% male undergoing mentorship.

The most popular online work platforms among the mentees are Guru.com, Upwork.com, Fiverr, Iwriter.com, Gotranscript.com and Freelancer.com. Data entry and article writing online jobs have taken lead in earnings made; closely followed by transcription.

Ajira Digital Phase I Program Beneficiaries Sampled Success Stories.

ajira

Esther Maina attended week three of the Ajira Digital Training for the inexperienced online workers at Kenyatta University, Mombasa campus training centre. Esther narrates her online work journey in her own words, ‘When opportunity comes your way, you have to make full use of it and that’s what I did when I heard of Ajira Digital. I decided to join and I was lucky to be among those who were enrolled.

I therefore attended the training for one week. It is during that week that I was able to gain all the needed skills and knowledge to start and do online work. By the time I completed the training, I was confident I could do online work. I therefore registered in various platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, Iwriter, Go transcript, and transcribe me among others. I created my profile and afterwards, I started to look for online work and bid in various jobs.

I was finally able to win a bid in gotranscript.com in which the client paid 4.50 dollars per minute in the 45 minutes transcription job. I used a transcription tool, Express Scribe, which was introduced to me during the training and I was able to complete the work and meet the expectation of my client. As a result, I was able to get about Kes 20,250 on my first job.

My other job is Data entry in freelancer.com. The pay is 18 dollars per hour and am about to complete it as I await my payment. All my payments are made through PayPal. I cannot deny that being a freelancer has been of great help to me; I now believe I can comfortably pay my university fees without any stress; all thanks to Ajira. In addition, through online work, I am now able to help my mother with the household expenses and buy her medication on time.

My name is Laban Maloi. I am a 22yr old graduate with a Bachelor in Communications and Media from Laikipia University. I work as a presenter in a local radio station, and at the same time I freelance as a Graphics and Web Designer. As a young professional who is struggling to find his space in the cut throat business word, money is always tight. Therefore I always desire to work harder to secure a good income and a comfortable life for myself and family, but unfortunately the opportunities are limited.

Laban

I bumped on the Ajira Digital Program advert on social media, and I decided to look more into it. Previously I had opened an online account under Upwork however it was dormant, so I chose to apply for the training because I saw it as a platform to gain necessary skills to revive my account as well as expand income generation openings.

Through the training, I was furnished with information about other online platforms, financial management which is particularly important for me because I have always struggled with wise spending. The guest speakers were also very good as they were able to take us through real life experiences of an online worker and providing tips on how to manage challenges. During training I created a Guru account, immediately I spotted a job on web design. The employer, a hotelier from India, provided a link to a sample website that he desired. Upon reviewing the site I believed I had the muscles for the work.

I bid for the job and in 6 hrs through email the client asked for work samples. Later on he asked for a presentation on how I would set up the website. He was captivated by my work concepts, we agreed on him paying a down payment of 50 dollars for hosting and the domain and a one-time payment of 800 dollars after completing the project. This is a very good start for me and I am currently contemplating on going full time on online work.

Online work is good because most clients prefer working with individuals rather than companies which is a good way to start up as an entrepreneur. For anyone who wants to join online work, I wish to advise them that nothing comes on a silver plate, they must be persistent, continue learning, link up with mentors and success will be at hand”.

Ajira Digital program has gained tremendous popularity with training requests from new online workers streaming in; and this is valid proof that the future works online.