Chris Kwekowe, a computer science graduate from Lagos, Nigeria, created a tech incubator start-up aimed at helping fellow Nigerians enter the digital and general workplace. In a profile done on Kwekowe’s Slatecube business, the young entrepreneur retold a story of when he turned down a job from Microsoft and actually told the company’s founder later.
Kwekowe had good reason to reject such a good offer: He was building a startup called Slatecube to help other young Nigerians find jobs. A January 2016 survey of 90,000 people in Nigeria found that 45 percent of graduates were unemployed. Research has found a key reason that employers often reject graduates is a lack of professional skills —critical thinking, entrepreneurship, decision-making—that Slatecube nurtures through digital internships.
A computer science graduate from Lagos, Kwekowe founded Slatecube with his brother Emerald, 20, in October 2014. The pair funded their efforts by freelancing as web designers and running a software solutions firm.
As the publication notes, Slatecube approaches prospective signees with a coursework program, many of which are free. The job focuses range from finance to anger management and of course many jobs in the tech space. After completing courses, the students are assigned virtual internships and work for large companies from around the world. If the internship works for all parties, Slatecube graduates are considered for jobs.
Kwekowe, 23, has been something of a big deal in his country. Last year, he won the Anzisha Prize, an award for Africa’s top young entrepreneur. Kwekowe won $25,000 in snagging the prize and is now looking for people to invest into Slatecube.