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Jumia creates jobs for young entrepreneurs

Alex Isooba, one of the beneficiaries of the JForce program.

Kampala, Uganda | Julius Businge | As coronavirus restrictions continue to bite the economy, e-commerce firm, Jumia, is creating job opportunities for the youth to make money and transform their lives on its platform.

Since 2018, the company came up with Uganda’s JForce program. The program is Jumia’s pioneer sales consultants program which aims at empowering and enriching entrepreneurs to earn money with the support of an established brand.

JForce agents place orders on behalf of customers on the Jumia e-commerce platform and are able to make a commission with each sale.

“We started the JForce program to give opportunity to young people across the country to tap into their entrepreneurial skills without the need to have job experience or capital,” Sam Kulubya, the head of JForce in Uganda said on Feb.17 in a notice.

The programme started in 2018 and several youths have so far benefited from it.

“We have seen young entrepreneurs earn upwards of two million shillings a month from the program,” he said.

Alex Isooba is one of the beneficiaries. Isooba said: “I joined the JForce program in 2018 after seeing an ad on social media. I started off earning less than Shs 100,000 but the more I kept at it, the more I earned especially during busy campaigns where I made up to Shs 2 million in sales…and I have been able to set up a shop in my hometown as well as start building a home with my earnings.”

Out of the agents in the program, over 80% are youth below 30 years of age who have made earnings from their commission, according to Samantha Abaho, the public relations manager for Jumia Uganda.

For one to join the programme, Abaho told The Independent, they have to sign up via the platform’s website, train with Jumia team and thereafter, one starts making sales.

According to Jumia data, it is estimated that by 2025, over five million jobs will be created across Africa as a result of online marketplaces across the continent.

E-commerce is rapidly growing in Uganda with Uganda projected to become the second largest online market in the East African region after Kenya.

Ugandans are also increasingly migrating online, with the number of internet users increasing by 2% in 2019 to reach an impressive 23 million, 38% of the total population according to figures by the Uganda Communications Commission.

For now, Samantha said, they are expanding the programme upcountry by recruiting agents and training them in the markets of Jinja, Mukono, Iganga, Fort Portal and Gulu.

According to government data, youth unemployment in Uganda stands at 2.9% compared t its East African Community peers in Kenya at 7.2%, Tanzania 3.6% and Rwanda 17%.

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