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May 2013
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:47

New Vodafone/Accenture Study Names Souktel One of Six Market-Changing Innovations

A new report by Vodafone and Accenture on mobile tech and labor markets has cited Souktel as “an innovative example of [job-finding technology] in action”–something that will change the face of developing-world labor markets in the next five to ten years.

Hailing the service’s “simple, easy to use” format, the report predicts that mobile job-find models like Souktel’s have the potential to reach 49 million subscribers and improve livelihoods by over $5.6 billion US dollars by 2020. Beyond providing a lower-cost, faster option for workers in emerging markets to find employment, this type of service can also help employers screen for talent–and hone in on ideal candidates from a wider pool of applicants. “Finding candidates who meet our skill set requirements can be a challenge,” explains Erin Ferguson Ormond of G4S, a global security firm with over 620,000 employees, many of them in Africa. “A simple screening process to find the best people would save time and money,” she notes in the report.

For Souktel, seeing its model named as one of six leading solutions for Asian and African labor markets is a key milestone. “We’re honored to be profiled as a best practice in this report,” says CEO Jacob Korenblum. “We see it as important validation of the work we’ve been doing in this sector over the past seven years. The forecast that services such as JobMatch are key growth drivers for the jobs sector is very encouraging, and we look forward to helping achieve that growth.”

At MIT Summit, Souktel CEO Speaks on Role of Mobile Technology in Combatting Unemployment

Each May, MIT’s Legatum Center hosts a conference focused on entrepreneurship in the developing world; this year, talk turned quickly to technology–and in particular, the role that mobile tech can play in boosting emerging market growth. With speakers ranging from Chris Locke, Managing Director of the GSMA Mobile for Development Fund, to Sheikha Hanadi Nasser Bin Khaled al-Thani, the Middle East’s Woman CEO of the Year in 2006, the fast-paced summit touched on everything from youth unemployment in the Arab World to venture capital in Africa–with mobile phones as a common thread that unites these regions. Souktel CEO Jacob Korenblum joined the conversation, drawing on the Palestine-based venture’s own experiences.

In her keynote remarks, H.E. Sheikha Hanadi stressed that, in the Middle East/North Africa region, the drive among youth to start new businesses often comes from “a necessity to survive”: Steady employment can be tough to find, especially with a booming population, fierce competition and lack of career guidance in schools. As a result, recent grads have begun to create their own start-up ventures instead. For this reason, said Hanadi, it’s crucial to support Arab youth by promoting entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, few resources are available to do so.

That’s where mobile technology comes in: As Souktel’s Korenblum conveyed to the audience, the low cost and widespread availability of cell phones mean that even in countries with poor web penetration, or limited financial resources, young workers can still find jobs reliably. In Palestine, where job-seekers often face mobility restrictions–but also in markets across Asia and the Americas–“cell phones are the great leveler,” he explained. “As long as you have a basic handset, you can send and receive text messages. That gives you an instant way to promote your skills and find out about work. No iPhone required”.



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