Edutech social venture creating innovative programs to improve learning outcomes and prepare young students for the future of work.
Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.
Initiative's representative name
Initiative's representative date of birth
April 18, 1997
Initiative’s representative gender
Which eligible market are you based in?
Where are you making a difference?
Liberia, Montserrado, Paynesville
Website or social media url(s)
LinkedIn: TRIBE Liberia
Facebook: TRIBE Liberia
When was your organisation founded?
Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
Creating digital tools
Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed
Wainright Acquoi and James Kollie are big believers that young people can create a sustained impact if they are empowered. In 2016, the co-founders both attended a one-week intensive convening of young politicians and youth activists who are passionate about supporting good governance, policy advocacy and mobilizing communities towards government's accountability to the citizens. The co-founders connected and shared a mutual interest through conversations and built a friendship that led to several discussions and meetings. They both shared many frustrations and discouragement of the Liberian education system and entrepreneurial ecosystem and the limitations of opportunities for young people. Out of this conversation, TRIBE was born.
2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?
It is estimated that over 80% of Liberian youth are informally employed while a further 10% are irregularly employed with earnings below minimum wage. Education plays a crucial role in preparing the workforce of a country. Since the end of Liberia's civil war in 2003, education access has gradually expanded. However, the quality of education has not adequately equipped youth with relevant skills, resources, and opportunity to attain quality jobs
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
TRIBE is a social enterprise and edutech incubator inspiring and empowering a new generation of young Liberian leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators through our proprietary research and technology solutions designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of enterprises across Liberia. We are the first Liberian youth-led social venture to use research and technology tools to create innovative educational programs to improve learning outcomes and prepare high school students for the future of work.
We believe that knowledge is power, and power influences change and outcomes. We articulate our Theory of Change in a simple equation: Insights + Innovation = Improved Outcomes. TRIBE thematic focus include:
1. Research: Data is our currency! We utilize a learning-first and data-based approach to understand the social issues, and leverage the insights to create our programs and solutions.
2. Edutech & Entrepreneurial Leadership: We are advocates for the future of work! We design contemporary curriculum and create innovative programs that bridge the skill gap and prepare young Liberian students for the future of jobs.
3. Media: Media is power, entertainment is a tool to engage
4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?
Our current "Map the System" research program is assessing youth unemployment across Liberia. We are identifying current skill gaps and limitations on access to opportunities and resources. Our research will contribute to the system in the following ways:
- Identify the linkage between youth unemployment and the skills with which schools equip their students.
- Come up with on-the-ground data and information about the gap between schools’ curricula framework and student career success.
- Provide policy and program recommendations to policymakers, education planners, and curriculum developers about facets that need to be integrated into education planning.
- Inform TRIBE's program designs to address the challenges and root causes.
5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?
In response to this workforce crisis, TRIBE seeks to create innovative programs to prepare young Liberian high school students for the uncertain future of work through research & data and edutech & entrepreneurial development. As part of our edutech & entrepreneurial leadership theme, we are launching an intensive five-week Digital Learning and Career Development Bootcamp to develop students' soft & hard skills, entrepreneurial and social capital. Specifically, we will be facilitating students to develop skills in digital literacy, research, problem-solving and critical thinking, team-building and networking, as well as participating in master courses, internships, career development and real-world projects. In September 2020, we are launching RE-Novate - a national high school program to develop students cognitive, socio-economic, and behavioral skills and abilities.
5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress
TRIBE seeks to equip young Liberian and African students with skills in three major areas: 1) cognition; 2) socio-emotions; and 3) behavior or practice. Specifically, we will focus on teaching critical thinking, problem-solving, research, data for decision-making, design thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship, financial and media literacy, collaboration and team building, storytelling. We will measure progress according to students' ability to
1. use all digital tools they'll be taught;
2. apply all skills to daily activities;
3. expand their social capital and obtain further opportunities
7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
The existing social ventures engaged into workforce development are mostly focused on youth and students in universities and beyond. Unfortunately, there is a large cohort of young people who do not obtain relevant skills and tools while in high school, leaving them vulnerable and unfit for these programs, academic and career opportunities. We design our programs for high schools.
We are the first Liberian youth-led social venture using research and technology tools to create innovative educational programs to improve learning outcomes and prepare high school students for the future of work
8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
During the initial months of operations, TRIBE partnered with or raised funds from several institutions across Liberia to organize training for young entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders on social entrepreneurship, business model development, marketing, fundraising, and pitching. These institutions included the US Embassy in Liberia, SMART Liberia, Liberia Intellectual Property Office, Green Liberia, and Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH). TRIBE held about seven entrepreneurship programs and certified about 200 young people.
Since our re-branding in 2019, the institution has launched a youth unemployment and skills gap research program to investigate schools' curricula framework for students. Our team is designing an annual summer digital learning and career development Bootcamp, and will subsequently launch a national high school edutech and entrepreneurship program.
9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?
1. Funding: we have designed a compelling fundraising strategy and are working to diversify our funding sources in addition to the minimum fee payment by participants for our programs.
2. Recruitment & Payment: We have identified individuals who are willing to pay the participation fees for students who cannot afford.
3. Partnerships: we are leveraging partnerships with institutions within the industry to leverage on resources, experiences and funding.
4. Consultancy: TRIBE consists of a team of highly skilled and experienced individuals with a variety of skill sets. We utilize these skills to consult for other local enterprises across Liberia and beyond. A certain percentage goes towards the overall organizational or program cost.
TRIBE has a team of 10 highly skilled, experienced young professionals across Liberia, USA, and South Africa, along with a team of advisors in these countries and the UK. The team's skill set and roles range from practical research, data and business analytics, project and program management, financial management, partnership, networking, fundraising, technology, innovation and curriculum development. Additionally, we are partnering with industry experts to design and deliver our programs.
Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)
If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?
I believe being from a lower socioeconomic class for me means that my only chance of becoming successful is to work harder than everyone else in the room. I do not have family savings or available opportunities to fall back on in case I failed. With this in mind, I do not settle for less, and I strive to always be above average, by continually learning and improving myself and delivering the best in my work. It is a challenging and scary position to thrive, but the reward of extra hard work pays
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