“Small Businesses Matter”: Sparkle for Business Launches to Power Nigeria’s SMEs

Sparkle Business

Fact checks. Do you know that in Nigeria, SMEs contribute 48% to the National GDP? They also account for 96% of businesses in the country, as well 84% of employment. You would think with these numbers we would have more small businesses thriving, but the reverse (sigh) is the case.

Apart from lacking access to basic services that will help their businesses grow, Small businesses are also challenged with making strategic decisions due to a lack of data for key insights into important issues that affect their business. Stuff like keeping records of your goods and services, managing your payroll and the people who work for you, making payments, and staying tax compliant are all things we need to stay on top of.

Now imagine having a platform that helps you store necessary business data, calculate the necessary payments, invoices, taxes, and provides you information and insights at your fingertips? Using technology and data, this is designed so you can make better-informed decisions on how you can create great customer experiences, motivate your team, and manage and optimize your stock of products or services.

We know these things matter to you, so let us tell you about Sparkle and their recently launched digital business management solution called Sparkle Business. Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sparkle MFB is a digital bank, a lifestyle and financial ecosystem providing seamless solutions to individuals and SMEs by leveraging on technology and data. Sparkle is founded upon the values of trust, transparency, freedom, inclusivity, simplicity, and personalization. Sparkle is also deliberately focused on female-owned businesses and how Sparkle Business can provide necessary solutions for them to scale.

Sparkle Business is way more than your regular business account. With small businesses in mind, now you can easily manage tasks like payroll management, tax management, inventory and invoicing, customer management, and much more, all taking place in the Sparkle app.

So, what does this mean for you as a small business owner? You can know and manage all your customers. Avoid miscounts and stock loss. File tax deductions for your business and staff at the click of a button. Send invoices from the comfort of the Sparkle app, with the freedom to do much more.

Interested like we are? Click IOS or Android to download the Sparkle app with the Sparkle Business update. Do not forget to share your experience with Sparkle Business with us and other small business owners. When you win, we all win. Keep leading!

 

The Winning Resume By Veronica Alfred

Writing a resume can be frustrating, especially when there are a zillion contradicting opinions about what works and doesn’t work. I recently figured why it was tough to write a resume by testing out resume types and personally applying to some companies. This gave me a huge opportunity to measure, analyze, and test the effectiveness of different resume types.

In this article, I’ll share what I have learned as well as provide some valuable tips on the best ways to write a winning resume.

Over the years, I have read various “how to write a resume” blogs, attended several employability workshops and I realized that most of the advice out there has not been proven against the actual end goal of getting a job. It’s easy to say “one page works best” when you’ve seen it happen a few times, but how does this hold up when we look at 100 theories against resumes from different industries, experience levels, and job titles.

Based on my research, here’s what works and what doesn’t work:

  • Quantitative Results/Achievements 

Most resumes lack them. The goal is to give the recruiter a solid reason to not only look over the full resume but also move you through to the next stage of the interview process. Many of us tend to flood our resumes with a list of job responsibilities/duties forgetting that the recruiter knows what you should have been doing every day on the job. Think about it, the reason for a role is to meet a need, your resume should speak to your knowledge of the need and how you have tackled these challenges successfully. This has been tried and tested by yours truly and I must say, the invitations came within hours of applying. 

Here’s an example:
Executed in-house marketing strategy that resulted in a 15% increase in monthly leads along with a 5% drop in the cost per lead
  • Simple Design

These days, it’s easy to get carried away with our mission to “stand out.” I’ve seen colourful Canva resumes from graphic designers, video resumes, and even resumes with images of candidates in very unprofessional outfits. While those can work in very specific situations, we want to aim for a strategy that consistently gets results. The format I saw the most success with was a black and white template with sections in this format:

Professional Summary/Objective
Skills/Interests Education Experience- focus on achievements) References (Available on request)

According to research, hiring managers scan resumes for an average of 6 seconds. If your resume is in an unfamiliar format, those 6 seconds won’t be very comfortable for the hiring manager. Our brains prefer things we can easily recognize and digest so you want to make sure that a hiring manager can get the full scope just by glancing at your resume.

  • Short and Concise Resume 

As times change, processes change too. Back in the day, we had 3-4 pages of resumes to prove that we had been successful or good enough for a role. We would even go as far as including volunteer, industrial attachments, and summer jobs just to make our resumes lengthy. Today it is the opposite with the introduction of ATS software and focus being on accomplishments and not job duties. As much as possible, you want to make your CV short, simple, straight to the point, and specific to the role you are applying for. 

Here’s what did not work:

  • Grammatical Issues (typos, spelling errors, & grammatical mistakes)  

In my research and years of reviewing resumes, I found that close to 60% of resumes have some sort of typo or grammatical issue. Have your resume reviewed on three separate occasions – by spell-checking software, like Grammarly, by a friend and by a professional. Spell check should be covered if you’re using Microsoft Word or Google Docs to create your resume.

  • Lengthy Resumes 

As earlier stated, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing your resume and if it’s more than one or two pages, it probably isn’t going to be read. Increase your margins, decrease your font, and cut down your experience to highlight the most relevant pieces for the role. When you’re dealing with recruiters who see hundreds of resumes every day, you want to make their lives as easy as possible.

  • Buzzwords 

It is important to not use too many buzzwords. Yes, you’re a hard-working innovator with excellent communication skills but so is nearly every job applicant you’re competing with – at least according to their resumes. Instead of using buzzwords, write naturally, use bullets, and include quantitative results whenever possible. Think about it, would you rather hire a salesperson who “is responsible for driving new business across various sectors to help companies achieve their goals” or “drove $15M of new business last quarter, including the largest deal in company history”? 

An example:
‘Creative,’ ‘outside the box,’ ‘innovative’

What you think it says: “I come up with good, new ideas.”

“If you could think ‘outside the box,’ you’d be able to phrase it less blandly,” Scherwin says. These trite descriptors can undermine your case if you don’t back them up with specifics.

In addition to the above, I have also found that resumes with a link to a comprehensive LinkedIn profile have a 71% better chance of hearing back, 76% of resumes are discarded for an unprofessional email address. Resumes with a photo have an 88% rejection rate. 58% of resumes have typos. Applicant tracking software typically eliminates 75% of resumes due to a lack of keywords and phrases being present.

Now that you know every mistake you need to avoid, the first item on your to-do list is to comb through your current resume and make sure it doesn’t violate anything mentioned above. This experiment led me to understand that If you don’t know what consistently works, you can’t lay out a system to get there.

2 EASY WAYS TO MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT MISS YOUR SHE MEANS BUSINESS TRAINING

So… you register for She Means Business– all pumped and ready to learn how to dominate the online business world. You are looking forward to your training and all the amazing online business knowledge you KNOW you are going to leave the class with.

But then two days later you get an email saying you were absent from your training…yesterday. You had totally forgotten. Believe it or not, it happens to the best of us.

This article is going to show you two easy ways to make sure you do not forget to attend your She Means Business training. We want to see your awesome business grow and we are willing to do what it takes to make sure you get the knowledge you need.

OPTION 1- Add the event to your calendar.

  • Once you register for any of the sessions, you will get a confirmation email in your primary inbox. It looks like the image below. Please open it.

  • Scroll down a bit and tap on the calendar option of your choice and it will automatically take you to that calendar.

  • It will ask you to give Zoom permission to access your calendar. If you are fine with the terms, agree and your calendar will be displayed. Tap on “Save” and the session will be added to your calendar automatically.

  • On the day of the training, you will get a calendar reminder with a link to your session. Click on the link and voila, your training will begin!

OPTION 2- Join a WhatsApp Reminder Group

  • When you open the confirmation email above, scroll down a bit till you see what is in the image below. Tap on any of the blue links to join a reminder group.

  • Interaction is limited to admins on the group, so do not worry, you won’t get spammed. The only messages you will get will be session reminders.

If you want to make super super sure that you do not forget, you can try both options. This way, you will get a reminder via the WhatsApp Group and also through your calendar.

We can’t wait for you to gain the knowledge you need to run your online business like a pro so that you can strut into places like this:


What is She Means Business?

She Means Business in partnership with Facebook offers digital skills training and business finance sessions for entrepreneurs to learn how to effectively grow their business online and share strategies for success. 

Here is what you can expect from She Means Business-

  • Practical courses on how to use Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp to make more money for your business.
  • Business finance training to help you stay financially healthy.
  • A certificate to show you have successfully mastered the digital marketing skills from the training. (If you can score 80% or higher on our course quizzes😏)

You definitely do not want to miss out on this opportunity! Tap here to register today.

     

    Budgeting Tips for the 2021 Bride (Nice-to-Have and Must-Have)

    Are you overburdened with all the bills with no one to help you out? Or, are you worried about a long to-do list with numerous ‘advisers’ but no help in sight?

    This is one time to pause and breathe! Yes, Breathe in…Breathe out… 

    Now that you’ve taken a breath, here’s what to do to get control of your wedding expenses three months before your wedding:

    1. Make two lists; a Must-Have List and a Nice-to-Have List. Grab your fiancé to do this with you. 

    Your Must-Have list contains things you know you need to make the wedding the most successful to you.
    Your Nice-to-have list is for anything else that will be good to have but does not determine your wedding’s success or your happiness. Let’s not deceive ourselves, not everything is a must-have so be true to yourselves as a couple and make that clear from the beginning.

    ​2. Review your Must-Have list and put a timeframe to each item with the corresponding cost. Thankfully, I have created a wonderful Wedding Budget Template to help.

    ​3. Make notes of when the next stream of income will come and plan for it. If you earn monthly, plan ahead on how much of it goes into your wedding.

    ​4. According to priority, review your Nice-to-Have list and add the maximum you can spend on each item.

    5. When money comes in, check off something on your Must-Have List. Repeat until everything is checked off.

    ​6. Use extra income to start checking things off your Nice-to-Have list, in order of priority.

    7. When help is offered, as long as you have items on your Must-Have list, channel all help to this list first before anything else.

    ​8. Repeat as often as required. In my line of business, I’ve realised that the smartest brides are those who always stay on top of their finances.

    Remember, the whole essence of this is for you to take one day at a time. There is no need getting so frustrated about what isn’t available or living beyond you. 

    You’re on your own budget! #NoComparison.

    Always remember, you’re not alone and I’m always here to help.

    How to Spot and Manage Employee Personalities

    We all say that we want to be leaders but many times we forget that to be a successful manager, you must learn to adapt your leadership style to suit different types of employee personalities.

    Employees have a range of behaviours ranging from normal to extreme. When confronted with these different personalities, managers sometimes aren’t quite sure how to manage this. In this article, we look at seven types of employee personalities and how best to manage them. 

    The Employee Personalities

    The Slackers

    They can be found lingering in the break room, openly surfing the net, or parked in someone’s cubicle for a lengthy chat (which proves that slacking off can be contagious). They may find legitimate reasons to leave the office, then take time to run lengthy errands. This personality may be as a result of an under-developed work ethic and lack of good role models or they don’t just like their jobs so have trouble bringing any energy to it. 

    The Space Cadets

    These employee personalities frequently seem to be lost, thinking of something else except the subject matter. They make seemingly off-the-wall comments in meetings and may start discussions in the middle of a thought. They may come up with ideas that, at least on the surface, seem rather impractical. They are usually abstract thinkers who are more focused on the future than the present. 

    The Power Takers

    These employees tend to get into power struggles with their bosses. They often act like they’re managing you, instead of the other way around. These employee personalities would naturally take over a meeting or quickly step into the lead role on a project, brag about their accomplishments, so titles, perks, and public recognition are important to them. A strong fear of failure often lies behind this bravado.

    The Loners

    They are quite easy to spot. Look out for those who prefer to spend the day working on the computer and talking to no one in a little corner they carved out for themselves. They never want to attend conferences, meetings or workshops, because they look for any excuse to duck out. They don’t dislike people – they just don’t find social interaction to be a very enjoyable activity.

    The Drama Queens (or Kings)

    The dramatic ones thrive on excitement and attention, so spotting them is easy. A calm, peaceful workday is just not very rewarding, so they try to spice things up with dramatic pronouncements, juicy gossip, ominous rumors, personal traumas, or emotional breakdowns. When talking with others, they are expressive and animated. More subdued coworkers find the dramatic employees exhausting and try to avoid them. They thrive on emotional stimulation, regardless of whether the emotions are positive or negative.

    The Challengers

    Challengers are programmed to be oppositional. When presented with a proposal, suggestion, directive, or idea, they automatically point out flaws, obstacles, and potential problems. In fact, they enjoy challenging management, because they feel it establishes their independence. They resent authority and never show respect just because the person has a title. Their focus is on winning arguments, not resolving the problem. Challengers have a high need for control. 

    The Clingers

    The major quality of people with this personality is dependence. They like clear instructions, ongoing communication, and frequent positive reinforcement. Uncomfortable making independent decisions, because they are afraid of doing the wrong thing. Clingers are reluctant to express disagreement because they fear making others angry and losing their support. As a result, they sometimes withhold their opinions or harbor resentments that they never express. The Clinger’s main need is to feel safe.

    Management Techniques

    Management may differ for each personality but here’s a brief summary of tips that may aid in effectively managing employees that fall in these categories listed above:

    • Clearly define expectations in terms of results that must be accomplished.
    • Help the employee break down large projects into smaller implementation steps.
    • Set regular times for feedback and follow-up to ensure that work is on track.
    • Explain why more mundane or tedious tasks are important.
    • Provide regular feedback to encourage more concise verbal and written communications. 
    • Stress the importance of each team member to the overall organizational success.
    • Take time to understand individual ideas, as sometimes they often have benefits that are not immediately apparent.
    • Provide opportunities to be creative.

    It is important to note that in any organization or sector, asides from identifying the multiple personalities within you must first define the culture and type of leadership as a step to effectively manage for success. To be categorized as a Great leader, you must actively listen, build rapport, ask questions and give constructive feedback. Communication and flexibility are key.

    4 Ways To Become A Financially Literate Mogul In 2021

    Every two to four business days, I come across very questionable advice on how to be “financially literate” on the interwebs. I almost want to ask the person giving the “advice” if they believe what they are saying or if it is just vibes. 

    See, not everyone is giving you advice is they have fact-checked, taken time to think through or practice. We have to learn how to filter what we hear about managing our hard-earned money, especially in a Panoramic.

    Financially Literate Woman

    So, in this piece, we’ll be discussing-

    • What it means to be a financially literate mogul.
    • How you can increase your financial literacy without any of the shenanigans online.

    Sign up to get your FREE finance worksheet!

    So, what does it mean to be a financially literate mogul?

    A financially literate mogul has a basic knowledge about managing personal finances and building wealth.

    If this is you, it means you have an understanding of how to

    Now that all this has been listed, reflect on what you understand through PRACTICE and what you need to get better at. 

    Want FREE finance-related content, resources and updates? Click here!

    Here are some No-BS ways to become financially literate.

    Read –

    Books, Magazines, web articles, newsletters, Facebook posts, Tweets, IG posts- read as much as you can about finance from trustworthy sources.

    Read sources that speak about finance in a way that is relatable to you.

    While some sources are very helpful in the advice they offer, the context that they operate in might not provide you with the insight you need. With reading comes fact-checking so Google what you do not understand or need more information on.

    Use Finance Tools And Apps-

    As much as we want to learn, we may not be able to do so all by ourselves. This is where apps and tools come in handy. These days, thankfully, there are apps and tools for almost every aspect of finance- be it saving, budgeting, tracking expenses or investing.

    Some finance apps even have learning centres and blogs to help you stay updated. Find one that incorporates the aspects of finance you want to improve on and commit to using it.

    Take A Financial Literacy Course-

    Sometimes, what we need is a course to help us step up our money game. If you are clueless about where to start on your finance journey or how to stay consistent, consider taking a financial literacy course.

    Find a course that breaks down what you need to know and gives take-home assignments. This will help you practicalize your learning and stay accountable.

    Sometimes, what we need is a course to help us step up our money game. If you are clueless about where to start on your finance journey or how to stay consistent, consider taking a financial literacy course. Click To Tweet

    Join A Community Of Money-Minded Moguls-

    There is nothing as uplifting as being a part of a community of people with similar goals. When you belong to a group that shares your goals and has your best interest at heart, you remain motivated.

    The added accountability and access to resources can also not be underestimated. Find a community or group of friends and become an active member. 

    There is nothing as uplifting as being a part of a community of people with similar goals. When you belong to a group that shares your goals and has your best interest at heart, you remain motivated. Click To Tweet

    Key Takeaway

    Learning about finance takes constant practice. There is always room for improvement so do not beat yourself up about what you haven’t learnt.

    Approach learning about finance with an open but cautious mind and you will be surprised by how much you will grow.

    Join our community of young African women to get FREE finance-related content, resources and updates.

    How to keep your inner child and laugh more

    Happy New Year Everyone. Wishing you a healthy and amazing 2021!

    By now, we’ve all probably written our new year’s resolutions with renewed effort, energy and discipline to ensure we achieve all our goals. Goals such as; (a) losing weight; (b) getting healthy; (c) finding a job or a new job; (d) possibly relocating; (e) meeting the one (*wink wink*), travelling and so on, are usually top of our lists. While all these plans are great and will generally contribute to our mental wellbeing during the year, we should all aim to maintain the child within us. Now, what does this mean? “We should try to laugh more and be happy.” 

    There is a common myth that children laugh about 300 times a day and adults laugh about 20 times a day. While these numbers may not be accurate, the message is clear. As we grow older, we tend to laugh less and take life too seriously. This is mostly because our responsibilities and goals increase, and we are always looking to achieve more in different aspects of our lives. We can, however, try to laugh more while carrying our burdens and hoping for what is to come. 

    “So how can we laugh more?” Well, here are some of my tips:

    1. Be grateful – Take a moment each day to remember all the things we are grateful for. This exercise helps us to remember everything in our lives that is going well, and what we should be grateful for. It also gives us renewed hope and strength that at the end of the day, everything will fall into place.
    1. Watch a funny movie – Funny movies make us laugh, even when we are in the worst of moods. When someone shows us a funny scene or says something hilarious, no matter how much you try to hesitate, you find yourself laughing.
    1. Solo dance parties – Now this is one of my favorites. I love listening to happy music, and dancing alone in my room, car, or the park. Anywhere you feel safe, just dance, let it all out and be happy. 
    1. Talk to people who make you feel safe and happy – We all have that one family member or friend that always leaves us in a better mood every time after we talk to them. Speak to people like these more. 
    1. Exercise – It’s scientifically proven that exercising releases endorphins, which are known as “happy hormones”. These happy hormones interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and triggers a positive feeling all over your body.   
    1. Learn to let things go – Now this is something that I still struggle with but have personally seen the benefits of by taking baby steps. As we go through life, a lot of things will most likely not go our way. When this happens, we should learn to accept it and move on. 
    1. Stay hopeful – Believe that what you want, or need will happen. Have faith that God has answered your prayers and act like it. This programs our brains to believe we have already received all our heart’s desires and in turn, makes us happy. 

    At the end of the day, we all have one life, so let us try to enjoy it and never let go of our inner child. 

    9 Tips On How To Manage Startup Employee Turnover

    There’s a common saying in the business world: “A business is only as good as its people.” This is why a high employee turnover rate, especially for good employees, can be detrimental to a business.

    So what happens when one of your key employees wants to quit? This is not a piece of news any business owner wants to hear but it’s an inevitable part of doing business. I’ve learned that exits are always challenging for teams, their leaders, and for the company as a whole– and costly.

    According to a study published by the Society for Human Resource Management, when an employee leaves, it costs an average of 6-9 months of your former employee’s salary to identify and onboard their replacement. Click To Tweet

    Employee turnover can quickly run up costs ranging into the hundreds of thousands– or more. Talk about a big financial hit.

    According to a study published by the Society for Human Resource Management, when an employee leaves, it costs an average of 6-9 months of your former employee’s salary to identify and onboard their replacement.

    Here’s how you can handle exit/team member’s resigning in the start-up environment:

    Study the employee turnover pattern

    To understand how to stop a wave of departures from happening, you first need to understand why these waves happen in the first place. Are they leaving as a result of wages, minimal growth opportunities or culture?

    In startups, most times whatever is bugging one person is usually bugging the others; they just haven’t told anyone yet (or you missed the signs). Over time, issues build on one another enough to lead people to consider leaving.

    Create a habit of regular pulse check

    Make a continuous habit of checking in with team members. Conduct anonymous surveys using tools that allow for this and regular coffee check-ins to discuss a variety of topics about how you are doing as a leader, things going on in the company, and so on.

    You will be shocked at what people have to say. When you address the issues, you find that you are fixing something that everyone will appreciate. 

    Change your Mindset

    Assume everyone is leaving and interviewing. Don’t set the standard that the only way to get attention is if you fear they’re interviewing. Realise as well that even those that stick around may only be doing it out of necessity.

    Employees could also be staying due to any of the following reasons:

    1. Visa or immigration restrictions
    2. Big life event approaching–wedding, baby, buying a house, etc
    3. The promotion they are hoping for before leaving so they can get a better title and salary elsewhere.

    Accept change 

    When multiple team members are leaving, it’s a sign that change is needed. Accept that this change must start with you and embrace that mindset. If your employees are leaving, it’s a huge signal fire that there are problems to be dealt with.

    Be open to their feedback and the issues they bring up (especially if they’re about things you do) It may be difficult to hear, and the solutions may be difficult to implement, but realise that the situation is dire. 

    Follow-through & take action

    The best way to build trust with employees that might leave or as a whole is to swing into action on the feedback they give you. You may not be able to fix all the problems, but even small, incremental progress can improve morale and decrease employee turnover.

    Make a counteroffer when necessary

    If the employee is extremely valuable to your business, you may consider making a counter-offer depending on the situation (it could be that they have opted for a career change that you cannot accommodate).

    When making a counteroffer, you must consider your budget, do the right market research and compare this with the cost of hiring fresh talent. The good news is that counter-offers are not only about money as they might be leaving for different reasons. So you can get creative and think of ways to solve that person’s problem in a way that helps them to stay with you.

    Fix your processes

    An example of a process could be your onboarding methods. Research shows that new employees are 58% more likely to stay longer at their employer if they had an effective onboarding experience. Make them feel welcomed and accepted as a new team member. Give them everything they need to get off to a fast start. 

    Set clear objectives and expectations 

    Clear objectives and key results (OKRs) on a company-wide level will enable aligned clarity and prioritization throughout the organization. Share long-term product roadmaps, to enable greater visibility (and excitement) about growth trajectory and development plans. This encourages team members to feel like a part of the business development and success story.

    Reform your Human Capital Initiatives

    This involves taking a closer look at the people you are working with. Proactively weeding out low performers and people whose skills/goals were misaligned with the company’s needs/goals plays an important role in reducing future turnover rates. 

    In summary, If you’re working on a huge employee turnover problem, you’re probably under a lot of stress and have a lot on your plate.  The best thing you can do to help yourself and reduce your employee turnover rate is to be attentive to issues within, intentional, and diligent in your communication methods. 



    In reality, all startups are built on change, and change is good. To create something where nothing existed before, growing companies need to experiment, to give new ideas a chance to fuel exponential growth. What this means is that the focus of the business might change often.

    As much as hiring new talent at a startup can bring a new level of skill and expertise, if you aren’t making the most of the talent you have at each stage, it can leave a negative impact on your business.

    2021 Workplace Superpowers – The Musthaves

    If I was asked what my special skills were a year ago, it would definitely differ from now. 2020 came with a twist and remote work forced every one of us to learn how to Do It Yourself (and I don’t mean cooking).

    Here are some of the must-have skills for 2021 that will make you more sellable to recruiters, and an asset in your current workplace.

    The requirements for success in the workplace are changing and what matters most is your ability to adapt to change/trends as they come.- Nneka Alfred, Head of HR, She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

    Hard Skills for the Workplace


    1. Data Analytics: The workplace today requires us to think in data. This requires us to do a bit more research, crunch those numbers, understand raw data and drive business growth based on concrete analysis.

    2. Content Creation: Your ability to produce entertaining or educational material that not only caters to the interests and challenges of a target audience but increases engagement and conversions definitely sets you apart from others in your field.

    The content you produce can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, graphic design and newsletters. 

    3. Marketing: Businesses worldwide need analytical people who understand what sort of tools are available in the growing digital toolbox, and know how to dig in through trusted channels.

    4. Sales: This can pass for both a hard skill and a soft skill as sales involves persuasion, but with a specific commercial end in mind. Your ability to convert leads to revenue would give you a spot in any workplace.

    5. Video production: The average person will watch 25 continuous days of video in 2021. Video content is quickly becoming the dominant form of all communication and companies are fighting to create effective digital video assets.

    6. Product Development: This involves managing the process of developing a product or enhancing existing products in order to meet customer expectations effectively. If you haven’t noticed, times are changing and the direction of products being developed is too. 

    Soft Skills for the Workplace

    1. Creativity: Developing new ideas, applying new solutions to address existing problems.  Some people are naturally creative on their own, but a lot of us need to bounce ideas off others to get the creative juices flowing.

    An ability to learn continuously and willingness to adapt to change is essential to boost your creativity.

    2. Communication skills: Interpreting information through speaking, listening and observing is a must-have skill for 2021. Organizing thoughts and data points into a comprehensive, holistic narrative will get you where you need to be in your career.

    3. Collaboration: Collaboration suffers when roles and goals are not defined. The next time you take on a group project, strike up a conversation about what success looks like, and who’s doing what. This simple act can get everyone rowing together faster and more effectively. 

    The next time you take on a group project, strike up a conversation about what success looks like, and who's doing what.- Nneka Alfred, Head of HR, She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

    4. Adaptability: Manage your mindset. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances starts with a mindset that’s willing to adapt to changing circumstances. If you tend to balk at change, reflect on the reasons why — and then see if you can reframe your perspective to help you see things differently.

    5. Emotional intelligence: Practicing control, knowing when to push, expressing yourself and observation of interpersonal relationships among people in a workplace is very important when working with people.

    6. Leadership: Leadership in the 21st century is much more about influence than authority, learning to appreciate and adapt to people with different perspectives, priorities, and personalities is a key skill to develop.

    Having a difficult time figuring out your superpowers? 

    2021 workplace skills

    Here are three questions you can answer to guide you:

    • What unique contribution do you bring to projects, conversations, and meetings you attend?
    • Why do team members come to you for help?
    • What would be missing if you were to leave your current place of work?

    If you are unable to answer these questions yourself, ask a colleague or friend. If your answers do not reflect the skills listed above, don’t relent or give up. The internet is packed with so much information, take some short courses, seek guidance from a work buddy, mentor or your boss. 

    A superpower isn’t just a skill but a perspective, a mindset and a way of working that enhances everything you touch. The requirements for success in the workplace are changing and what matters most is your ability to adapt to change/trends as they come.

    Ingressive For Good is Impacting the Lives of Women in Tech all over Africa

    Stella Fii had always wanted to learn more about programming and coding, but she never really had the resources and time to take courses. This year, Stella went to visit her brother in Kaduna after writing her JAMB exams and then he told her about Ingressive For Good (I4G), a nonprofit equipping young Africans in need with tech skills to help them impact and contribute to the development of Africa, socially and economically.

    Stella Fii


    She inquired and found out about the I4G Coursera program; Ingressive for Good had partnered with Coursera, the world’s leading online learning platform to offer scholarships to 5000+ African youths in tech to help them develop high-demand skills in technology, personal development, and career development.

    It also provided access to over 4000+ courses and highly sought-after professional certificates like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate from leading universities such as Yale, Michigan, and Stanford, as well as industry leaders such as Google and IBM, designed to train people with no tech background for IT jobs.

    She took courses in programming in less than 2 weeks, she was able to code a landing page from scratch. This skill has not only opened a new earning opportunity for her but has inspired her to pursue a formal tech education and career.

    Another woman, Folashade Fapohunda, worked in a hospital as an accountant but COVID19 cases started to increase and she was at risk. The hospital closed down and she lost her job. She casually picked up an interest in Graphic design. That was when she came across the I4G.

    Folashade enrolled in the Coursera design courses. These courses gave her the confidence she needed to start freelancing and so far, she has had over 3 paying design clients, with payments worth more than her salary as an accountant.

    True to their promise, Ingressive for Good is impacting Africa and the economy.

    Two key indicators of a country’s GDP are the economic power of citizens and the percentage of gainfully employed youth. However, 30% of African youth are unemployed. Ingressive For Good (I4G) is looking to change that with their mission to increase the earning power of African youths through tech training, job placement, and community. 

    In the last 3 months, I4G has aided the training of over 20,000 African youth, built a community of over 17,000 youths, provided tech tools and resources for over 10,000, and placed over 100 in jobs.

    “The I4G community collectively has the strategy, the network, and most importantly, the passion to actually change Africa.” Sean Burrowes, the COO and Cofounder of Ingressive for Good said. “The more our community grows, the less I4G feels like a charitable foundation. It feels more like a Pan-African talent development revolution, powered by Africa’s tech-enabled youth.”

    With collaboration at the heart of Ingressive For Good, is impacting the lives of Africans, one youth at a time. During this pilot phase, I4G partnered with Coursera, Facebook, Datacamp, HNG, SemiColon, Tekedia, CareerBuddy, FindWorka, Live Your Dreams, Covenant University, StudentBuild, Bankole Williams, and so many amazing organizations to reach the Africans in need and provide training, scholarships, job placements. 

    “Ingressive For Good has not only distributed the most licenses of all of DataCamp’s Giveaway Partners so far, but their learners’ adoption and engagement levels on the platform are some of the highest as well. This exemplifies the enormous impact a nonprofit run by caring and talented people can have on communities big and small, local, and abroad.” Nathaniel Taylor-Leach, Community Partnerships Manager at Datacamp, the leading interactive learning platform for data science and analytics.

    “Folashade’s success story is one of many young Africans who have been impacted through one or more of the Ingressive For Good programs. Many have gotten access to courses that were cumulatively worth thousands of dollars for free” – Blessing Abeng, Director of Communications at Ingressive for Good.

    Watch the success story of Christabel Omuboye, another woman in the I4G network and one of the I4G x HNG Internship finalists who received new MacBooks from Ingressive for Good to help her improve their tech skills. She has transformed from selling soap to support herself into a programming whiz ready for a tech career:

    In the last 3 months, I4G has surpassed its pilot goals in tremendous ways. This is the impact so far:

    View the full report here.


    To benefit from other Ingressive For Good Opportunities, join the I4G Network of over 17,000 tech enthusiasts across 55 cities across Africa.

    To join I4G on this mission to increase the earning power of African youths and eradicate poverty from Africa, send an email to hello@ingressive.org and Follow @ingressive4good on social media to stay updated.


    About Ingressive For Good

    Ingressive For Good (I4G) is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and increasing the earning power of African youth through tech training and resources. 

    For more info, partnership, or donation, contact: Blessing Abeng, Director of Communications, Ingressive for Good on communications@ingressive.co

    Find out more about Ingressive For Good here.