Ajumah.com wants to transform how employers hire freelancers in Africa. The site enables employers to find, hire and use mobile payment systems to pay skilled African freelancers. Ajumah enables businesses to post their task or job to thousands of skilled freelancers in Africa to help them get more done while they save time and and prevent overhead administrative cost and permanent hiring cost.
In an interview with Richard Brandt, founder of Ajumah about what they seek to achieve and why it matters, he said:
“Our aim has always been to contribute to Africa’s socio economic growth by creating wealth and jobs locally, and we do this by using software to to solve problems affecting young Africans. We started Ajumah.com because we believe there is a wide pool of quality talent on the African continent and that when given the opportunity and right platform, they can unleash their potential to contribute to its development. So we thought that coming up with Ajumah.com to enable businesses connect, manage and pay these freelancers is a huge step in the process.
We started a few months ago after I reached out to my previous co-workers who were looking for an opportunity to be part of an exciting new startup. They were the perfect team to reach out to as they have the required skills and experience to work on the project, plus they are success junkies that do not take no for an answer.
In starting Ajumah.com, the team and the culture has always been important to us. It has always been about openness and trust. And we believe no amount of money can buy that. Every member of the team has invested in the success of the startup and we have relied mainly on side consulting to offset our startup expenses. Also, we have a strong network of young people across Africa that believe in what we are doing and occasionally offer to help us with tasks that are out of our expertise pro bono.
He further stressed that “finding, managing and paying freelancers is a huge problem in Ghana and other African countries. And that Ajumah seeks to address this problem as it enables businesses to post their task or job to thousands of skilled freelancers in Africa to help them get more done while they save time and prevent overhead administrative and permanent hiring cost.
The company has been bootstrapped from the beginning to date. Richard and his team bootstrapped their way to a successful launch on October 20th, 2014.
“Over the years, we learnt that bootstrapping is less about the lack of money or funding, it is about allocating resources in terms of time, money and effort to where they yield the best returns and that constant learning, validation and iteration yields works best in the process. Everything we do is actually an investment, we test all ideas and we go with the flow and simply get things done. We always fell back on our network for advice and we also rely on our users too to learn about their needs.”
“We also learnt that our best asset was time, so we always found ways to manage our time efficiently. One of the biggest challenges was not allowing consulting work to take too much of our time. We dealt with it by learning to say no and so we rejected any consulting opportunities that would cause problems with our plans no matter the monetary value.” says Richard.
Ajumah has been selected to be a part of the eleventh generation of Start-Up Chile accelerator program, starting in February 2015.
“We are excited about being in the Start-Up Chile accelerator program and we believe that the support and network will help us refine our product and develop our business model further. We believe it is also a good opportunity to expand our network and to explore other markets and opportunities. Bootstrapping abroad, learning new skills, working in a multicultural and collaborative workspace and expanding our network are some of the reasons we are excited about Start-Up Chile.” Richard explained.