InternsME, addressing Youth Unemployment in the Region!
Every week we will be featuring a different MAGNiTT Startup in our newsletter. Week after week, we will be exploring the most noteworthy startups in the MENA region whether in tech, trade, or even lifestyle. We hope that learning about other startups will help you with your own endeavour; our purpose is to help you succeed too. To kick off the series we have reached out to Jean-Michel, the founder of InternsME (check their profile at the following link), and asked him to share his experience with the start-up community. From details on his value proposition to his recommendation for an outstanding "start-up friendly" service provider, discover more on InternsME in this short interview. Soon after discovering InternsME we contacted them and used their services; and we're pretty sure that you will too after reading more about this week's featured start-up of the week.
1. What problem do you solve?
We’re trying to build a solution that addresses the youth unemployment crisis in the region. We think if we do it right we can really change the foundation that’s responsible for region’s ongoing development – starting with our future leaders.
2. Who are you competing with and what makes your solution better?
We don’t exactly have a direct competitor, but career sites like Bayt and LinkedIn, and even recruitment agencies often come up. Our solution is mainly built around the youth and so is our expertise. We’ve built an intuitive platform to allow employers to better relate to them and build an employer brand that attracts the best young talent in the region.
We allow employers to show a different side to themselves, as well as the candidates through features like videos CVs.
3. What were the biggest hurdles you faced early on and how did you overcome them?
Starting at ground zero was the hardest, we were sort of in a chicken and egg scenario. Why would candidates join without great employers and why would employers join without great candidates? We solved this by spending almost all our resources in identifying opportunities that would be appealing to the youth and then we listed all of them at one place for free. Once we had a healthy database of great candidates through our campus activity, university networks, workshops and the free listings, we were in a position to monetize our service.
4. What is your biggest barrier to future success?
Changing the way a lot of local employers think about the youth, they’re one of the regions most undervalued demographic. The idea of traineeships and internships is still in it’s infancy in the Middle East and soon they’ll need to realize that these programs are integral to solving crippling workforce issues like high turnover, lack of loyalty and talent deficiency.
5. What advice would you share with other start-ups?
The start-up scene can be inflated in a lot of ways – recycled content, self-proclaimed gurus and of course, buzzwords. My advice would be to figure out who is worth listening to. Ask a lot of questions, if those people aren’t making a lot of sense, they probably don’t know what they’re doing.
7. Did you discover and use an online tool that is a “must-have” for start-ups?
A frivolous answer would be Product Hunt, the startup’s metatool. Otherwise I’d say Asana for sure. Shoutouts to Google Drive and Unbounce.