"In the insecure context of the Sahel, you cannot rest on your laurels."
The growing insecurity in the Sahel region worries him. Yet Benjamin ZIO, CEO of social enterprise Job Booster Burkina Faso, is optimistic. "Youth employment can be part of a solution to rising insecurity," he says. Together with his team, ZIO works to create job and market opportunities for young people in his country.
Early this year, the social enterprise Job Booster Burkina Faso was launched. Its goal: sustainable employability of young people so they can contribute to the social and economic development of the country. Job Booster Burkina Faso positions itself as an enterprise. Clients pay for its services. ZIO: "In the unsafe context of the Sahel, you cannot rest on your laurels. We have to deal with real challenges. We must have an entrepreneurial spirit and constantly look for market opportunities."
Adapting to context
With a degree in social law and a specialisation in labour law, international work experience in HRM and experience as a trainer at various master's programmes, ZIO seems the right person to lead this social enterprise.
"We are always aware of the context and opportunities and adapt our range of services accordingly. Proposals for solutions to youth unemployment should increasingly focus on self-employment in growth sectors, especially agri-food production and processing and local services. We support young people on their way to employment and a decent income by providing them with reliable and practical advice. The context of insecurity in the Sahel limits market opportunities. We constantly feel the need to stand out and find the best opportunities."
In Burkina Faso, it is unusual for an organization to serve both employees and employers. This makes Job Booster Burkina Faso's approach unique. ZIO: "We work on the employability of young jobseekers by training them based on the demand from the labour market and by supporting them in finding a job. After placement, we guide the young people to integrate properly. This qualitative approach guarantees an organization a long-term employment relationship."
Encouraging entrepreneurship in growth sectors is another of the company’s activities. Young entrepreneurs are supported in creating business plans, accessing networks, markets and financing. Job Booster Burkina Faso also organizes networking opportunities for young entrepreneurs. "With a network of partners in various fields of activity, we are able to offer the right expertise to young entrepreneurs," says ZIO.
Pay according to ability to pay
Job Booster Enterprises is a company. A company with a mission but there is 'just' money to be made. How does that work?
ZIO: "We adjust the cost of our services to the financial capacity of our clients. Because we want our services to be accessible to as many people as possible. Especially for those who are facing a distance to the labour market."
Commitment to results and a mission
"At the same time, of course, we do not want to compromise on the quality of our services. We are constantly alert to and evaluate our quality. Satisfied customers are incredibly important to us. The great thing about this company is that we have a mission and at the same time an obligation to achieve results. That forces us to be sharp, control costs and optimize expenditure. In this way, with youth employment, we can be part of a solution to the increasing insecurity in our country."
Reporting BF1 Television
The Company in Burkina Faso has recently taken off. News channel BF1 Television was there and made the report below.