Semicolon Africa — 2021 in Review!
In this post, we are reflecting on the last 12 months. With over 20,000 growing members, our community continues to grow and flourish, and it’s so much fun and hard work to be empowering and building the people that will build the industries that will build Africa. Here is Semicolon Africa: 2021 in Review!
We raised a $1.2M seed round of funding
In November, we announced that Semicolon Africa closed a $1.2M seed round of funding. The round which was oversubscribed had participation from angels and VCs like Launch Africa Ventures and Consonance Investment Managers. You can read all about it here.
Semicolon Ventures; our venture building arm, focused on birthing new startups emanating from the Semicolon Techpreneurship program by working with exciting entrepreneurs and developing solutions through open innovation in collaboration with our corporate partners, launched with 18 portfolio companies and Series I fund of $1M.
There were a lot of firsts
We increased our capacity and took in four new cohorts. In retrospect, we have always hosted only three cohorts each year. For the first time ever, one of our cohorts has over 40% females; bringing the overall percentage of female Natives to 30%! It is no news that there is still a wide gender gap in the tech ecosystem and Semicolon Africa is fostering opportunities for women to be at the forefront of technological development and advancement through our SWIT community. Hence, this number is a big deal for us and we celebrate it!
We redesigned our website
The only constant thing in life is change. So, we decided to level up our website with a new look and new features. The goal was to provide you; our valued community, with more information and a user-friendly browsing experience. Haven’t gotten the time to look around the new features? Do it now. Want to see the process and team members who worked on the website? Watch this short video to see what inspired their contribution, during the process.
We launched Enum
Enum is our talent management platform providing talent recruitment, training and education marketplace capabilities. We are focused on addressing the problem of youth unemployment by training software engineers and tech entrepreneurs to enable profitable and inclusive economic growth. Enum enables us to achieve our objectives as we are able to reach many more who are seeking pathways to economic opportunities. Enum will ensure people acquire necessary skills and also make it possible for organizations (large and small) to access the talent required for their digital ambitions.
There were a lot of wins and partnerships
First of all, we celebrate the increasing annual income being generated by our employed Natives; which currently stands above N400M. Also, we currently boast of 33 founders; who have birthed 18 portfolio companies in Semicolon Ventures. In addition, we also had over 150 corporate trainees this year. Overall, we had an average of 1,757 training hours and 4,380 learning hours respectively.
Mid-year 2021, Semicolon Africa emerged as one of The British Council sponsored Innovation for African Universities (IAU) project partners and successfully completed Phase 1 of the project, working in partnership with Lagos Business School and Henley Business School. As with before, our partnership with Henley Business School continues and we hosted them at our Village; training our Natives on business management so as to make them well-rounded software engineers. One of our Natives; Solomon Esenyi, emerged winner in the Boardroom One Hackathon competition organised by Unicorn Incubation Campus. The SWIT community partnered with SouSous Tech to deliver a virtual discussion on women’s perspectives on working in Tech. Semicolon, itself, also partnered with Stanbic IBTC for the successful execution of our Launchpad ceremony (graduation event) and awarded 9 graduating Natives in different categories.
There were a lot of events
We hosted 11 community hangouts (December is a holiday) and each one was a hit, with incredible voices from the tech space; within and outside Nigeria. We played host to the Vice Consul of economic affairs from the Netherland embassy, during his ecosystem tour. We had 3 graduation events this year, hosted our first Twitter Space and webinars around UI/UX, Data Science & Machine Learning, among others. We brought together the design community to discuss the importance of Industrial design to Nigeria’s economic transformation at our design hangout, and in fact, we have scheduled a beginner class on it, for 2022. We had a swell time celebrating Nigeria’s diversity at our pre-independence day party, and also went outside for the 2021 Lagos DevFest. Our SWIT community hosted a Nolly-babe themed end-of-year party, the Semicolon Christian community hosted Christmas carols and we ended the year with the Elders hangout.
2021 has really been a year, and we are thankful for the opportunities to impact lives, organisations, and Africa, as a whole. We are also grateful for the opportunities to work with our Natives, Elders, alumni, Corporate partners, associates, investors, and our community. While the year may not have exactly gone as planned, we hope that sharing our journey with you will inspire you to keep working on yourself. Your dreams are valid and you can be the best of yourself! Happy New Year!
N.B. Don’t want to miss out on all of these updates in the year 2022? Then, you should subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media @semicolonafrica to stay connected to our community and activities.