7th September 2018, Bangalore: Unitus Ventures, one of India’s leading early-stage investors, investing in startups leading innovation for the masses, announced today the launch of StartEdu: Employment 2.0 – a nationwide competition to find and fund startups working in the education and employability sectors. Unitus is partnering with industry leaders Careers360 and Naukri who will bring in their sector expertise and experience to mentor and guide selected startups.
StartEdu: Employment 2.0 is inviting applications from startups who are working towards building a talented workforce for the future, through improving employability, job-readiness, encouraging micro-entrepreneurship and facilitating tech-enabled job matching. The finalists will get an opportunity to pitch for INR 3.5cr of investment and access to industry expertise. The last date for submitting applications is 21stSeptember 2018.
Making India’s workforce “tomorrow ready”
A World Bank report suggests that India must create 8.1. million jobs a year to maintain its employment rate as the pool of people of the working age increases by 1.3 million people every month. While there are students studying and graduating from college, most of them do not have the necessary technical and soft skills to qualify for jobs. On the professional front, with the ever-dynamic digital world giving rise to new requirements and opportunities, today’s professionals need to keep their knowledge updated and stay relevant to survive and build a career.
Startups that are helping students, job seekers and young professionals stay relevant through digital learning, improving communications skill, computer literacy, various trades, etc. on scalable levels, are the need of the hour.
Enabling opportunities for moving beyond 9 to 5 work routine
While India’s skill-gaps are multi-layered, startups solving the above-mentioned problem is only one part. The balance is shifting from corporations to individuals. With the rise in the unemployment rate within the country, there is a strong need to support individuals with micro-entrepreneurship opportunities.
This is an opportunity that many startups can tap into and come up with innovative and scalable ideas that will enable people to be employed through freelancing.
Solving the “where do they fit?” puzzle
Along with developing relevant knowledge, enabling micro-entrepreneurship, it is essential that the right candidate is matched with employment opportunities based on his knowledge and skills. Tech-enabled job matching startups can tap into this space and help bridge this gap. It can also help tackle the underemployment problem thereby providing valuable data that can help create not only better but faster job matching for Indians.
Unitus Ventures backs startups disrupting India’s employability space
“The demographic dividend India seeks can turn into a nightmare if youth are not shown the right direction to best utilise their capabilities. They need not just the right support for growing in their career but also equivalent learning and training opportunities to tackle upcoming occupations that don’t exist today.” said Mahesh Peri, Founder and CEO of Careers360.
“We invest in startups that are at the intersection of innovation and problem-solving for the masses and our investments in Cuemath, Awign and Utter are all great examples of this. We are excited to announce StartEdu Employment 2.0 with focus on trends that are tackling employability issues in the country.” said Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Ventures.
“We are seeing that startups leveraging emerging technologies are well placed to solve challenges around employability and skilling for new-age jobs. We’re excited to partner with Unitus to find, mentor and invest in entrepreneurs that are thinking of innovative and scalable ways to tackle these challenges” said Hitesh Oberoi, MD and CEO, Naukri.
About Unitus Ventures
Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is the leading impact venture fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India, focusing on healthcare, education and inclusive fintech. Founded in 2012, Unitus Ventures is a part of the Capria Network, the leading global network of impact fund managers, focused on addressing the “missing middle” finance opportunity by investing in high-growth businesses in emerging markets of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Capria Network is managed by Capria Ventures, a leading global investment firm, and is part of Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in India and other emerging markets since 2000. Unitus Ventures is based in Bangalore and Seattle and is a member of the India Impact Investors Council.