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Abdullateef Lawal: On a Mission to Create 10,000 Jobs by 2030

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Spiffy: Welcome Abdullateef, I’m super excited to meet you! Can you tell me what challenges you’re addressing through your startup, iDixcover?

Abdullateef: It’s wonderful to meet you too, Spiffy! Did you know that Nigeria has the world’s second-highest rate of youth unemployment with 13.9 million unemployed youths—more than Rwanda’s entire population? iDixcover is addressing the problem of unemployment and underemployment among northern youth, women, and people with disabilities who have been ravaged by the prolonged insecurities in the region. Our mission is to provide free access to information on opportunities, mentors, and career education to 10 million African youths and create 10,000 jobs by 2030.

Spiffy: Now that is a goal! Can you tell me what motivated you to do to meet this huge challenge?

Abdullateef: Well, despite excelling in school, obtaining a good job became challenging and frustrating—a bitter experience I don’t wish for any African youth. My undergraduate education only prepared me for literature reviews, not for real-life professional skills. So I created a platform to help young people like me have free access to information on opportunities, mentors, and career education.

Spiffy: Can you talk a bit about how you’re working to create a more equitable world?

Abdullateef: The leadership policy I advocate at iDixcover exemplifies inclusivity and commitment to reaching a diverse audience. My five-person team consists of three women, a person with disabilities, and two men from various cultural backgrounds. Each of my staff brings different skills and passions based on their experience and background, which has helped us reach a larger, more diverse audience and become more innovative and productive, such as the creation of idixcoveracademy.com, our e-learning and mentorship platform. I’ve learned that diversity and inclusion encourage innovation and creativity in the development of a sustainable business and community.

Spiffy: It sounds like you’re well on your way to your goal of impacting 10 million youth! I wish you all the best, Abdullateef. It’s been an honor speaking with you today.

Abdullateef Lawal is the founder of iDixcover whose work revolves around identifying opportunities, exploring innovative techniques, mobilizing resources, and building the capacity of vulnerable African youths. He is a passionate inclusive job skills development advocate with over six years of experience in capacity building, job awareness, community service, and enabling career development opportunities for unemployed youths. He is the first country director for the Global Youth Network in Nigeria and promotes the job inclusion of women.(Nominated by Action Accelerator. First published on the Ladderworks website on October 19, 2021.

© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.

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