Business News of Saturday, 24 November 2012
An SMS-based software developed by four young Ghanaians to serve as a link between artisans and persons who need their services has been nominated as one of the five Demo Lions of Africa to represent the continent at the 2013 Demo in San Francisco.
mPawa, developed by 2012 graduates of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, has a database where previous works of blue-collar workers such as masons, painters, plumbers, carpenters among others are stored for future reference.
Maxwell Kofi Donkor CEO of Innokiq, developers of the software, told Myjoyonline.com mPawa was designed to correct the anomaly where most internet-based vacancy announcements are targeted at white-collar workers living out blue-collar workers.
“Their work doesn’t demand them to visit the internet, so they are labor intensive workers, they want the next construction site or the next person to call them to go and do some carpentry jobs, no internet is necessary. That’s why we built mPawa. So, all these people have very, very limited resources but challenging problems, so what mPawa seeks to do is give them an application that they can use the means they have now - that’s why we went to SMS, because they already get SMS. Most of the telecom companies are bombarding them with SMS, and they read them.”
Explaining how mPawa works, Mr Donkor said when an employer indicates that he needs say 100 carpenters, 15 masons, 20 steelbenders, because these blue-collar workers are registered with mPawa, “these jobs that they post specifically go to the people who need them. So mPawa automatically matches the job requirement; so if it is carpenters, masons won’t receive that job notifications, but only carpenters that are on our system.”
He further explained, “in just a few minutes of posting the job on mPawa, they can see who has received the job, they can see who is getting ready to join them to start their project… With mPawa, everything that has to do with the job seeker is free”.
Interested blue-collar workers are encouraged to register by texting “mPawa register” to the short code 1945 on all networks. Likewise, the employers would have to visit the company’s website, www.mpawa.com.
“So for the first time, we are giving these people somewhere they can save all the jobs that they do because if a job seeker on mPawa gets 4 jobs through MPAWA in a year, this is documented and added to the person’s CV, it builds the person’s quality so that if he is going for the next job we send his CV to the next employer and the employer is confident that now there’s a documentation for this particular person, even low skilled but there’s a documentation for their job.”