How Nigeria’s SUWK helps users upskill, and the connects them with jobs

Nigerian startup Skill Up With Kahdsole (SUWK) is an innovative ed-tech platform addressing the critical issues of youth unemployment and skill gaps by providing accessible, market-driven vocational education and job placement support through a comprehensive online ecosystem.

Founded in 2021 by by Chioma Ukpabi and Kelvin Steve, a couple driven by a shared passion for transforming education and employment opportunities for Nigerian youth, SUWK works to equip Nigerian youths with in-demand, market and industry aligned skills, and connect them to economic opportunities, thereby enabling sustainable livelihoods.

Its offerings include SUWK Learn, a tech-enabled, tutor-led vocational training platform; and SUWK Work, a job marketplace connecting graduates to sustainable employment.

“We identified a significant gap in the availability of quality vocational education for low-income communities in Nigeria. According to a recent report, there is a growing demand for skilled workers, with the Nigerian technical skill gig industry expected to be worth over US$1.4 billion in the next three-to-five years. Traditional vocational schools often lack the resources and industry relevance needed to meet these market demands,” Ukpabi said.

“Our competitors include traditional vocational institutions and online course providers. However, SUWK stands out by integrating technology with hands-on training, providing a hybrid learning experience that ensures both flexibility and effectiveness. Additionally, our job marketplace directly connects graduates to employment opportunities, a unique feature that sets us apart.”

SUWK is funded through a combination of cohort training fees from corporate partners, placement fees from companies hiring its graduates, and commissions from its job marketplace transactions. It has also been recognised by the Mastercard Foundation Edtech Fellowship Programme.

So far, the company has trained over over 2,500 learners, offered 18 skills programmes, and partnered with over 45 corporate sponsors, achieving a 65 per cent increase in earnings for its graduates.

“The uptake has been highly encouraging. We have successfully trained over 2,500 learners in various vocational skills, and our job placement rate post-training has been impressive. Many of our graduates have secured sustainable employment and significantly increased their earnings,” said Ukpabi.

Currently, SUWK operates in Nigeria, focusing on low-income communities where the need for vocational training and employment support is most critical. 

“Our expansion plans include scaling our operations to other West African countries with similar needs and extending our corporate partnerships to increase job placement opportunities across the continent,” said Ukpabi.