Opportunity in Adversity: IFE Welcomes Christian Richmond Nzi
“Three things are very important when building a company: the right people, at the right time, in the right place.” Christian Richmond Nzi
On March 4, 2021, the JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship welcomed social entrepreneur Christian Richmond Nzi, founder and CEO of Mygrants. Based in Bologna, Italy, Mygrants is the first microlearning web application designed to support immigrants through a series of thematic module quizzes, and then match them with career opportunities. Nzi explained that the app provides users with new skills, while increasing their confidence and credibility, and shifts their mentality to focus on how to use their knowledge for a purpose.
How it works
When users sign up to Mygrants, they take an assessment test that allows Nzi’s team to determine, among other things, their background, language skills, and aspirations. This first step allows the Mygrants’ team to understand each user’s strengths, motivation, and career goals. Then, each user receives personalized training based on their potential, aspirations, and skills, through a series of tailored modules.
The app allows users to monitor the performance and achievements of each trainee, certifies the validity of their skills and knowledge, and ranks them. All the data is stored in a database that the Mygrants’ team uses to match the most suitable profiles with career opportunities. Companies can also search the database directly to find candidates based on the role they require. In the last two years, over 1900 trainees were successfully matched with various companies.
The app allows trainees to choose among six career fields, namely, information technology and tech development, mechanics and electromechanics, translations and secretarial, hospitality and tourism, repairs and maintenance, and cleaning factotum. Moreover, Mygrants provides trainees with higher education scholarships and financial rewards.
Facts and figures
“Today there are 282 million immigrants worldwide, and that number will grow up to one billion in the next 25 years,” explained Nzi. The number of migrants tripled in the last 50 years, and according to data trends, it will triple again in the next 25 years. Migrants represent 3.5% of the world’s population, but they produce 10% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). After the Arab Spring, 90% of migrants are under the age of 35.
According to Nzi, word of mouth has been fundamental to promote Mygrants. When Nzi first launched the app, he started promoting it at immigrant centers and then in the disembarkation areas in Southern Italy. In the three years since its launch, the app grew from 27 thousand registered users to 103 thousand. Most of the trainees, whose average age is between 19 and 22, are based in Europe, but 15 thousand are located in African countries. On average, each trainee spends 193 minutes online daily. According to Mygrants’ statistics, 96% of trainees speak French or English, 90% are digital natives, 88% did not attend university, 47% did not finish high school, 16% are female, and 8% are illiterate or close to being so.
In 2020 alone, Mygrants had over 96 thousand registered users, 13 thousand of whom were highly skilled trainees. That same year, over 1600 trainees received a job placement. Moreover, Mygrants had over 20 business customers, and the customer acquisition costs were less than four thousand euros. The average contract value was over eight thousand euros, and the customer lifetime value was higher than 42 thousand euros.
In 2020, the Mygrants’ team raised over 600 thousand euros from two investment funds, and in its three years of activity, it has raised more than one million euros. Some of Mygrants’ clients and collaborators include Deloitte, Unicef, Tim, UnipolSai, and Fondazione Adecco.
About Christian Richmond Nzi and Mygrants
Nzi was born in Ivory Coast in 1985. He was later adopted and grew up between the United States and Switzerland, where he earned a degree in International Rights and Diplomacy. In 2010 he started working as Data Analyst at Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, from which he resigned in 2015 to work on his Mygrants’ idea. According to Nzi, the lack of trust and credibility in migrants leads to a lack of access to services such as training programs, legal protection, career opportunities, and financial services. “What we do is use the data to build trust,” said Nzi.
The Mygrants team is composed of 12 people, 60 percent of whom are female, and 65 percent of whom has a migrant background. The decision to have the headquarters in Italy was due to the fact that when the app was launched, the country was the “migrants’ hotspot.” Another headquarter will be soon established in Catania, Sicily, which is where most migrants disembark.