Source: Tom Jackson/Disrupt Africa

The Ivory Coast-based Mon Artisan is a skill-on-demand digital platform for artisans and gig workers in the informal sector, offering a wide range of services, including plumbing, home repairs and maintenance, IT support, and others.

Also available in Burkina Faso, Mon Artisan allows customers to easily and quickly book work from qualified and reliable artisans in fields such as plumbing, electricity, carpentry, and painting.

The platform is designed to provide a simple, pleasant and secure user experience. 

“We facilitate the payment process through plans and the integration of mobile and card payments. We also offer customer service to answer questions and provide practical advice to help users in their work,” founder Kevin Sesse told Disrupt Africa.

“Our solution allows craftsmen to promote their services and expand their customer base while providing them with skills-building, pre-financing and logistical support.”

Mon Artisan started with test phases at the end of 2019 under an online directory model listing artisans in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan by sector and location.

“The idea stems from a common observation in most countries in Africa – the labour market is characterised by dynamic informal sectors that make up the bulk of the economy, as formal employment and income opportunities are limited,” Sesse said. “This informal sector is filled with skilled workers who need better work opportunities, while middle-class citizens regularly need affordable and credible services.”

Mon Artisan has created “a bridge” to connect this unmet demand with a supply of hand-picked workers. Self-funded to date, the startup was recently a participant in the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator run by Mercy Corps and BFA Global. Sesse said the platform has been generally well-received and seen strong adoption levels.

“By connecting two traditionally disconnected socio-economic groups through an accessible and cost-effective distribution channel, such as technology, our solution has also increased employment opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid and accredited hundreds of uncertified but qualified informal workers,” he said.

The startup, which takes a commission on the labour of craftsmen referenced on the platform, and also has incidental income from partnerships with insurers and distributors of home equipment, is planning further expansion in Francophone Africa very soon.

“We plan to cover almost all the countries of French-speaking West Africa within three years, starting this year with Senegal,” Sesse said.

Source: Tom Jackson/Disrupt Africa