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An overview of Arifu’s content design process

An overview of Arifu’s content design process

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Would you like to know more about what Arifu does and how we could support your organizations digital training needs? Watch our very own Learning Team Manager, Nuru Ryanga, as she speaks briefly about Arifu’s content design process.

To learn more about how we could help you reach your target audience, go to our contact us page to book a demo.

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Press Videos

Interview on K24 with Arifu’s Chief Impact Officer discussing the impacts of digitalization to SMEs in Kenya.

Interview on K24 TV with Arifu’s Chief Impact Officer discussing the impacts of digitalization to SMEs in Kenya.

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Would you like to learn more about the digital revolution of SMEs in Kenya?

Watch this interview from K24’s bulletin news that happened 30th May where Osman Siddiqi our Chief Impact Officer and Jessica Osborn Program Director of Strive Community at Caribou Digital as they speak about the impacts of the adoption of digital tools by SMEs.

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Partnerships Press Webinars

Digitizing Rural & Agricultural Finance (DIG4RAF) In Africa 2022

Digitizing Rural & Agricultural Finance (DIG4RAF) In Africa 2022

Are you a financial service provider deploying digital finance, policy maker, implementer or investor in the field of digital finance solutions, development partner, academician, public or private funder, representative from Fintech or AgTech or AgriSMEs?

The conference themed, Analyzing Features Shaping the Digital Future of Rural and Agricultural Finance Landscape in Africa will bring together different stakeholders across the globe in the agrifinance industry to share insights and learn about:

  • Innovative technological innovations in Rural Agricultural Finance (RAF) affecting the development of Digital Financial Services (DFS) in Africa.
  • Critical success factors for deploying financial and non-financial technological Innovations in RAF.

Capacity of financial sector & agriculture sector players, Fintechs, Agripreneurs and other non-financial sector players on new technological trends and

Join us from May 23 to May 27 at the conference on:

DIGITIZING RURAL & AGRICULTURAL FINANCE (DIG4RAF) IN AFRICA 2022

Organized by the Africa Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AfRACA) at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi, Kenya

Few slots left: Grab your seat HERE (Mention Arifu and get a discount)

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Press Videos

BBC Video Interview with Arifu’s Partnership Development Associate on “What skills do local entrepreneurs need to grow?”

BBC Video Interview with Arifu’s Partnership Development Associate on “What skills do local entrepreneurs need to grow?"

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What skills do you think local entrepreneurs need to grow?
Listen in to our Partnership Development Associate Andrew Thiong’o as he addresses this question on BBC News Mitikasi Leo Programme. Some of his responses include the need for local entrepreneurs to learn about marketing and financial and business management.

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Press Videos

BBC Video Interview with Arifu’s CEO and Co-founder on “What skills do local entrepreneurs need to grow?”

BBC Video Interview With Arifu’s CEO And Co-founder On "What Skills Do Local Entrepreneurs Need To Grow?"

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What skills do you think local entrepreneurs need to grow? Listen in to our CEO and Co-founder Craig Heintzman as he addresses this question on BBC Africa’s Money Daily Programme touching on skills such as market research and financial literacy.

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Partnerships Press Webinars

How can financial service providers help build financial capability?

In this webinar, Bilal Zia and Pete Sparreboom, discussed how financial service providers can help build financial capability of their clients. In an increasingly digitised world where we are including more into formal financial systems, lack of information and understanding will remain a challenge for many. Whilst many understand the need to save and access credit, the choice of product and provide is more complex. Financial education can be expensive to deliver and does not always lead to changes in financial behaviour.  

If delivered well, financial education is often designed to motivate people to use digital payment and transfer services, increase their formal savings and improve their borrowing and repayment decisions. This not only benefits the consumers themselves, but also the banks, microfinance institutions and mobile money operators that serve them.

We are now beginning to see evidence emerging that if done well, there is correlation between financial literacy and good financial decisions. on the economy. For financial education to have impact, it needs to have three key characteristics to be well-designed, well-targeted and well-timed.

– Design: Interactive, story-based, gamified and addressing multiple senses. Also the channel it is delivered on, such as television, radio or mobile phones – going to where the consumer already is

– Targeting: Needs-based, adapted to characteristics of a segment (e.g. gender or farming), and personalised to individual knowledge and experience

– Timing: Provided at teachable moments such as when people migrate or when farmers sell their harvest (and can save) or need to plant or store (and need a loan)

Evidence has also shown that financial education works better when it is offered as part of a broader set of measures, designed to remove different constraints.  It is very effective when it is offered alongside good and highly accessible formal financial products, as well as complementary measures to help change behaviour.

By making use of technology, it is also possible to cut some of the costs down for financial education. For example, Arifu offers mobile financial education and information via a chatbot technology through SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and Telegram channels. This is successful because the training is engaging, tailored and convenient. Financial services providers can consider mobile financial education as a tool that can complement marketing and customer service.

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Partnerships Press

Partnership Announcement – Jobberman Nigeria signs up with Arifu to equip Jobseekers with Digital Training

Jobberman Nigeria signs up with Arifu to equip Jobseekers with Digital Training.  

13th July 2021: Jobberman, the single largest online training and job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa announced its partnership with Arifu to deliver interactive educational training through the Arifu Digital Learning Platform, facilitate learning at scale, and equip jobseekers with digital training to enable them to improve their effectiveness in seeking work.

This free service will be provided to jobseekers in Nigeria. The objective of this training is to uplift critical skills for jobseekers to build confidence and empower individuals across Nigeria with the training and skills they need to succeed ultimately leading to creating long-term economic impacts for this target group. It will be available on Arifu’s Digital Learning Platform, accessible using interactive Whatsapp and Telegram.

Having partnered with the Mastercard Foundation through its Young Africa Works strategy in 2020, this deal is part of Jobberman’s mission to train five million young Nigerians and place three million of them in dignified employment by 2025. Jobberman is the only recruitment services platform in Nigeria that offers training and placement of candidates in dignified and fulfilling employment. This training program equips young people (18-35) with critical tools, to help them transition into their new roles and increase workplace productivity.

According to Rolake Rosiji, CEO of Jobberman Nigeria “We are excited to be using Arifu’s technology as it encapsulates Jobberman’s commitment to bridging the employability gap, As an innovative and technologically driven company, I am delighted that with Arifu we have the opportunity to reach more job seekers and achieve our commitment to upskilling five million young Nigerians by 2025”

Craig Heintzman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Arifu, explains “We’re proud to sign this deal with Jobberman and play a part in supporting 500,000 job seekers in Nigeria with access to new skills and  employment opportunities within the chat apps they use every day. Our partnership with Jobberman is a step towards a brighter future where everyone can be matched with meaningful work and a stable income .

For more information or interview requests, please contact communications@jobberman.com or info@arifu.com

About Jobberman

Founded in 2009, Jobberman is an online platform that provides training and placement for jobseekers, as well as the best selection of candidates for companies hiring. It is the single largest job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa and has the vision to become the leading source of talent in every market it operates in by simplifying job searching and talent acquisition; matching the right set of skills with employers needs. For more information about the online placement platform visit www.jobberman.com

About Arifu

Arifu is a smart chatbot making it possible for anyone to access information and opportunities for free from organizations they trust over any mobile phone. With Arifu, people seeking to learn can freely chat using interactive SMS or smartphone apps to master new skills, discover a world of free educational content, and earn rewards from our partners, without need for internet or airtime. The Arifu chatbot delivers personalized content designed in-house in close collaboration with our partners such as financial service providers, mobile operators, agribusinesses and NGOs. Arifu uses interactive SMS and smartphone messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to disseminate content to over 1.5 million trainees across Africa since 2015. For more information visit https://www.arifu.com

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Impact Press

Arifu receives an award at the Mercy Corps Agrifin Annual Learning Event Awards (ALE) 2021

Arifu receives an award at the Mercy Corps Agrifin Annual Learning Event Awards (ALE) 2021

Andrew Thiongo  |  Business Development Associate

Arifu was awarded as the Best Farmer Capability Solutions by Mercy Corps Agrifin for the first time at this year’s ALE 2021. This award recognized Arifu’s role in educating smallholder farmers across sub-saharan Africa through its Open Marketplace digital platform on important subjects like: Agronomy, Animal husbandry, Water and Soil Management and Irrigation and Arifu’s capability to reach out to many smallholder farmers through its omni-channel (SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and very soon interactive voice services) Platform.

The Mercy Corps Agrifin ALE Awards represent an opportunity for Mercy Corps Agrifin to recognize the achievements of the best 36 companies across 12 different award categories based on their accomplishments in a six year project funded by Mastercard as well as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The award was presented to Arifu by the Agrifin Advisory Council Member Scott Onder, Senior Managing Director of Mercy Corps Ventures together with the program’s donors.

’’Arifu would very much like to thank Mercy Corps AFA for recognising our efforts and contributions to developing engaging learning content as well as our commitment to drive active usage of the content across our omni-channel and smart farming advanced learning platform’’ said Craig Heintzman, Arifu’s Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder. ’’Our mission has always been to ensure learners have FREE access to content and information that will enrich their livelihoods and this award is affirmation that we are achieving our mission and being recognised.’’

Watch the video announcement of the award below:

For more information please contact:

Andrew Thiong’o – Business Development Associate at Arifu

Email: andrew@arifu.com

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Partnerships Press

Partnership Announcement

With support from Google.org, Arifu partners with Praekelt.Org to promote the economic recovery of 500,000 micro and small businesses (MSMEs) in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.  

Together Arifu and Praekelt.Org have created a suite of free interactive training and information to help MSMEs hit hard by COVID-19 navigate challenges to their business, stay up to date on regulatory changes, and access products and services that will support their recovery. 

By sending in the code SME” to Arifu’s SMS or Whatsapp channel, MSMEs are now able to chat with the Arifu Digital Adviser to access targeted digital trainings on:

  1. COVID-1 9 specific advice on health, finances, business, education, and stress management
  2. Digital literacy skills for business (adapted from GSMA’s Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit)
  3. Job seeking support tools
  4. Changing regulations relating to COVID-19 measures and re-opening
  5. Info and linkages to recovery products and services 

This free service will be provided to 500,000 low income MSMEs, employment seekers, and small-holder farmers across Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa with the objective to increase employment, increase income, and increase resilience to economic shock among beneficiaries. It will be available on Arifu’s Open Marketplace, accessible using interactive SMS and WhatsApp through an integration with Turn.io, an organisation incubated by Praekelt.org that helps social impact organisations have chat-based personal, guided conversations at scale that improve lives.

MSMEs can access their free economic recovery content by sending SME to 22744 on SMS or on Whatsapp +254 735 040081 in Kenya or sending Hi to +27 60 011 0110 on WhatsApp in South Africa. 

Craig Heintzman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Arifu, explains “We’re proud to join forces with Google.org, Praekelt.Org and Turn.io to play a part in supporting the economic recovery of people impacted by this global pandemic. Governments, NGOs, and companies can now easily support the employment of job seekers and resilience of small businesses in their communities with this free chatbot-based learning content”.

Gustav Praekelt, Founder Praekelt.org and Turn.io said “We are excited to be using our Turn.io technology to provide actionable resources and training to learners and SMMEs across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa during this challenging time. We chose to work with Arifu given their vast experience with learning content having trained over 1.5m learners in Kenya since they started so we’re very comfortable in their ability to deliver to the huge learner base out there”

“Google.org are very pleased to support Praekelt.org and Arifu joining efforts and together accelerating tech solutions helping SMMEs in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa through economic recovery.  We believe that  accessing information at no cost will be critical for beneficiaries to make informed decisions and sustain economic livelihoods” commented Liza Belozerova, Google.org Sub-Saharan Africa Lead.

About Arifu

Arifu is a smart chatbot making it possible for anyone to access information and opportunities for free from organizations they trust over any mobile phone. With Arifu, people seeking to learn can freely chat using interactive SMS or smartphone apps to master new skills, discover a world of free educational content, and earn rewards from our partners, without need for internet or airtime. The Arifu chatbot delivers personalized content designed in-house in close collaboration with our partners such as financial service providers, mobile operators, agribusinesses and NGOs. Arifu uses interactive SMS and smartphone messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to disseminate content to over 1.5 million trainees across Africa since 2015. For more information visit https://www.arifu.com

About Praekelt.Org and Turn.io

Emerging out of Praekelt.org’s decade of experience leveraging mobile technology to solve some of the world’s largest social problems, Turn.io helps social impact organisations have personal, guided conversations that improve lives at scale.

About Google.org

Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle.

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Articles Impact Press

Platform links individuals to organisations for new skills

By  Lewis Njoka – People Daily Online

Marisa Conway the Chief Learning Officer and co-founder of Arifu.

Marisa Conway the Chief Learning Officer and co-founder of Arifu.

The pandemic has disrupted normal life across the globe, affecting businesses and forcing learners to find alternative ways to access knowledge.  Marisa Conway, Chief Learning Officer and co-founder of Arifu, an online learning platform, talks about how their technology is helping solve the problem.

What is Arifu?

Arifu is a Kenyan-based tech company that launched its smart personal learning assistant and content marketplace in 2015 to help people learn new skills from the organisations they trust over any mobile phone.

Our purpose is to place opportunity and information within reach of everyone. Our chatbot is free to our learners and available via any mobile chat application including SMS, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. 

Whom does it target and what does it do for them?

Arifu has two main audience; individuals and organisations. Individuals engage with us to learn new skills or get advice on how to use products and services available to them to grow their income or increase productivity. Topics range from crop and livestock trainings, financial literacy, entrepreneurship education, and informative trainings on a variety of digital products.

For organisations, Arifu provides an end to end solution to help them craft skills or product information into contextualised digital trainings, deliver them over the Arifu platform through SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, or Telegram, and monitor performance with their personal analytics platform that provides details on learner preferences and progress.

We also work with organisations on different research activities to try and understand the impact of digital information on learner capacity development, behaviour, and outcomes.  

What motivated you into starting this initiative?

I teamed up with our Co-Founder, Craig Heintzman in 2014 with a shared vision to make information accessible to people, so they could use it to better their own lives.

Our approach was to start first with SMS, and create a free digital advisor, or chatbot, which could teach people new skills, offer solutions to challenges, and help them connect to products and services in an informed and safe way.

Over the last six years, we’ve expanded to make content available over Whatsapp, Facebook and Telegram where learning is enhanced with rich media.

How does Arifu differ from other traditional learning resources available to learners in Kenya?

We are topic and sector agnostic. Arifu’s partners work in health, agriculture, financial services, consumer goods, and more and our learners access content and products that meet multiple information needs.

It’s free, which means it’s more affordable than many other training options. It works on basic and smartphones, so it doesn’t require data and is consumable in a format that’s familiar to mobile phone users making it more accessible than internet and in-person training.

Unlike MOOCs and classrooms, Arifu is a digital teacher people can chat with to learn at any time.

How helpful would you say your initiative has been during the Covid-19 pandemic?  

To support partners and learners during Covid-19, we’ve created a starter pack of digital trainings that we are providing for free.

The content includes information to help individuals cope with challenges related to health, business, finance, children’s education, and community. 

We are currently building out more content to help business owners and job seekers navigate and recover from financial challenges resulting from the pandemic. 

Now that schools are re-opening after several months of Covid-19 related closure, how does Arifu fit in?

Arifu’s primary audience is adults 18 and older. However, during Covid-19 we have created content to support parents and their children to do educational activities at home in partnership with Metis, an organisation which develops educational leaders.

That content is part of the Keep Kenya Learning campaign and will be made available to 400,000 Kenyan families. 

On average, how many people do you serve in a month and how many have you served since inception?

Around 45,000 learners engage with Arifu on a monthly basis and 1.4 million individuals have engaged with Arifu since our first content went live in 2015.

How do you finance your activities?

We operate currently on a combination of revenue and investment funding. Our sales model is Business to business and we offer our customers a platform subscription model giving them access to the Arifu Platform.

They can also buy annual licenses to content offered by Arifu and our content partners.

To date, we have raised $2.6million of investment from venture funds and angel investors.  In 2021, we will launch our Series A round to fund expansion across and beyond Africa.

Of all Arifu’s achievements so far, which one are you most proud of?

Through past research initiatives, we have observed and learned that engaging with Arifu content provides first time access to important skills information and has led to adoption of GAP. 

In another independent study, farmers engaging with Arifu contributed four times more to their savings, borrow more, and repay their loans faster by 5.5 days compared to those who do not engage with Arifu. 

What’s next for Arifu?

Arifu will continue to grow the partnerships and content available to learners in our existing 6 countries and expand across Africa and into Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

We will enhance our learner experience with advanced AI capabilities, making the chatbot more conversational and helping learners get to the most relevant content faster based on their needs and existing knowledge.

 

 

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