12 Jul Melvyn, Go1 and the potential for solving youth employability
Melvyn is a 2011 Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow who graduated from UCT with a Bsc in Actuarial Science and Statistics. Having studied abroad, co-founded Go1, featured in Destiny Magazine and won business awards since, we went out to find out more about Go1 and the AGOF Fellow behind it, co-founder Melvyn Lubega.
Where it all began…with identifying the problem/opportunity (Hint, hint IVC ????)
As a fellow with an investment company, Melvyn began to realise that small companies and businesses did not feel big enough to invest in training and development and saw these investments as ‘big company things’. He found the education space fragmented and training difficult to report and record for both individuals and corporates.
As the Boston Consulting Group’s first Associate in Africa, Melvyn then realised “Most problems we were brought on as management consultants to solve at high costs often was a result of companies not investing in their people.”
As a young person, Melvyn knows “it is quite interesting because if you are looking for jobs as a young person, what you find is that everyone cares about your years of experience but no one ever questions the quality or the development that you got over those years of experience.”
It was on the back of this key problem that Melvyn went to complete a Masters in Education, Learning and Technology at Oxford University in the UK on a Scholarship programme and met one of his co-founders. They found alignment in that, “The key thing was lowering the barriers to key quality learning opportunities as a professional learner.”
Aligned on the pain point in the education space, they went on to develop an award-winning learning platform and have since grown a business called Go1 that provides customers the simplest interface for them to find, book deliver and track training relevant to their needs. Their typical B2C customer consists of people like ourselves, looking for a job or a professional in an organisation wanting to upskill and find something relevant for themselves and be able to track that report that report and issue that to their current or future employer. On the B2B side, employers who want to make sure that their employees are being developed, retained and remain productive gain value by finding relevant training for their employees and tracking their training budgets into one ecosystem. Companies often don’t know what their staff are learning even outside the workplace so when they are spending on learning and development, they are spending often duplicative and not necessarily complementary because they don’t know what someone knows, someone is learning…that recognition of prior learning. Some corporate may have as many as ten to twenty different training providers or training platforms with no unified reporting base or integration layer and so Go1 provides this integration.
How it works…
Go1 is a training content aggregator. In Melvyn’s words, “one can think of us as a Netflix for corporate of professional learning where we put together thousands of training options into one particular package.” They do this by providing an interface/platform that aggregates and brings relevant training together and tracks that training with unified and integrated reporting. Simply put, “what we do is provide professional learners and businesses, the simplest interface for them to find, book, deliver and track relevant training.”
How far have you come?
“As a company, we have big ambitions and we would like to be the most used source for professional learning globally. We’ve done well as a business, we have grown multiple times and now we employ 160 people across the world. Our clients love us and we would like to grow those particular accounts as well. Particularly, something for me is to look into business opportunities in South Africa and take opportunities of that in a better instance,” says Melvyn
… and what’s next?
The broader problem is employability and making sure that when someone joins a company they are adequately skilled with the technical, rather soft and hard skills. There is an opportunity and a pain point that I have seen in my work that is scalable that is being missed around employability and making sure that we are ready for work particularly as the youth.
Aligning to the South African context and government initiatives to scale the local presence is next and address youth employability is what’s next for Go1 so be on the lookout for High impact in that scape!