Idea Studio Africa


MIDEVA Venture labs



Research, Facilitation, Innovation Program Design, Program Management, Social Venture Design


Pan Africa



Project Challenge:

How might we build meaningful and exciting career pathways and income opportunities for young people in Africa?

Project Brief

In Kenya, recent graduates find it challenging finding ways to build work experience and skills needed at work, aspiring entrepreneurs struggle to find support needed to start a venture, and most find it difficult to gain access to mentors and networks needed for career growth. According to World Bank, Kenya’s youth unemployment rate in 2020 was 13.8%.The unemployment rate has risen since the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number has almost doubled from 7.2% in 2019.

By 2050, it is expected that the African continent will have the largest workforce in the world. 

Over 50,000 graduates from institutions of higher learning enter the job market each year with less than a 20% guarantee of formal employment.


A deep dive into the problem through desktop and field  research revealed : 

  • Career choices speak to titles as opposed to the skills of the future and young people passions in life
  • Creative Entrepreneurship on the rise among young people
  • Skills mismatches were highly reported by young professionals
  • Learners were increasingly looking for opportunities to create impact, engage with each other and gain practical and life skills
  • The current recruitment process in Kenya is tedious and frustrating
  • Most graduates said  what matters to them , is work that is impact, meaningful work, purpose, community and belonging  as they navigate their career path.


The Idea Studio Africa project was a collaborative project with the Design Fellowship program. Working with the design fellows, the team carried out the following activities:

  • Desktop or secondary research to further understand the challenges and to design opportunity areas
  • Field research (including 1:1 interviews with students, graduates, working professionals, startups, companies, HR practitioners and other key stakeholders
  • Co-creation and co-design sessions with students, graduates and working professionals to understand their current journey, experiences, goals and barriers they face
  • Ideation sessions to identify possible solutions
  • Prototyping where the fellows designed several versions of what Idea Studio Africa could be
  • Testing and Refinements – where the solutions were taken to the users for feedback
  • Pilot – in 2021, the Idea Studio Africa was piloted as a learning studio – a 15-week fellowship for young professionals looking to venture into entrepreneurship or build other meaningful career pathways

Review some of the reports here: 


After several iterations and refinements, the current version of Idea Studio Africa ( was created.

Idea Studio Africa exists to create the ideal environment for young talent to maximize their potential. The program offers two tracks designed for aspiring young entrepreneurs & ambitious talent. The experience is immersive as learners get to work on real and meaningful projects and challenges with expert facilitation and practical learning to help deepen their skills and abilities.

Also, the program provides a community of life & career mentors, coaches and experts to help learners navigate your current journey and build their future as they learn and grow alongside other ambitious young professionals.

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