Mahmoud Ben Fradj studied electrical engineering, IT, and industrial automation at university in Tunisia. When he graduated, he was excited to join the workforce, but like many skilled youth across the African continent, he struggled to find a job.
So he decided to take a chance and start his own business: a printing company, where he could put his skills and his creative mind to work.
Mahmoud enrolled in UNIDO’s Mashrou3i program where he was able to take several courses with HP LIFE, a program of the HP Foundation. The e-learning platform offers 30 free, business-related courses in seven languages geared toward helping people build the skills they need to succeed as business owners and employees.
HP believes that education is crucial to success and technology is key to maximizing learning. HP LIFE aims to empower people through both education and technology to reach new opportunities and support themselves.
“We believe that education is a human right, that technology in the classroom is a critical component for a 21st century education, and that in today’s economy our learning is never done,” said Nate Hurst, chief sustainability and social impact officer at HP.
The company believes that increasing access to technology and education opportunities in Africa is particularly important in light of the worsening youth unemployment rate and the expansion of urban areas across the continent, which could help create more opportunities for employment.
“Africa is experiencing rapid urbanization and digitization—and it’s essential that people have access to learn skills for the work of tomorrow,” Hurst says.
Since 2012, HP LIFE has reached about 750,000 users like Mahmoud around the world and has helped them start their own small businesses, advance in their careers, and reach higher heights.
HP opened a new HP LIFE Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, in November as part of its plan to empower an additional 100,000 learners in Africa through the program over the next three years. And the tech company aims to have the HP LIFE program enroll 1 million students worldwide between 2016 and 2025.