Empowering Africa’s FinTech Talent: Thunes Young Leaders Program

Empowering Africa’s FinTech Talent: Thunes Young Leaders Program

To help boost the future of fintech in Africa, we recently launched our ‘Young Leaders Program’ in collaboration with the University of Nairobi’s Faculty of Business and Management Sciences. The initiative provides undergraduates with practical business and entrepreneurial skills as part of Thunes’ support for educational and community projects.

Solving challenges in the fintech industry

The fintech market in Africa has massive potential. According to Boston Consulting Group, the continent is expected to outpace all other major regions globally for fintech growth until 2030. New businesses using ‘leap-frogging technology’ are fuelling this steep demand and creating more requirements for skilled professionals.

Nicole Kimani, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Thunes in Kenya, emphasises the urgency of developing the future workforce: “Fintech represents a vital lifeline in Africa driving economic growth. In places with more limited banking infrastructure, fintechs are becoming indispensable, helping people provide essential services and get paid faster. This sector requires fresh talent, and it’s crucial to give students a leg up to help prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Mentoring Kenya’s next-generation fintech leaders

The program, launched in 2023, involved 29 undergraduates from the University of Nairobi. Split into groups and tasked with specific business challenges within different fintech and payments functions, the students received guidance from Thunes’ employees, who used two days of paid leave that the company offers to all its staff for volunteering for community service and charitable endeavours.

Through career talks, immersive problem-solving activities and regular mentor check-ins, the undergraduates gained a new understanding of how fintechs operate. Additionally, the winners of the business challenge project have the opportunity to complete a three-month internship with Thunes in 2024.

“We introduced students to real-world scenarios to demystify how payments work and provide a glimpse into Thunes’ operations. This exposure to the corporate world will help them better understand which skills will be needed for the job market,” said Nicole.

Fulfilling a broader vision

Thunes’ efforts in Africa extend beyond cross-border payment infrastructure; the company’s services help foster financial inclusivity by building integrations and payment capabilities to digital wallets, often used by people without bank accounts.

The Young Leaders Program helps support and inspire the next generation of young people to work in the sector. It follows a similar programme Thunes led in Singapore in 2022, emphasising STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and business skills development. 

Benefits for all

As the program concluded in Kenya, participants left with certificates, pragmatic business skills and a fresh perspective on the evolving fintech landscape.

Nicole said: “It’s gratifying to witness young people become inspired by a meaningful career in the fintech sector. This may sound cliché, but we learn from them as much as they do from us. Giving back to our communities is important, and something I can do while working at Thunes.”

Learn more here about how Thunes makes a difference in building the future of payments.

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