Cultivating data-driven skills in West Africa


Blossom Academy accomplishes transformational outcomes through a live, cohort-based learning experience. The skills-based curriculum is designed in collaboration with industry partners and pedagogically is reflective of real-world experience. Students will be able to apply analytical knowledge and will also receive coaching in critical soft skills. The majority of this experience is delivered virtually, which enables Blossom Academy to leverage technology for quick, accurate fellow assessments. This 6-month program is intended for youth from West Africa - starting from Ghana - who wants to pursue a career in data science or launch a data-driven startup.

This commitment is part of:

Digital Skills for Decent Jobs for Youth


Blossom Academy Private sector

Technical assistance, expertise and implementation; Financial and/or in-kind contribution


  • DataCamp

    Private sector

    Technical assistance, expertise and implementation

  • Microsoft

    Private sector

    Technical assistance, expertise and implementation

Sustainable Development Goals & targets

  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

Achievement At Glance

Since the start date of the commitment, we have been fortunate to accomplish a few things, which includes:

-Training over 200 university graduates in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. (We recruited and trained about 15 students from the Nigeria and Kenya). 

-We have maintained an 84% career placement rate, on average. The majority of our graduates earn 4-6x the average salary of a university graduate in Ghana.

-We were featured on CNN for our efforts in building world-class data science talents and connecting them to meaningful work:

-We secured $100,000 grant from the Expo 2020 Dubai Impact Grant Programme. 

-One of our alumni shared an exciting testimonial about her experience at Blossom Academy:

-We collaborated with Emory University, Syracuse University, and American University to build a pipeline of Blossom graduates who would further their education at their respective institutions. 

Key Highlight On Guiding Principle

1. Focus on the creation of decent jobs and the improvement of the quality of work: Through our commitment, we have been able to create employment opportunities for university graduates who work at our academy and for our graduates who come back to teach select courses under data analytics. Secondly, pursuing a career in analytics provides our graduates with the opportunity to undertake careers where their efforts are greatly appreciated and respected. It also gives them the flexibility to pursue work opportunities anywhere in the world due to the power of having access to laptops and the internet. 

2. Promotion of gender equality: We realize the majority of our applicants are men. As a result, we partner with local hubs - focused on women empowerment - to recruit women into our training programs. We also connect the majority of our female students to respected female mentors who work in technology careers. We've found that this serves as motivation and inspires them to power through the course, knowing that there will be a possibility to embody the career path of their mentor. 


In consultation with employers across industries, Blossom Academy identified a gap in skilled, available young people in the area of Data Analytics. Data Analytics came up as a job in high demand across industries and one in which competency required is clearly demonstrated. To design an effective curriculum, Blossom Academy works with select businesses to understand their data-related deficiencies. In return, business obtain access to graduates. Blossom Academy also works with educational partners, such as DataCamp, to repurpose their educational resources for their program.

Blossom Academy recruits applicants with backgrounds in mathematics, statistics, and software engineering. This approach - coupled with competitive peer learning, mentor-based learning, and project-based experience - contributes to sustainable capacity building in our 6-month training program. Additionally, 70% of the program is facilitated in virtual classrooms, which enables Blossom Academy to leverage technology for quick, accurate student assessments. The in-person lectures are facilitated by leading data scientists who provide knowledge support. Since Blossom Academy believes in creating self-sufficient data-driven leaders, professional readiness workshops are delivered for achieving effectiveness.

Blossom Academy's business model ensures the organization remains investing in the students, which is supported by alumni services and continuous education. For this reason, Blossom Academy cultivates strategic partnerships with businesses and universities to help fulfill its mission of connecting talented young people across Africa to the global economy.

Deliverables and links to SDG targets

  • Progress: 215 young people trained in relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, ICT skills and soft skills

    8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

    Blossom Academy will train 50 young people on relevant skills, including analytical, leadership and soft skills. The initial target is university graduates from Ghana. Blossom Academy has currently cultivated relations with universities to access their talent pool and with tech companies to assess their data-related challenges before designing the curriculum.

    BY: Mar 2020





USD 41,330

Estimated total value of the commitment


young people to benefit directly from this commitment

Target: Only young people 20-24, 25-29

  • Young women
  • Young men
  • Low-income individuals
  • Graduates of second-level education and students in third-level education or beyond

Challenges faced in implementation

Upon completion, we can group our challenges into three buckets: Low Internet Penetration - Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, we had several students commuting 10 hours every Saturday from remote regions to our in-person sessions. As we tried to accommodate their challenge by offering our courses fully virtually for them, we realized that the majority were still unable to join the virtual sessions. We, however, mitigated this by offering stipends for data-bundles. Lack of credibility - Often times, employers do not provide the opportunity to give our graduates the chance to display their skills. To mitigate these challenges, we spend a lot of effort on marketing and raising awareness in order to build trust. We also educate executives on the importance of hiring locally.  Constrained customer wallets - Following the completion of our initial cohort, we began charging select students a subsidized fee of $300 for our Immersive Programs. Despite the price being below average; according to pricing standards of training programs across Africa, there were still a number of students who couldn’t afford our courses. This meant we had to keep offering our programs at no cost in order to meet our impact metrics. 


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