Meet Hafsah El-Yakubu: The young Nigerian aspiring to Transform Tech recruitment through her platform Maha Tech.

Hafsah, Founder of Maha Tech

As a tech entrepreneur hailing from Northern Nigeria, one of the primary challenges we face is the shortage of tech talent in the region. This scarcity not only poses a hurdle for local businesses but also impedes the growth and success of startups aiming to establish a foothold in the tech industry. 

Meet Hafsah El-Yakubu, a young lady from Northern Nigeria and a Graduate of Computer Science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Hafsah is the founder of Maha Tech, A tech startup inspired by her experiences leading the STEM Coders Club at her university. According to her, Maha Technologies is on a mission to bridge the gap between aspiring tech professionals and tech recruiters in Nigeria and all over the world. 

I had an exclusive chat with Hafsah to learn more about what Maha Tech represents and what her motivation is, especially given that she comes from a region in Nigeria where female Tech founders are scarcely found. 

Lukman: What is Maha Technologies modeled based on?

Hafsah: Maha Tech is a platform that thrives on collaborative growth, actively engaging with over 10 communities. This unique approach which involves leveraging community not only diversifies our talent pool but also creates a robust support system for newcomers, ensuring a win-win scenario for all.

Maha Tech doesn’t stop at job placements; we are committed to continuous learning and career development. Mentorship programs and targeted training sessions are just the beginning, with new projects and features in the pipeline. At the heart of Maha Technologies’ mission lies a commitment to positive impact, collaboration, and unlocking the full potential of individuals in the ever-evolving tech industry.

Lukman: What motivated you to establish Maha Technologies, and what was the inspiration behind its formation?

Hafsah: Maha Tech for short, is more than a project; it was birthed from my experiences leading the STEM Coders Club at Ahmadu Bello University. Starting as Vice President and later becoming Club President, I saw first-hand the challenges students face when entering the tech industry and also how recruiters struggle to find the right people. This realization became even more evident while working on a collaborative project with my cofounders, Khadijah Muhammad and Fatima Yahaya, where we noticed a shortage of skilled, and eligible tech professionals in a growing ecosystem.

We recognized this as an opportunity. Our venture, Maha Tech, focuses on solving the very issue scaling companies encounter: tech recruitment and outsourcing. By creating a platform that connects both companies and talents to opportunities for growth, we aim to provide a solution to a problem we (as talents and recruiters) have experienced firsthand.

Being part of the success stories of growing businesses and talents climbing the career ladder fuels our passion. 

Lukman: How does Maha Tech guarantee that candidates benefit from joining their Talent pool?

Hafsah: We go beyond just connecting candidates with job opportunities. We offer programs that focus on continuous learning, skill enhancement, and career development. From mentorship programs to targeted training sessions for both talents and recruiters, we strive to provide all parties with the required resources to help them unlock their full potential. We are excited to be working on new projects and features which will be introduced soon. 

Lukman: You must have heard of Outsource Global, an outsourcing firm owned by a Nigerian Female. I am tempted to get the feeling that both establishments operate similarly, can you clarify the distinctions?

Hafsah: Sure! Outsource Global is a business and knowledge process outsourcing service provider. On the other hand, MahaTech is a tech-enabled recruitment agency that focuses on connecting pre-vetted tech talents and businesses to opportunities for growth. 

Lukman: How open is Maha Technologies to partnership opportunities with other institutions and communities, and what are the key aspects you look for in such collaborations?

Hafsah: Very! We are highly welcome to partnership opportunities with institutions and communities that align with our mission. We seek collaborations that enhance the overall ecosystem for talent and business growth.

Some key aspects we look for include shared values, a commitment to fostering talent development, and a collaborative spirit to create lasting impacts. We work closely with renowned tech and business communities both online and offline to find the best talents for our pool.

Lukman: What challenges do you face as a tech entrepreneur, especially being from Northern Nigeria? Are there any ways you feel the government or non-governmental organizations can step in to help?

Hafsah: As a tech entrepreneur hailing from Northern Nigeria, one of the primary challenges we face is the shortage of tech talent in the region. This scarcity not only poses a hurdle for local businesses but also impedes the growth and success of startups aiming to establish a foothold in the tech industry. At Maha Technologies, our core mission revolves around addressing this specific challenge. We are committed to providing a platform that sources and connects tech talents with businesses in need, fostering a conducive environment for both professional and economic growth.

In terms of government and non-governmental support, interventions that focus on enhancing tech education and skills development are crucial. By investing in educational programs, training initiatives, and infrastructure that nurture a tech-savvy workforce, the government can play a pivotal role in bridging the talent gap. Additionally, policies that incentivize tech innovation, provide funding for startups, and create an enabling environment for the tech ecosystem can significantly contribute to the overall growth of the industry. This holistic approach not only addresses the immediate challenges but also sets the stage for sustainable and inclusive economic development.

Lukman: Where do you see Maha Technologies in 5 years, and are there any possibilities of scaling to other parts of Africa?

Hafsah: In five years, Maha Technologies envisions itself as a pan-African force, impacting technological innovation and talent development across the continent. We aspire to become a leading platform for connecting talents with opportunities, fostering collaborations, and facilitating skill development. Our goal is to extend our footprint beyond Nigeria, establishing a presence in key tech ecosystems across Africa, and leveraging partnerships and collaborations to empower more entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts. 

Our vision involves creating a talent network that transcends borders, collaborating with local communities, businesses, and institutions to nurture tech talent and drive sustainable growth. By scaling our operations, we aim to contribute significantly to Africa’s tech ecosystem, bridging the gap between talent and opportunity while promoting inclusive development throughout the region. Additionally, our ambition is to bring opportunities for growth to businesses and talents in remote parts of Africa, aiding digital inclusion and fostering economic empowerment on a wider scale.

Lukman: How does Maha Technologies select talents for its candidate pool, and what are the criteria for eligibility and selection?

Hafsah: Our selection process for the candidate pool is rigorous and thorough. We look for individuals with a blend of technical expertise and exceptional soft skills. Criteria for eligibility include a good reputation for reliability, professionalism, and competence, along with relevant technical skills. Demonstrated interest and a willingness to learn on the job are essential attributes we seek in potential candidates. The selection process ensures that our pool consists of top-notch talents ready for exciting opportunities.

Lukman: Can you elaborate on the customized or special recruitment services that Maha Technologies provides for clients with specific needs?

Hafsah: Maha Tech understands that every client has unique recruitment needs. Our customized services cater to these specific requirements, whether it’s pre-vetting applicants for an opportunity, bulk placements, providing training, or any other specialized request. We tailor our approach to ensure our clients get precisely what they need to build their dream teams. We are excited to introduce new features on our platform to better accommodate our customer’s needs.

Lukman: Do you have any fundraising plans?

Hafsah: We value the importance of bootstrapping and we believe we can make incremental growth with our current resources. Our main priority at the moment is to build a product that will be of immense value to our clients and talent pool. Obviously, we would have to raise capital in the future, but for now, we are learning from feedback and constantly improving our product offerings.

Lukman: Considering your experience and journey so far, what is the one piece of advice you have for aspiring young entrepreneurs wanting to start a venture?

Hafsah: One invaluable piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to embrace the ‘start small, think big’ philosophy. Conduct research, assess opportunities, and consider launching with a minimum viable product (MVP) if a startup. For instance, Kenya’s M-Pesa began with a small-scale mobile payment service before revolutionizing the finance landscape across Africa. 

What about competition? Brace it! Rather than being intimidated by other upcoming and existing ventures similar to yours in the market, view it as an opportunity for growth. Find your unique selling proposition (USP) and carve out a niche in the market that aligns with your passion and expertise. Focusing on a specific area allows you to establish yourself as an expert and better cater to your target audience’s needs. 

Finally, building a robust professional network is integral to an entrepreneur’s success, both personally and professionally. Actively connect with fellow entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and potential mentors. Look at the impact of innovation hubs like CcHUB in Lagos or MEST in Accra—they offer not just spaces but connections, mentorship, and resources. Engage with these networks, attend local events like DEMO Africa or the Africa Fintech Festival, and tap into the rich pool of knowledge and opportunities they offer. Also, watch out for many of the opportunities coming up in the likes of Incubation programs, accelerators, grants, business competitions, and leadership programs. 

Lukman: Where can interested talents find and communicate with you?

Hafsah: You can visit our website at

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