All you need to know about SantaBen 2022

Benjamin Dada returns with over $100,000 worth of tech scholarships, thanks to training and infrastructural partners. Participants stand a chance to win laptops, solar inverters and skill training.

All you need to know about SantaBen 2022

In this post, I'll talk through the modalities for SantaBen 2022. Please read on if you'd like to participate—as a beneficiary or sponsor.

Key information:

  • Call for application starts: Monday, December 12, 2022
  • Application ends: Sunday, December 18, 2022
  • Selection and feedback starts: Monday, December 19, 2022
  • Last batch of feedback sent: Friday, December 23, 2022

What is SantaBen?

SantaBen is an annual scholarship started in 2019 by Benjamin Dada to get more young Africans into tech through training, capital, application advisory and placement support.

Read about the 2020 edition

Tech is broad and speaks to an industry that is not only enabled by tech (like banking), but is tech-first (e.g high-growth startups). So far, we've reached over 100 young Africans, particularly in Nigeria, with our scholarship.

This year's SantaBen has scholarships worth over $100,000—thanks to our partners. And we are looking to reach more than 100 people, this year alone.

Who is SantaBen 2022 for?

The target beneficiary for SantaBen 2022 are:

  • Africans between the ages of 15-35 years old,
  • With little or no experience (0-5 years) working in tech.

So, if you were in another industry (e.g veterinary medicine), and you want to transition into tech, this is for you.

But this is not for you if you are a Senior (>5 years) in tech, because the industry tends to favour seniors and pay better, at that level. In fact, as a senior, you should be a sponsor.

While, if you are an organisation, we can also partner.

In the past, I've had friends in the industry sponsor. In 2020, I wrote "This year’s giveaway is being supported by Product Manager, Fisayo; Developer, Moyin; Designer, Imasuen; and Product/Process Manager, Busayo".

And I've also partnered with training organisations like DevCareers, and ProductDive. Or talent communities like Tech Marketers Hub.

If you are interested in sponsoring or partnering, please reach out to me on Twitter, my DM is open.

Sponsors for this year include: Growth Marketer, Hachi Onubedo; Product Designer, Imole Oluyemi and Product Manager, Seunla Osinowo.

Proud moment–Hachi formerly worked with us,

What's SantaBen doing this year?

This year is exciting! We have new partners and new offerings.

Although SantaBen is for Africans, the bulk of our beneficiaries, till date, have been from Nigeria. In Nigeria, we know that power supply is epileptic and this hinders learning and growth in the knowledge economy. To reduce some of this effect, we've partnered with organisations who can offer a solar-powered inverters or simply open up their space to learners.

That said, the official partners for SantaBen 2022 are:

  • Aspire Power Solutions (Power – Inverters)
  • Tinc Support (Learning Devices – Laptops)
  • Stutern Graduate Accelerator (Training and Placement support)

Aspire Power Solutions x SantaBen

For the past six years, Aspire Power Solutions (APS) has designed, installed and financed renewable energy solutions across 14 states in Nigeria. It's led by my former boss, Mustapha Abokede, who was the Director of Operations at Andela.

We've partnered with APS to provide and install an inverter to five beneficiaries.

Here are the specs:

  • 1kVA/12V  inverter
  • 150AH battery
  • 180W/12V solar panels

With this solar system, you can charge your laptop and a standing fan for about 10 hours, at full use. So, if you use it to charge only your laptop, it should last the entire day (save for the hours when you are asleep).

APS will also install a Solar panel on your roof, be sure to have space for this, that will augment the battery in the solar system. So that it can give you better uptime.

Tinc Group x SantaBen

Tinc Group is an IT services and consulting company reputable for procuring and repairing devices. It's founded by a senior colleague from University, Osho Emmanuel—who has managed similar companies for the last seven years.

We have partnered with Tinc to provide five clean UK-used laptops to beneficiaries. Here are the specs:

  • Dell latitude 3570,
  • Intel Core i3 6th Gen
  • 256GB SSD 8GB Ram
  • 15.6-inch HD Display

With this spec, it can run any software application that you might use for your work in tech.

Stutern x SantaBen

Stutern is a skills development and job placement platform that trains and connects young African talents with long-term employment. I worked there in 2016, after graduating from University.

For this partnership, Stutern is only admitting intermediate-level talent. So, we are partnering with others like Seamfix NextGen. More information below.

Watch this video to hear the testimony of a Nigerian who transitioned from the media/radio space to a Design career, post-Stutern.

How Anu transitioned from being an OAP to a Product Designer in Tech

If you need extra motivation, here is a story of graduates of Stutern's Accelerator Eniola Aminu (works at Flutterwave) and Ayowole (works at Interswitch).

The full tuition fee for Stutern Graduate Accelerator is ₦540,000 ($1,200). Through this partnership, Stutern is looking to enrol 100 learners.

They will provide:

  • a learning space in Lagos (optional to use it)
  • training courses in these six tracks: UI/UX design, Front-end development, Back-end development, Mobile development, Software testing, and Data science

Selected female applicants will receive a 100% scholarship, while male participants will receive 50% scholarship from Stutern.

SantaBen is willing to pay the 50% balance for one male applicant selected by Stutern. This means that you'd also need to apply for the course you want on Stutern's website and choose "SantaBen" as how you heard about the programme.

For beginners looking to acquire tech skills in product design, frontend and backend engineering, if you are selected, we will connect you with Seamfix NextGen. So, just go ahead and apply to be a beneficiary of SantaBen 2022.

How to participate in SantaBen2022

In the past, we'd asked people to make a public case about why they should be selected for the scholarships. That was done to get the wisdom of the crowd, shown via RTs, in shortlisting who they felt deserved it more. But of course, RTs on people's application can be engineered. This year, we are doing something different.

Get weekly insights on tech startups and VC in Africa