Youth Agency Marketplace – from learning to earning


Youth Agency Marketplace (YOMA) is an ecosystem that connects youth, potential future employers and social impact organisations such as NGOs, local and national governments via an online platform. Based on an integration with digital learning platforms and by using ethical and privacy-preserving machine learning algorithms in future, yoma provides youth with opportunities for social & environmental engagement, skills acquisition and employment. The individual growth journey of on and off-platform achievements, is reflected in a digital CV and stored on a blockchain. This information combined with a psychometric analysis will be the basis for individual learning pathways.

Youth participants are incentivised to complete tasks through a positive reinforcement system based on digital tokens, which can be redeemed in a digital & physical marketplace. First iterations of the platform were launched in June 2020 where youth started earning and redeeming their tokens. Since then, more than 300,000 young people have been engaged in various youth opportunities. Currently, yoma is being incubated by RLabs in South Africa and is expected to expand globally as a separate non-profit entity in 2022. By the end of 2022, yoma aims to reach 3 million young people and have evidence for improving youth’s relational wellbeing. Thus, the yoma team plans to build out three main pathways; 1) digital livelihoods, 2) yoma together and 3) impact yoma and validate parts of them with both developmental evaluation and operational research.