The Mobile Skills ,School through Microfinance, franchise offers a skills and education ,with video, to the illiterate remote people.
The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you
Country of residence of entrepreneur
Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?
I am in my last month of an undergraduate degree in International Development and Food Policy. I became interested in development issues at a young age but my first ,entreprenueral manifestation of my interest, was when I won a " science for Development " award for inventing a fuel effecient stove( using the principle of pressure stoves) ,for use in poor communities in the developing world. This gave me the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia ,at 18, to field test the stove and understand the challenges for its manufacture for local communties. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqey8AEHDAI). Since this projet I have been through vigious processes to attempt to intergrate skills training and manufacture into vocational training for schools and NGO's in Uganda and Ethiopia. The interest in problem solving came from when I was 16 ,when I led a grouP to second place in a national science competition, the prize was for creating a problem solving / inventive thinking game for children " TRIZ 4 Kidz". (http://www.triz-journal.com/archives/2007/08/06/). After 4 years of studying International Development, and a six month Internship with Self Help Africa ( in Zambia and Ethiopia). I have successfully carried out a serious of pilot testing and pilot projects using the equipment for the Mobile Skills School. My six month placement allowed me the opportunity to pilot my own "participatory video" initiative using innovative equipment and methods that differ from the world leaders in PV. I have also have the equipment being tested in Burkino Faso and Tanzania. I believe that education is the key to breaking free from poverty and that access to education and skills training should be available to all.
About Your Organization
Mobile Skill School
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
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The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
Illiteracy and lack of Access are the main problems.
Knowledge is power, power to break free from the shackles of poverty, power to self determination. There are many illiterate people living in remote communities all over the world. The problem , many cannot afford the time nor money for education ,or vocational skills. Prgrammes are often not accessible in terms of physical distances and due to tradition , in the case of women. No infrastructure, electricity or transport are available to many people .The education systems in place in many countries, for example Uganda, Zambia, Tanzambia, are focused on the traditional education, with white collar civil service aspirations, the need is a vocational modern system providing appropriate skills for development.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Our Solution: A mobile skills school, supported by Microfinance. The skills school package can provide education, through videos and pictures, to the most remote communities in the world. The whole school is made up of- a tiny 9Watt Pico projetors, lessons on micro SDcards and small hand-held cameras. Theses are used to teach lessons an skills to members of rural communities,by a local trainer and apprentice,with narration in local language.
How do the equipment and trainers reach the participants? The trainers travel on a motor bike and the equipment fits into their pocket.
Skills like water ,irrigation, food preservation, HIV awareness , agricultural programs and many more can be accessed by illierate people in the most remote areas of society.
This provides a route for gorvenment and NGO's to reach the people who really need them.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
1. We raise funds from outside (international) investors (preferably impact investors)
2. We team up with local communities and NGO's in Cameroon
3. Together with our local partners we set up water projects where we support our partners with funding, knowledge and access to our network
4. We take care of the maintenance of the systems, creating sustainable projects
5. Our partners pay a (monthly) fee for the use of the system
6. With our income, we pay for maintenance and our organizational costs
7. Our profits will be used to reinvest in other project (we go back to point 2)
8. At a certain time we will start paying back our initial investors
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Other systems for example the " School in a Box" system which includes a small projector and lessons is available also. I can see these as peers in the markets place. Their objective is to supply systems to rural schools, our mandate is different- to access people with no access to formal education structures, and give people access to lessons that are relavent to their livelihood and community.
Select the stage that best applies to your business
Operating for less than a year
This Entry is about (Issues)
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?
Social Impact- To provide access to education and skills to illiterate and marginalized members of remote communities.
The project to date has been in its testing phase . Zambia and Ethiopia: Testing using the Participatory Video Model- Gives farmers and communities a voice.
The written feedback discussion, written evaulation and videos made for feedback show that you can really give farmers a voice, and that voice is wanted to be share with other communities for learning.
What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?
The largest barrier is the understanding of NGO's and governemnts in the importances of input from beneficiaries , they are the main stake holders. The formal " white collar" education is seen as a the educational requirement in many countries. The focus to deliver this type of education can posse as a barrier. This will be overcome by the success of participants in using their skills from the Mobile skills school to create their own success.
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?
The use of microfinance creates a financially sustainable Model. Injection of Seed Fund into Microfinance
this provides : Franchise resource pack
and : Training of first four Trainers ( Masters)
Each takes an apprentice ( who will become master after three months)
The project is truly sustainable as participants who have benefited from the mobile skills school, can become an apprentice and transfer the mobile skills school to other communities.
This green, environmentally friendly model uses solar power and low energy comsuming equipment.
Equals a Sustainable Revenue model
How it Works:
1.Subcontract Programme to be delivered to remote communities while seeding franchise operations mobile and fixed for schools, skills, awareness, Markets, governments, NGOs,Foundations.
2. Charge for entertainment ,education skills as ability to pay develops.
3. Apprentice gets wage while training
4. Follow on programmes sales - mobile networks , pico DC grids – increased revenue opportunities for a green sustainable future
Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?
This model will not just give access to education to the most remote members of society , it will also create a sustainable income streams for masters, trainers and apprentices. As the model grows there will be continueous job opportunities for trainers and apprentives and these will multiple every three months( when apprentices becomes masters and take on new apprentices).
What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?
The stay in will give me the opportunity to meet with other social entrepreneurs and exchange ideas on their business model. I would like to meet with members of remote communties and gain their feedback about the mobile skills school. The challenges I would face would be criticism to the model but I also find the criticism the most rewarding as I can learn and adapt the model to the most applicable to the area. Another challenge is the different culture in Uganda, to other countries in Africa, will create different challenges to the mobile skills school , for example - a skills video of cooking in Zambia will differ greatly to Uganda. Also the success of Microfinace is very visible in Ethiopia whereas is other African countries it has not be so successful, it will be interesting to see its effectiveness in different regions of Uganda.