Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
In China, 8.5 million people graduate from college every year. According to the 2010 Employment Report on Chinese College Graduates, nearly 1 million of them cannot find jobs; for those who do, 40% quit within the first six months due to low pay, unsatisfactory work environment, and glass ceiling barriers. The average salary for a college graduate, around 2100 RMB per month is barely enough to cover high rent and food costs. On top of that, it is common for employers to exploit them with unfair compensation practices, such as so-called “training” that takes advantage of their free labor or extended probation periods without pay.
Though not traditionally considered to be the target of poverty alleviation efforts, this demographic is close to the Base of the Pyramid. They face tremendous difficulties in finding jobs, struggling to make ends meet, and often having multiple family members to support. Despite the country’s seeming prosperity, many young people hold pessimistic views toward adult life and lack career motivations. However, their happiness is the keystone to a healthy, prosperous society.
This demographic makes up the vast majority of users on our site. Most of them are from Central, West and Northeast China, such as Hunan, Sha’anxi and Liaoning Province, outside the centers of economic prosperity. 86% of them are female.
Within two weeks after launching the beta in mid-May, we received over 4000 applications to join our platform, confirming our initial assessment of demand. By the time of entry submission, we have approved over 1000 users and the number continues to grow every day. We estimate 5000 people will have registered to work on our platform by the end of August. Users typically sign in once every two days, indicating strong engagement and a constant demand for the platform.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Crowdsourcing has started to revolutionize a fundamental aspect of human life – work. The functional improvements we are making enable our initiative to be a lot more effective in developing countries.
On Zuodao, large assignments are broken up into small pieces, which are allocated to different users according to their capabilities, interests and availability. Therefore, as long as there is Internet, our users can determine where to work, when to work, how much and what to work on completely out of their own choices. This is especially helpful in developing countries where people have less choice in their work schedule.
Because our powerful technological platform replaces redundant middle management typically required in traditional outsourcers, we are able to pass down a substantial amount of revenue to our workers and increase their earnings per hour by a large margin.
All our workers are evaluated solely based on their performance and effective contribution. They can track their work approval history and challenge its results at any time. Thus they are paid for what their work is actually worth, without dealing with office politics or being implicitly or explicitly discriminated against any social, gender, physical or religious factors.
Unlike many outsourcing enterprises that turn workers into a mindless assembly line, our priority is to create a community that enhances mutual learning. On our platform, they can review each other’s work and also invite friends from across the world and help each other do better.