A Million Plans for Humanity

A Million Plans for Humanity

Oulu, MoroccoOulu, Finland
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are empowering underprivileged women through technology: We have a simple product, a floor plan of a real-estate, and a tool that can make anyone a floor plan designer after short training. Even uneducated and illiterate ones. Our goal is to create at least a million (floor) plans for humanity.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

a rather insignificant product,a floor plan,could actually empower women in poor countries and bring them out of poverty
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

People born in poverty usually inherit the poverty. The underprivileged have limited opportunities for education, employment and income generation and higher chances of poor health, turning to crime and dependence on social welfare or charity. Still among these people there are talents undiscovered who can do even complexed tasks using modern tools if trained up and given a chance.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We have technology tool that enables almost anyone to become a designer and create fantastic floor plans for real-estate agencies and home-buyers. It is so easy-to-use tool, that we decided to start training under-privileged women in developing countries to become our production force. We also built a platform to distributed the small floor plan drawing tasks, which we started to call "minitasks". Our production unit employes and empowers, but also benefits the whole community. Yet individuals can make much more than in any other available job for them. The infrastructure for the production hub is a micro loan and the community can earn the equipment for themselves and use it e.g. educational purposes.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We sell floor plans to real-estate agents and agencies. We sell them online using online ads, SEO and NGO partners. When a floor plan is ordered through our website "cubicasa.com" it will be distributed to our floor plan designer in a developing country. They use our tool to create the floor plan drawing on the lines of the sketch received from the client. Before final delivery it goes through QA. Per each floor plan the floor plan designer earns 1€. One floor plan costs 10€. Designer can make easily 10 floor plans per day. (monthly -> ~200-300€). 30% commission of the total revenue goes to NGOs and activity groups selling our products in Europe and N.America and thus raising funds for their own operations.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We are a fourth sector company; A sustainable business which does not believe in making profits for few, but sharing benefits with everybody involved. Business needs to make profit in order to survive. Our profit we invest in building our technology platform to serve also other kinds of "minitasks" than floor plans. And thus employ more people in developing countries and establish production hubs in many countries. Currently we are training people in Bangladesh. They will become "teachers" in the future and train up more women around the world. We will launch our service in November 2013. After few months we will make few thousand floor plans monthly. Our goal is to make one million floor plans, thus the name "A Million Plans for Humanity". In 5 years time we believe that we can employ hundreds of women and indirectly have brought thousands of people out from poverty globally.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

A Million Plans for Humanity will create a sustainable business model that works under private sector business laws, but how the revenues are distributed among all the parties involved is different. We believe in total transparency and will also show it on our website using a "counter" which calculates all the "minitasks" (eg. floor plans) done by us. Real-time revenue calculator shows how the money is distributed between everybody.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are couple organizations working on similar way distributing "microtasks" to people using a technology platform. Microtasks are tiny jobs that can be done by a push of a button (eg. image tagging). They don't require much training. Samasource (from USA) is one of the microtask providers. However, "A Million Plans" minitask platform offers also a possibility for any activity group (students, sports teams, etc.) to raise funds for their own operations or some charity cause by selling the minitask products (eg. floor plans). This requires total transparency in money distribution.
Team

Founding Story

Years ago we were growing fast, but we never thought how global economics can affect on our 3D visualization business in such a dramatic way. Well, they did. In 2008 Lehman Brothers went down. Soon the effects were seen in the real-estate industry all over the world. Clients stopped ordering and we started our own downfall. More than 20 lost their jobs as we had to shut down our operations. We were left with 100k€ debt to pay. We kept paying the debt back and working on a dream: One day we will show the bankers of Lehman Brothers that it is not all about the money. It's possible to run a business and create benefits for all instead of financial profits for few. Now it is the year 2013. And finally we can show them bankers!
About You
Organization:
CubiCasa Ltd
About You
First Name

Mikko

Last Name

Perälä

About Your Organization
Organization Name

CubiCasa Ltd

Organization Country

, OU, Oulu

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

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Project
Year founded

2013

Impact
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date?

Currently we are training educated women in Bangladesh. They will become our teachers/ambassadors in the future and train up more women around the world (eg, in Morocco). In November 2013 we launch the first production "hub" in Bangladesh. Right after we want to open another one in Africa (Morocco) to serve clients from different timezones.

During 2014 our production capacity needs to be improved to match the demand in the market. Thus more women are needed to work as floor plan designers.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

- Lack of funds to invest in the development of full technology platform to sell and produce minitasks (eg. floor plans)
- Training up uneducated and/or illiterate women to produce minitasks is too difficult
- Unable to find a large international development organizations to partner with us
- We are unable to sell enough to grow fast enough and run out of funds
- localization is too demanding (hubs, products)
- getting the necessary infrastructure to remote locations

Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

We partner with large international development organizations such as World Vision (negotiations on-going). This will help us to spread our message wider and use their existing sales & fund raising channels to sell our products (and raise funds for them on 30% commission). In 5 years time we believe that we can employ hundreds of women and indirectly have pulled thousands of people out from poverty globally. At the same time we have raised few million euros for good cause through the sales commissions paid to our partnering NGOs in western countries.

Sustainability
Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

A Million Plans for Humanity will create a sustainable business model that works under the private sector business laws, but how the revenues are distributed among all the parties involved is different. We believe in total transparency and will also show it on our website using a "counter" which calculates all the "minitasks" (eg. floor plans) done by us. Real-time revenue calculator shows how the money is distributed between everybody.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Years ago we were growing fast, but we never thought how global economics can affect on our 3D visualization business in such a dramatic way. Well, they did. In 2008 Lehman Brothers went down. Soon the effects were seen in the real-estate industry all over the world. Clients stopped ordering and we started our own downfall. More than 20 lost their jobs as we had to shut down our operations. We were left with 100k€ debt to pay. We kept paying the debt back and working on a dream: One day we will show the bankers of Lehman Brothers that it is not all about the money. It's possible to run a business and create benefits for all instead of financial profits for few. Now it is the year 2013. And finally we can show them bankers!

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

We are currently talking with World Vision. We are negotiating with them to become partners in developing a sustainable business model around the minitask platform.

University of Oulu is doing a study on us.

Women Powering Work
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following challenges?

Training and education such as skills workshops, entrepreneurship courses, apprenticeship opportunities

Does your project utilize any of the strategies below?

Customizing technology such as mobile phones, websites, or telecommuting tools to enable greater economic participation

Comments

Mikko Perälä's picture

Hi guys!

Here we go again. CubiCasa is back. And we have a plan!

Actually we have a million plans for humanity!

Please do let us know of your support, well-wishes, suggestions and any other kind of feedback. I feel this time we really show them bankers ;)

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