Solution overview

Our Solution

Chakri Nao (Get Jobs)

Tagline

Providing Learning and Earning Opportunities for Underserved Bangladeshis through One Single Account

Pitch us on your solution

Bangladesh’s working population is largely undereducated regardless of the improved school enrolment rate due to the low quality of education. This leads to many of these people applying for low-skilled jobs overseas as migrant workers, leaving their families behind only to earn low wages.

SDI and SE! are two organisations who decided to combine their strengths to provide better earning opportunities for these groups through a holistic approach of education linked directly to occupational prospects. We teach fundamental skills through an open-source educational game-app linked to an exclusive job-seeking platform which the migrant workers will be able to access once they’ve reached a sufficient level of skills.

By being able to learn more through the game-app, they will be able to earn more by applying for jobs requiring their newly-achieved set of skills. We hope to empower Bangladeshi migrant workers by providing them with a broader range of occupational options while staying within the borders of the country.

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What is the problem you are solving?

According to World vision 4.4 Million Bangladeshi Youths are unemployed due to lack of skills training and opportunities. 72% of them are keen to learn skills. Bangladesh’s enrolment rate at the primary school level has risen to 98% in 2015, however, the quality of education remains low. In 2018, 44% of students who have finished first grade are unable to read their first word (USAID, 2019). In fact, only 4% of workers in Bangladesh have reached an education higher than secondary level (The World Bank, 2016).

Training for employability is available, however the low standards still leaves them unemployable. The lack of job opportunities especially in the rural districts of Bangladesh then forces the rural population to either migrate to the city and cause overpopulation, or migrate to other countries for better opportunities. Unfortunately, working as a migrant worker comes with many problems of its own. Bangladeshi migrant workers are often faced with high migration fees for low-skilled jobs, low wages, discrimination and exploitation, and insufficient services to protect their rights (ILO, 2019). Afterwards, despite their valuable experience in the foreign country, there is not much initiative to help them reintegrate back to the Bangladesh's economy after they return.


Who are you serving?

We are working to help migrant workers who are sent for overseas employment as well as their relatives and the communities that they come from. These workers are mostly within the age range of 25-40 (ADB, 2016). In the past, female workers accounted for a very small portion of the whole. However, these numbers have risen to up to 57.4% female workers in 2014 (ADB, 2016).

In the past, we have helped 7,500 migrant workers with English, IT Literacy, Financial Literacy, and Entrepreneurship training in the past 5 years. A survey that we have conducted has also helped us learn that 98% of Bangladeshi migrant workers are keen to start their own ventures after returning back home. Our solution will help them minimise their risk and gain access to information and opportunities when they ideate their business ventures for Bangladesh. Through our game-app architecture, we plan to scale the proven model to equip these migrant workers with the required skills to be more employable, especially in times of global crisis in their specific industry such as a crash in oil and gas industries and have an alternative mode of income.

What is your solution?

We are serving the Bangladeshi Migrant Workers residing outside of Bangladesh as a catalyst to create employment opportunities when they return back home through skills training and entrepreneurship skills. We aim to do this by establishing a connection between quality education and training to job prospects by linking achievements in learning to real-life work opportunities. 

To deliver the training materials, we have designed an Android game-app called Dawn of Civilization (DoC) to provide free education and training for a broad audience, not excluding Bangladeshi migrant workers. By integrating game mechanics, artificial intelligence, and social media to an evidence-based curriculum, we have created a mobile game app that allows players to build skills while playing. Unlike most education technology products available in the market, DoC was designed specifically for medium to low-end smartphones and intermittent internet connectivity to make it available to everyone regardless of their socio-economic background. 

The game architecture is designed to be open-source, therefore allowing anyone to contribute their own content through Content+, our content development portal. This will give flexibility to adjust which basic or vocational skills to teach accordingly based on the needs of the target audience. The game currently holds 30,000 micro concepts and can be played both online and offline.

Learning progress through the game is accessible through a web-based platform, which will allow tracking of learners’ competence levels. Once players have reached the desired skill competency by learning through the game, through the same account they will be given access to Solve Employment!, a job-seeking portal exclusively for those who learn and train through DoC. This ensures that our target audience has access to higher-level jobs at the exact time when they are ready.

For entrepreneurship skills, we aim to provide them access to knowledge, access to market and access to capital in ensuring the highest success for their ventures. We believe, their success will eventually create more employment opportunities for their communities in their hometown.

With SDI Academy’s access to Bangladeshi migrant workers in 55 out of the 64 districts in Bangladesh, we have the ability to bring our solution to all over Bangladesh within a short span of time and scale the solution rapidly.

Select only the most relevant.

  • Accelerate economic growth and create high-paying jobs across geographies and demographics in Bangladesh, especially among marginalized populations and youth
  • Provide equitable and cost-effective access to services such as healthcare, education, and skills training to enable Bangladeshi society to adapt and thrive in an environment of changing technology and demands

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Singapore

In which sector would you categorize your solution?

  • Education

Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot
More about your solution

Describe what makes your solution innovative.

Our solution uses a holistic approach where education and work opportunities are provided as a whole, instead of being two separate entities. This way, we provide an end to end learning to employment pathways to promote socio-economic mobility through the migrant workers to their broader community back at home. Beyond skills training and employment opportunities for alternative employment, we would also train them with entrepreneurship skills with the aim of them setting up their ventures after returning back home in Bangladesh.Training of returning migrant workers will result in a multiplier impact as most of them are highly influential in their communities and can create a ripple effect. Our unique access to migrant workers and our technology-based solution gives us the ability to scale our solution rapidly all over Bangladesh with minimal resources.

Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?

The goal we aim to reach is accessibility to quality education and entrepreneurship training for Bangladeshi migrant workers in order for them to become part of a more employable knowledge workforce and create more employment opportunities in the rural districts of Bangladesh regardless of their socio-economic background. The current situation that we are faced with is low-quality workforce—stemming from low-quality education—which forces them to seek employment opportunities as migrant workers. We will narrow the gap between these two situations by leveraging the popularity of smartphones by creating a mobile game that is both engaging and specifically designed to be accessible on medium to low-end smartphones as well as connecting eligible players of the game to potential employment or internship opportunities. This is actualized through our game-app, Dawn of Civilization (DoC), and our job-seeking platform, Solve Employment!. Our target audience will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence at no cost through the game-app and they will have access to employment opportunities through the job-seeking platform once they have reached a certain skill competency level within the game.

Select the key characteristics of the population in Bangladesh your solution serves.

  • Women & Girls
  • Rural Residents
  • Urban Residents
  • Very Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Bangladesh
  • Indonesia
  • Singapore

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Bangladesh
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore

How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?

Our game app has been played by over 10,919 unique learners since its deployment in 2017. Our migrant workers’ project has graduated 7,633 migrant workers through physical vocational courses and engaged with 54,000 workers through events and workshops. Based on our average new learners’ engagement rate in the last year and new partnerships with dormitories, modular workshop style approach, and the launch of Dr English guidebook, we aim to expand our impact to at least 46,000 learners in the next year. In five years, we hope that we will have impacted at least 328,000 learners.

What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

Within the next year, we hope to engage at least 46,000 migrant workers in our game-based education to employment platforms by the end of 2020 by identifying local communities and organizations that work with or have a direct connection to migrant workers. We will conduct app testing and get meaningful feedback from them to help us scale up the content and adjust to their needs. We aim to reach at least 10% of migrant workers with increased household income through internship and employment opportunities in the Solve Employment! online portal. We will conduct usability tests of our education and employment platforms with focus groups of these users to ensure that players gain the required skills for employment and design online courses in such a way that will help our beneficiaries to develop knowledge and skills required in the jobs posted on Solve Employment!. In the next five years, we aim to have added at least 4 training modules through the game and expand our impact to reach a total of 328,000 users.

What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?

  1. The accessibility of our solution to our target beneficiaries is often dependent on device access through facilitators and enablers. Since our beneficiaries may have limited to no access to a digital device, workers who do not own smartphones rely on devices provided by facilitators and enablers to access the game, which is also sometimes limited in numbers.

  2. Due to the limited exposure to digital devices, it is only natural that our target beneficiaries are also not tech-savvy. Their low digital literacy and familiarity could cause a slight delay in the adoption process.

  3. Many of the Migrants are currently not able to commit for our 4 month long in-person training courses due to their long working hours and limited available time.  

    4. We are not able to provide follow up mentoring and support services for the returning Migrants once they go back to Bangladesh.

How are you planning to overcome these barriers?

  1. Obtaining sponsors to provide devices will be most helpful in making our solution readily accessible to our target audience. Our game-app can accommodate multiple accounts on a single device (100 accounts have been tested), therefore the minimum required number of devices can be calculated. Ensuring the size of the app without compromising content, to ensure that it is accessible on mid to low-end smartphones

  2. With access to the Bangladesh market, we will conduct research on the game’s UI and UX to optimize it to be as intuitive as possible for our targeted audience.

  3. We aim to use a blended learning approach through the DoC app and Dr English book as well as short workshops that will enable us to engage a larger amount of people who can also use the tools for self-learning.  

    4. With our new operations in Bangladesh and partnerships, we hope to have more support and guidance for the Migrant Workers to reintegrate back in Bangladesh's economy.

Select one.

  • My solution is already being implemented in Bangladesh

If you selected “My solution is already being implemented in Bangladesh,” please provide an overview of your current activities in the region.

We are currently piloting our Skills training for outsourcing as well as Entrepreneurship training for Migrant Workers. We have graduated 13 Migrant Startups from our programme and have partnered with BUILD Bangladesh and Impress Group for further support when they return back and start their ventures. We have also partnered with DBL group to train their 35,000 workers and are in discussion with UNDP Bangladesh and ActionAid Bangladesh to deploy our solution as well as for further support for the returning Migrant Entrepreneurs.

If you selected “I am planning to expand my solution to Bangladesh,” please provide an overview of your expansion plans. What is the market opportunity for your business or product in Bangladesh?

N/A

About your team

Select an option below:

Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit

If you selected Other for the organization question, please explain here.

N/A

How many people work on your solution team?

Our leadership team is composed of 23 innovators, technologists, and educators with extensive experience in social work, education, learning science, game development, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and big data analysis.

For how many years have you been working on your solution?

5 years

Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?

We are the best team to implement the solution because we are great at managing the fund that we receive and the people that we work with. Our team has an extensive track record on working on the ground in a new environment in the various workers’ dormitories tips execute our solutions as they are capable to adapt and build trust with the target audience. Our way of work shows how devoted we are in overcoming barriers that limit our target beneficiaries’ access to education and marginalise them from the economy. 

To ensure the quality of our work, we created a team of diverse expertise whose excellence has been recognised by various institutions. SDI’s CEO is one of the youngest Ashoka fellow, the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts and Commerce and the Obama Fellowship program. He has also spent almost half his life in Bangladesh and the remaining in Singapore which enables him a deeper understanding of the root cause. 

SE!'s CEO currently served as a member of a high-level advisory group for digital technology of the Asian Development Bank and is the first Asian who receives the International Intellectual Benefits to Society Award 2018 from the Mensa Foundation for her contributions to education technology and poverty alleviation. Our combined team consists of academics, cognitive scientist, seasoned teachers, social workers, top game developers, software engineers, data scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs. With this, we believe we are the best team to implement the solution and create real impact.

With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?

We are currently partnering with DBL group and HSBC who are employers and can provide employment opportunities for the Youths after they go through training. We have also partnered and have signed MoU with BUILD Bangladesh which provides further mentoring for the selected Migrant Entrepreneurs and access to their network and resources. UNDP and ActionAid is helping us gain access to underprivileged youth communities in Bangladesh.

Your business model & funding

What is your business model?

Ultimately, we aim to impact the lives of migrant workers by providing easy access to training and education as well as job opportunities at a very low cost. Through Dawn of Civilization, they will be equipped with the skills they need to obtain higher-paying jobs and once they have gained these skills, they will be able to access job opportunities through our Solve Employment.

In order to achieve this, the Solve Education! staff need to continuously assess and maintain the game-app and job-seeking platform to accommodate to the needs of our target beneficiaries. In order to keep this running, we are financially supported through the revenue we make through corporate training and hiring process.

We will also have additional revenue stream from service charges for giving Migrants access to market to the larger brands. We believe that these revenue streams will make our solution a sustainable one after the initial phase.  

What is your path to financial sustainability?

To allow us to provide our educational service at a very low cost to free for learners, we have created revenue streams by:

  1. offering our subscription-based learning monitoring and evaluation tool, Learnalytics, a customised learning games service which allows the monitoring of learning progress made through DOC. 

  2. charging hiring companies hiring fee to find them talents. To do that, we have secured a strong partnership with tech, hospitality, and other industry players and at the same time, aggregate jobs from job sites and major corporate's websites. As we work towards becoming the go-to recruiter in developing markets, for sustainable employment.

    3. Service charges for facilitating successful partnerships with Migrant ventures and large brands.

Aside from that, we have also secured donations and grants from various funding organisations and philanthropists. We are working to make our program more sustainable via a combination of philanthropic support and business revenue.

Partnership potential

Why are you applying to the Tiger Challenge?

Our interest is firmly in impacting the lives of our target beneficiaries, not in capturing a profit-generating market.  The scale of our ambition is enormous, and in order to achieve our vision, we must partner with communities, leaders, organisations, resources, expertise and media from across the globe.  We hope to be a part of The Tiger Challenge community so we can do this.

More specifically, we aim to make a diverse collection of skill trainings and subjects available through DoC in order to provide migrant workers with as many options as possible for them to improve their livelihood. The Tiger Challenge community will not only allow us to cover the costs of developing these new modules and game infrastructure, but also get us on the radar of experts in all sorts of fields who could help us scale our solution.

What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?

  • Technology
  • Distribution
  • Funding and revenue model

With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?

We would love to partner with the Bangladesh Ministry of Youth, ICT Ministry, Ministry of Education, and BRAC. We would like to gain access to the resources, infrastructures and network of these organisations. We hope to gain access to the Youths as well as the 4500 Sheikh Rasel ICT labs to use the devices for the deployment of our solution. We would also like to explore, how our solution can eventually be implemented in the various schools to supplement the skills training for the youths.

Solution Team

  • Talitha Amalia Director, Education and Development, Solve Education!
  • Sazzad Hossain SDI Academy
  • Janine Teo CEO, Solve Education!
 
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