This is explained further below;
BUILD: Provide access to capacity building services for subscribers through JumpStart Texts
We live in a world where many hearts are broken, disappointed, depressed, discouraged, stressed with pressure, low self-esteem, lack confidence and boldness resulting into suicide, prostitution for those who can’t cope-up.
We are designing a therapy to such challenges to help people live a better thrilled life through Jumpstart text an everyday text that will encapsulate themes aimed at building self-esteem, boldness, confidence and motivate our users to face their daily social and economic giants in a much more bold and confident way.
How it works
On JumpStart, each day has a different theme, with a range of topics that can make users become happier, healthier and encourage them to be more confident and productive. The texts often shall include a GIF, quote or pop culture reference. Each including a link to an article relating to the theme of the text.
The Service shall be offered and available to users who are 18 years of age or older. JumpStart shall be motivational and empowering text messaging service for Users who register accounts through the online site or messenger platforms. The service shall require users to have a valid cellphone number and carrier contract allowing the receipt of text messages for as long as users choose to subscribe to and use the service.
CONNECT: Provide access to employment information through a dual platform system.
Uganda's unemployment rate is lies at 64% -70 and is believed to go up by 2025 base on ILO report 2014. About 400,000 youths are released annually into the job market to compete for approximately 9,000 available jobs. The 30% of those who are institutionally qualified are unable to find jobs leaving them discouraged, hopeless and resort to giving up the search for jobs.
Furthermore, Uganda’s job market analysis shows that there are few jobs visa vie the number of job seekers, hence new entrepreneurial ideas need to come up to lessen the rate by creating new opportunities for the unemployed to gain skills, and be able to create self-employment,
ULink seeks to create a dynamic online database and SMS based platform to facilitate the connectivity of employers with job seekers so that those who had lost hope have another chance to try again. This will effectively and comprehensively address the inefficiency in the labor market of marginalized Ugandan communities, this solution will take into consideration both the needs of the employers and the minimal technological and financial resources at the disposal of the employees. Through the implementation of a dual platform system, ULink hopes to maximize ease of use while minimizing barriers to entry.
The majority of Uganda’s population are employed informally while some are basically peasant farmers. ULink will provide crucial structure of this economic informality by demonstrating the appropriateness of a dual platform system for a highly asymmetric Ugandan labor market in which service providers enjoy disproportionate access to information.
Through the implementation of electronic marketing campaigns easily accessible to slum populations, our team seeks to attract marginalized workers to ULink, thereby reducing frictional unemployment and poverty in the informal economy.
How it works
First platform: Online Database
How it works
After accessing our website, employers will be prompted to enter key information about their future job openings. This brief questionnaire will serve as a one-stop-shop for employers in reaching potential employees.
First, employers will enter their name or the name of their company. Then, the location of the job is requested.
The next section of the questionnaire is critical to the functioning of our project. Employers will indicate which “Job Identifiers” describe the employment opportunity. The design of the questionnaire is crucial: by asking a multiple-choice query, we effectively standardize responses into sortable buckets. This sorting of identifiers will prove essential to project implementation in the SMS-based phase of the project.
Employers may then write a description of the job. This open text field caters to a wide range of employer preferences. For example, Employer A may include a description of expectations, hours per week, pay range, and age or gender preferences. In contrast, Employer B include only a description of expectations, leaving discussions concerning pay range and hours per week open to negotiation.
In order to address concerns of employer response overload, ULink has included in the survey an option that limits the number of job seekers that will be informed of the posting. Should an employer choose “Less than 30,” a maximum of 29 unique subscribers will receive SMS notifications alerting them to the new job opening. This feature is intended to minimize the potential for spamming of employers.
Finally, employers are asked to indicate their preferred method of contact. Employers may choose to be contacted either by phone or email. As the majority of potential job seekers lack access to reliable Internet, ULink has included subtext so as to encourage employers to list a phone number for job inquiries. Our website will use survey logic to prompt employers for the indicated information.
Upon completion of the survey, the data will be moved to a secure online database. In this database, each entry will receive a unique Job Number, which will be used in coordination with the SMS-based platform.
Second platform: SMS Service
As indicated, ULink seeks to connect employers with the marginalized populations of Ugandan slums. Accordingly, ULink proposes a unique integration of online database (for employers) and SMS service (for employees).
Automated SMS systems are a well-established part of life in the developed world. They are perhaps best known for their role in sweepstakes: media outlets often run contests in which listeners’ text a predetermined word or phrase to a specified number in order to gain admission to a raffle for tickets or experiences. ULink plans to emulate this concept, expanding it significantly so as to make an impact on the employment prospects of marginalized Uganda.
In ULink’s automated SMS system, job seekers will be asked a short, user-friendly series of questions to obtain the most relevant matches with employers. After completing the survey, job seekers will, in effect, have created an applicant profile, from which they will receive information concerning job availability.
Information will be dispersed in the form of simple, user-friendly text messages. When an employer/ service provider posts a job opportunity or information with a given tag (such as “carpentry”) that the job seeker has indicated an interest in, that job seeker will receive a text. The text will contain essential information for the job seeker, pulled from the unique Job Identifier number in the data-base. Such information would include the job description, the location of the job, and the potential employer’s phone number.
This SMS-based platform improves the job seeker’s chances of employment by increasing access to information concerning the job and by providing immediate connectivity to the potential employer. This represents a marked improvement over traditional interpersonal channels of communication, which can often confuse job details and lead to dead ends for employment. It also opens job seekers up to a wide array of employment opportunities, effectively increasing their power to choose satisfying and empowering work.
After making contact the employer and employee will arrange further details concerning duration of employment, wages, and other benefits. It is important to note that ULink does not seek to directly impact such negotiations, but rather to serve as a facilitator of connectivity between employer and employee.
EMPOWER: Train and equip slums and rural community residents to make solar ovens using renewable solar cooking technology.
Solar energy plays an important role in reducing carbon emissions thereby slowing the negative impacts of deforestation, and reduce air pollution from burnt products like firewood,charcoal and kerosene.
Even though we help to connect employers with job seekers, there are few/less jobs for the many jobless skilled and unskilled Ugandans living in urban slums and rural communities.
We intend to train and equip men and women on the use of renewable solar cooking technology to make solar cooking ovens as seen in the picture above. This will enhance their skills to be self-employed but also work as a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation for semi-skilled and unskilled people in slums and rural communities in Uganda.
In Uganda a household spends between $15 to $20 to purchase a small sac of charcoal which would last in 2 to 3 weeks or less depending on the household size, restaurants and hotels will spend many times compared to households. This is very devastating not only to lungs and forests but also turns out to be very expensive for unemployed individuals to afford.
Our project does not only remove charcoal and other cooking fuels but also works as a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation for semi-skilled and unskilled majority in slums and rural communities.
Cooking all around the world is the most universal skill for both men and women regardless whether skilled or unskilled.The sun is a natural resource which is already available. Through partnerships and collaborations with renewable solar cooking technology providers, we shall train and equip men and women to become solar engineers and operators hence men and women shall learn to fabricate and make renewable solar cooking products to leverage on the considerable skills they already have.
Beneficiary feedback story
Dora runs a restaurant in Kavule Kampala. She stocks 5 bags of charcoal behind the kitchen after every 3 weeks. Every time it rains the charcoal becomes wet and very difficult to light up in order for her to prepare food for her customers. "It takes me a full hour to light up wet charcoal and that delays my cooking especially breakfast for my customers, and i can't afford gas or electric cookers "
Our project is designed to help people like Dora work in a more convenient and effective way in service delivery to their customers, but also train and equip others to be self-employed.
The product shall a solar cooking oven but at scale and replication we intend to incorporate solar for lighting, waters heaters, cookers and extra.
PROTECT: Provide access to security alerts to the general public through a community collaborative approach.
In 2015, the U.S. Embassy received reports of street crime, sometimes violence in proximity to areas where U.S. citizens congregate and reside. Outside of Kampala, there were occasional reports of violent crime sprees in the Karamoja Region near the Sudan border. Gulu region experienced some violent crime against private citizens. The Lira region also experienced a wave of violent crime against business owners that prompted the Inspector General of Police to replace the police leadership in the city and to visit the city himself in an effort to reassure local residents. Kampala and its environs saw an increase in incidents involving small organized groups carrying out crimes that could be attributed to poor living conditions, high unemployment, and low-income wages.
Furthermore, driving hazards at night include: broken-down vehicles, pedestrians, drunk drivers, stray animals, poor road conditions, and the possibility of armed robbery. Under normal driving conditions, drivers contend with excessive speed, unpredictable local driving habits, pedestrians/livestock, commuter bus drivers who ignore traffic laws, and vehicles that are not roadworthy (including lack of brake/indicator lights). While general vehicle travel during daylight hours is considered relatively safe, varying conditions of the roadways (potholes) combined with excessive speed can lead to serious accidents. In some areas, piles of trash, missing manhole covers, gaping ditches/potholes, wayward/oblivious pedestrians, and animals are threats to vehicular safety. In the market areas, vendors have taken over the sidewalks and in some cases, much of the roadway, forcing pedestrians into the streets. There have been occasional reports of highway robbery, including carjacking by armed bandits outside urban areas. Some incidents have been accompanied by violence.
ULink is attempting to solve traffic and citizen security problems using a collaborative approach with the help of the communities in Uganda. Using technology, the stay safe alerts will ensure that the members of any community have free, real-time access to information about local conditions, thus allowing them to make better decisions and improve their quality of life (getting home faster and more safely, helping other members avoid areas in which robberies are taking place.
How it works
Community users themselves inform and alert others of traffic and citizen security concerns. Our mobile app or web platform will allow citizens in different communities to be informed and attuned to events going on around them, and it will have the potential to save users time and money, and to lessen risk. Every day, people need to know they are safe in that regard they try to find the safest and fastest route for their journey and therefore media houses will use the information shared via ULink to produce their own informational content, thus creating a virtuous cycle in which all citizens unite with the objective of creating a peaceful environment in a safer and more efficient manner.
Every subscribed user shall have access to a personalized virtual traffic and security assistant before and during excursions in their city. In this way, subscribers can receive messages and intelligent alerts to help them make better decisions in order to save time and feel more secure.
The mobile app platform will make it possible for its users to be alert to both crime and traffic in the surrounding areas. The key component is the cooperation of the community itself, which will share and update information in real time. The free mobile app will be available for download on iPhone and Android platforms and will be simple to operate, users simply download the app and register, and then are able to check reports for their local area and/or create reports to share with the community.
With this platform, we believe we shall maintain peace and stability in Uganda's rural and urban areas for both Ugandans and foreigners.
ULink Sustainability, Scalability and Replication Plan.
Revenue streams shall include
-Support and partnerships with the government of Uganda’s public sectors like the police, wealth creation sector, youth livelihood program, education sector, healthy etc., including the private sector the continuation of the project shall be sustainable and scaled.
-Through a comprehensive marketing plan, we anticipate to fetch employers to out platforms who in turn shall help us generate revenue from subscribed employers to advertise on our platform based on standard or corporate subscription fees.
-Sale of solar ovens: As a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation, manufacture solar ovens shall be sold in the already available local and international markets and realize income to offset operational costs.
-Sale of data to transport providers or other clients seeking historical and predictive traffic and safety info in Uganda.
-Product licenses for the media and/or institutions, commissions for leads, partnerships with police and sponsorships.
-Advertising fees on the platform to integrate real time crime and safety information for auto companies, insurance firms, pharmacies, convenience stores, alcohol companies, service stations, on their websites and newscasts.
-Consultation fees for companies wishing to start their own solar energy manufacturing projects in their communities. This we believe shall be another source of income generation for the platform.
Security Alert System: During replication phase cities or municipalities in the world can license the platform and customize it to the needs, preferences, and tastes of its population. As long as the basic structure of geo-positioned reports is respected, we can provide city-by-city customized user reports, tracking, and methods of communication with users. We can also customize the look and feel of the platform for each city or municipality allowing municipal governments to invest in technology to improve their constituents’ safety and lives.
As we get integrated with global Geo-positioning technology, all we need to operate in a new market is a community of users. The technology can scale on its own, both for live reporting and for our new on-demand model, which is powered by artificial intelligence and goes beyond an app. Therefore, the marginal costs for every new market are reduced to the cost of creating a marketing campaign and a sales team (if the market is not English-speaking, we may need to translate the platform’s user interface as well, which is fairly easy and inexpensive to do).
Solar oven project: Through product sales in the neighboring countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Congo and extra, we shall be able to scale and replicate based on the demand and supply needs of the product in those countries. This will be easy by establishing product sales centers and later develop solar oven manufacturing centers for slums and rural community semi-skilled, unskilled, and skilled but un employed residents in our target areas.
Therefore, ULink shall be able to scale and replicate including managing operational costs through ways but not limited to as listed above.