Introduction and context
Setting the scene, for those who have not been following this series of what are now becoming weekly Blogs. Train44ir.org is a charity in the process of being established. I started thinking about and discussing the idea in December Xmas holidays 2019. Actioned doing it for real in April 2020 under Covid-19 lockdown. The goal of #train44irorg is to assist indigent African students who have very little chance of funding their own learnership, to be enabled to train in the much needed skill sets of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The logic being that many companies of all sizes; small, medium and large will all require these skills into the future, and will be prepared to sponsor students via this platform to learn so that they can get readily available skills into the market, which helps the companies compete and more importantly gives jobs to the many unemployed youth in South Africa but with potential to go into the rest of Africa.
So the week has also evolved as thinking and discussion has been happening. Also based on last weeks discovery about Pretotyping also somewhat changed the direction of this week. Less – actually correction- No software development, only business development happened this week.
Started work on what is the 4th Industrial Revolution
It dawned on me in working through some of my market engagement hypothesis, assumptions and proposals to Sponsors and Students that the average person, particularly if they are not already in IT, while they may have heard of 4IR, probably have very little idea or concept of what it actually means. I therefore decided to start documenting what it means and put a copy up on the website so that potential Students could get a feel for what it actually means. More work will still need to be done around this, or at least a free course or video be included on the website to get into more detail. This is what was done, and you can download a larger PDF version of this diagram here. It will evolve over time.
Engagement with potential partners
This week has mostly been spend thinking about, planning and engaging with various potential partners/sponsors. Some wonderful meetings have been held so far as well as various email exchanges that are looking extremely positive. I am truly impressed and hopeful by the people who are beginning to want to engage with this platform concept. It is still way too early to say who these organisations are as we are still very much in initial discussions and exploratory talks. In this “Charity” space, unlike typical For-Profit Business models, the Not-For-Profit Business Model, means it is in fact far better to collaborate than to all compete for the same resources in trying to assist the same set of beneficiaries of the services. To this extent I have realised that the original concept may well have to change, adapt, evolve and morph into something as yet unforeseen. I don’t mind that provided the end-game is that people are helped into Jobs, however this is achieved in greater volume.
Worked on Sponsorship concepts
Lots of thinking about, and consideration, notes, plans were put into raising funds, what benefits could be offered to potential sponsors? What rewards, etc. Some good advice I read was that the “Whats in it for me” (WIIFM) is the way to win and actually raise funds. The challenge for charities is that unlike a typical business where you can give someone one of your products to services for donating; a charity does not really have much in the way of products to offer, other than peace of mind to people and a sense of assisting others. In this age of rampant consumerism that probably doesn’t sit well with most people. I thought of offering some Free Courses, but even that feels less like a gift than more hard work? Thoughts or advice anyone?
Explored buying Mobile Data APIs
Some time was spent looking into the best way of our platform buying data on-line so this could be provided easily and auto-magically to the Students using their Mobile Application being built. The original idea is for them to request another tranch of data once they have completed a level. I was about to implement something I found which covers MNO Data purchasing APIs at a reasonable price for all Mobile Network Operators in South Africa and some into Africa. Then one of the parties I had a meeting with informed me that they are able to get zero rated Data for their Students so, it made me think, why even bother spending time writing this software when it might well be unnecessary going forward? Either train44ir would work with them and work under their banner or obtain the same agreement with the Mobile Network Operators. Either way, until further discussions have been held, I am holding off on building this part of the software, until there is further clarity. I now know how I would build it. Seems easier than I originally thought it might be.
Looked into Crowdsource funding
Finally this week, I spent some time looking into the various African and South African based Crowdsourcing platforms to trial a small fund raising. Enough to fund 5 Students through a full set of courses. Still deciding on the way forward with this exercise. Still need to meet with a few people to understand the outcomes of those previously mentioned discussions in order to better formulate the strategy going forward.
So a good productive week was had, and things are moving forward at pace which is the overall goal. Thanks for reading this and feel free to offer advice and assistance at any time. Have a great weekend all!