Project Everest

SoCon Ready to Take on World Poverty

SoCon has now entered the growth stage. Utilising lean startup methodology SoCon conducted 7 workshops to 73 different customers. This resulted in 77 cash sales netting $980 in revenue. SoCon is no longer a project, if executed correctly SoCon could potentially become self sufficient with various sources of cash flow before the end of 2018.

 

Vision

SoCon aims to address the UN sustainable development goals, specifically:

 

Goal 01: No Poverty

Goal 04: Quality Education

Goal 05: Gender Equality

Goal 08: Decent Work and Economic Growth

 

Approximately 766 million people, or 10.7% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty. According to the United Nations, a lack of quality education is one of the key drivers behind this phenomenon, with as many as 37% of the global population failing to complete upper secondary education.

 

Gender inequality is another key catalyst behind the global poverty rates. The UN reports that whilst women make up 60% of the world’s working poor, only half of these women participate in the labour force. The World Bank reports that women earn between 10-30% less than men, for comparable work. Finally, a lack of decent work opportunities continues to pose a threat towards the fight against poverty. Whilst unemployment is low within developing countries, 69% of those that are employed are classified under ‘extreme and moderate working poor’, by the International Labour Organisation.

 

SoCon aims to address the issue of global poverty through providing a quality educational service focusing specifically on business knowledge. This service aims to alleviate problems relating to a lack of decent work opportunities by assisting individuals in establishing, running and growing their own businesses, which in turn, should enhance employment prospects and access to micro-financing loans within the broader community. In providing this education, SoCon aims to close the gender gap by giving both men and women the tools to establish a sustainable source of autonomous income. This will contribute to a reduction in wealth disparity and will aid in the fight against poverty.

 

Progression of SoCon over January 2018

 

Workshops: 7 (Build Measure Learn Cycles)

Sales: 77

Customers: 73

Revenue: $980

 

What did we achieve this month?

  1. We have now developed Case Study Businesses e.g. the ‘Palm Tree Resort’ to allow for discussions to be standardised and scaled to a greater number of attendees.

 

  1. We have developed an MOU partnership with the South Pacific Business Development Bank to make our Small-Medium Enterprise workshops a prerequisite before its clients are able to apply for loans greater than $3,500. This was a result of inefficient lead gen operations and low conversion rates in the Sigatoka Town. We now have a sustainable guaranteed push pull demand structure where clients of SPBD will flow through our Business Education Modules.

 

  1. We have developed a two tier pricing model to alleviate the negative consequences of Fiji Time. We are currently operating at a $20 price point, however offer an ‘Early Bird’ price of $15 if attendees arrive before the start time of the Workshop. This has been successful - comparing our first workshop where attendees arrives 45 - 55 minutes AFTER start time, to our workshop in Suva where 30 attendees were sitting in the room waiting for us 45 min BEFORE the start time.

 

  1. We have set the foundations for SoCon to embed its Business Education workshops into the Technical College of Fiji. The process we have undergone is numerous discussions with the Directors of the Technical College of Fiji, Technology & Employment Skills Training and Courts, the Directors at National Employment Commission, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and the National Youth Council. We hope that over the next 6 months with the support of many Fiji Ministers and Organisations we can achieve access to the Education stream of Fiji. To ensure funding we have been in touch with Fiji Higher Education Commission to get the modules accredited into the Fiji ‘HECS’ equivalent fee structure.

 

  1. We have set up a channel of communication with the Youth of Fiji - relating to the previous strategy with the Technical College of Fiji. We hope to set up a partnership with the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme and Fiji Development Bank to provide grant/loan opportunities to the students who progress through our businesses training to ensure they leave the Technical College with not only the Technical Skills of their trade and business, but also a potential capital injection to launch their enterprises. This will enable the youth of Fiji to become Job Creators, rather than Job Seekers and alleviate the growing youth unemployment issues in Fiji.

 

  1. We have submitted a proposal to Fiji Higher Education Commission containing a set of workshops and modules we hope to have accredited.

 

  1. Lastly we have also been discussing with the Ministry of Industry Tourism and Trade to find a value prop that we could offer. We came to the conclusion that SoCon will set up a workshop that will run between the months of December - February; aiming to assist the local fijian population with their applications for $1000 grants. Last year approximately 20,000 individuals in Fiji applied for the grant with only 11,000 being successful. From the successful applicants approximately 4,000 of them go through Business Education Workshops run by another government body named NSCMED. We hope that by reaching these individuals before they apply for the grant that we assist them in not only successfully attaining the grant, but also that they return to the services of SoCon - providing approximately 4,000 customers (not taking into consideration any external variables).

 

Where is SoCon heading?

  • With SPBD we have been requested to extend our service area to the northern parts of Fiji such as Rakiraki, as well as Labasa & Savusavu on the Northern Island.

  • Embedding SoCon into curriculum of Technical College of Fiji

  • Establishing partnerships with MITT to run pre-grant workshops

  • Potentially become the sole training provider for the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, National Employment Centre as well as work with FarmEd to deliver workshops for the future Cooperative Models.

  • Reconnect with FCOSS and establish the MOU

 

No comments yet, be the first to post one!
Share