Jana

Jana

Jana

SOLUTION

Free internet in emerging markets.

BUSINESS MODEL

Users in emerging countries can download the mCent app from their phone and start to earn data by trying out sponsored apps. For every megabyte spent within the sponsored Amazon app, for example, Jana will credit the user with an additional megabyte that they can use for anything. It’s an ad-sponsored internetmCent is integrated into 311 mobile carriers. 

IMPACT

Place: 93 developing countries. Around half of its users worldwide are from India.

Scale:  over 40 million users in emerging markets.  

Depth

  • Access to knowledge and online services empowers people 

ORIGINS

I took a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Nairobi, and built an SMS system that let rural Kenyan nursers text in blood type information to the centralized blood banks,” explains Nathan Eagle, CEO to Fortune.com. “It went well the first week, but about half the nurses dropped out the second week and, by the end of the month, no nurses were using it. What I hadn’t realized was that the price of data represented a decent percentage of a rural nurse’s wage in Kenya. Basically, they couldn’t afford to send the text messages.”

After Eagle did some research on internal pricing for Kenyan mobile operations (thanks to some back-end access via MIT), he wrote around 20 lines of Python code that essentially repaid the nurses for their texts. Suddenly, the nurses reengaged. Moreover, the mobile operators realized that they could generate more revenue per user by charging the local health ministries rather than by charging the nurses.  That’s how  Nathan got the idea of Jana and founded the company in 2009.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Jana raised over 93 million USD since it launched. It’s goal is to bring 1 billion people online. 

GET INVOLVED !

Work for them

Jana offices are located in Boston. Help them bring internet to the next 1 billion.

Visit.org

Visit.org

Visit.org

SOLUTION

An online platform to help travelers find tours by non-profits and community-based organisations. 

BUSINESS MODEL

Visit.org collect a booking fee from their users, but never from the organizations showcased on the platform. They are certified B Corp, which is a certification for businesses meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

IMPACT

Place: global (70 countries)

Scale:  700 non-profits / impact organisations (October 2017).

Depth

  • Non profits and social enterprises in the travel industry gain more visibility to travellers. 

ORIGINS

Michal Alter, an Israeli citizen, launched Visit.org in 2015 in response to the travel industry’s immense potential to generate economic sustainability for local communities. This idea came up through a combination of different experiences. She did a lot of solo traveling in Latin America and in Israël, and as she had the privilege to travel for a long period of time, she had the time to create interactions with the local communities, and these were her most memorable experiences – but this is not possible to do when you go on holiday for just 7 days and to relax from work. Michal started her career as a computer science engineer in Israël, she worked in a few startups and also volunteered once a week for non profits helping immigrant workers  in Tel Aviv.  That opened her eyes on these kind of organizations and how they are creating an amazing trust relationship with local communities and have so much to offer to the general public. That’s how she came up with a new model: full day or half day activities with a guarantee that the fees paid benefit directly the local communities.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • They now have 200 ambassadors around the world to help the organisations to package their tours on the platform (October 2017). 
  • Their aim is to reach 5000 tours by end of 2019. 

GET INVOLVED !

As a Traveler

Find a tour organized by a non-profit or community-based organisation for your next trip. Hike, weave, bike, surf & cook with local communities, but this time, make an impact.

Work for them

They are always looking for passionate and ambitious team players to join their global team!

Become An Ambassador

Visit.org  encourages ambassadors to utilize their own network both to promote causes they care about, and discover new orgs to visit. Write them a message to introduce yourself.

Maharishi Institute

Maharishi Institute

Maharishi Institute

SERVICE

Free full-time and part-time education to young people. Education includes self-development programmes which develop students holistically, improve learning ability, improve behaviour and lead to greater skill in action (Transcendental Meditation, TM-Sidhis programme).

BUSINESS MODEL

Maharishi Institute is the first self-funding university in the world, where the government doesn’t pay any money, and the students earn money and pay their own fees while going to school. 

The first year is completely free. From second year, students must work four hours a day in any number of jobs throughout the university : either university staff positions (marketing, admin, finance…) or in the Invincible Outscouring call center on the campus. The Invincible Outsourcing is a BPO call centre, whose backbone is a technology provided by IT companies.   The university runs on the BPO call centre business profits. 

Students receive a stipend from this work to cover their own living costs, to pay back their student loan or to support another student in a pay-it-forward-plan. Students also receive zero-interest study loans to cover tuitions, a daily lunch, free clothing and leadership training weekends.

The school building was donated by one of the main mining companies.

IMPACT

Place: South Africa

Scale:  Over 5000  students have gone through the programs.

Depth

  • Take entire families out of poverty in one generation: graduates now work in the banking industry, in the IT sector, at the Stock Exchange, in the government or have started their own companies. “Our graduates  can earn enough money in two years to buy and build a house with water and electricity, and over time can support their extended families. It’s a source of tremendous pride for someone with no hope for the future to become someone who is highly respected in their community.”  (Dr. Blecher)

ORIGINS

While working as an actuary and international business consultant, Taddy Blecher, born in South Africa, turns down a well paid job offer in the US in 1995 to remain in South Africa to pursue education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth.  

In 1999, after four years of teaching the Trenscendental Meditation Technique to  students at schools, Blecher began contacting rural schools and city business’ to recruit students and donations for an “almost-free business university”, the Community and Individual Development Association (CIDA) which he co-founded with 250 students  To get the school started, Blecher was given the use of a Johannesburg office building by an investment bank called Investec and his former employer gave him use of an office. Belcher taught students to type 30 words per minute using a photocopy of a computer keyboard and successfully pursued donations from companies like JP Morgan and Dell computers as well as some entrepreneurs.  

Blecher started Maharishtri Institute in 2009, when he co-founded  a 225-seat call centre called Invincible Outsourcing, to allow disadvantaged students to earn funds for education while they are still in school. 

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Over 5,000 students have gone through the programs at our previous university CIDA City Campus, the ‘First Free University in South Africa’, and now we are in the process of scaling up our new initiative, The Maharishi Institute, from 250 students to 1,500 within the next two years. 
  • And because MI has its own self-funding mechanism, we will be able to realize Maharishi’s vision to replicate the school in every province in South Africa and every country in the continent.”  They are currently creating the education replication demonstration site to showcase the model.  “We’ve had amazing support from strong South African and international partners that view this model as a key to bring about sustainable transformation in South Africa, and other African countries“. Supporters include: the Oppenheimer Family, Anglo American, Datatec, Chuma Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Skoll Foundation amongst others.”

GET INVOLVED !

Volunteering, sponsorship & start your own

Want to sponsor a student from Maharishi Institute, or volunteer in the university?  Contact them also to know more about the business model.

Google

Google

Google

SERVICE

Free access to information, traning, tools and events, for everyone

“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. 

BUSINESS MODEL

The vast majority of Google’s revenue (over 90%) comes from advertising via its search engine and its ads program.  The rest comes from some innovative products and services (Chromecast, Google Home, Pixel 2, Google for business…). 

Google.org represents the philanthropic arm of Google and, unlike most philanthropic companies, it is a for-profit to free itself from various constraints placed on nonprofit groups. Google.org’s strategy involves not only funding the use of technology, data, and user-centered design, but also giving the best of Google – including their people time and their products – to address local challenges. They mainly work in three fields: closing the education gap, economic opportunities and inclusion. 

 In October 2017, Google has committed to award $1 billion in grants over the next 5 years and enable 1 million employee to volunteer hours, while continuing to develop products and programs that create opportunity for everyone. Over the next two years, Google is giving $50 million in grants to nonprofits focused on improving education in developing countries using tech-based learning tools (2016).

IMPACT

Place: Global

Scale:  around 2 billion people use Google online servicesGoogle’s education products (Classroom, Chromebooks…) benefit more than 70 million people in 180 countries. Over 10 million women across India have improved their livelihood through the Saathi program, a digital literacy program. Khan Academy, which offers free education and was initially funded by Google, now has 59 million users

Depth

  • Help people grow their skills, career and business
  • Reduce the educational gap and inequalities in economic opportunities (women, migrants, people who can’t afford an internet connection). 

ORIGINS

Google began in January 1996 as a research project led by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two PhD students at Standford University in California. The company was incorporated in 1998. At that time, it was based in the garage of a friend of them. Google’s IPO took place in 2004. The co-founders told potential investors they planned to set aside 1% of the company’s stock (at the time of the IPO), and an equal percentage of profits, to fund Google.org, a philanthropy arm they have launched in 2005. “We hope someday this institution may eclipse Google itself in terms of overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems,” Google cofounder Larry Page wrote of Dot-org in a 2004 letter to investors. Although Google intended to reinvent philanthropy and by doing so, address major problems like climate change,  global poverty and the spread of pandemic diseases, Google.org had a difficult start. “They were looking for something like a new algorithm — but there isn’t any algorithm that’s going to eradicate diseases” said one employee of Google.org in 2008. Adding to that major management issues, Google.org ground to a halt, and then pivoted its strategy. Google.org now keeps a focus on what they are doing best : organize information and make it universally accessible. t

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • In 2010, Google donated $2 million to Khan Academy. At the time, it was a single person with a big idea: provide a free, world class education to anyone, anywhere. With the help of Google, Khan Academy now has over 59 million registered users.
  • In 2014, the corporation stated on its website that it donates $100 million in grants, 200,000 hours in volunteering, and $1 billion in products each year.
  • In 2015, Google partnered with Tata Trusts to launch “Internet Saathi“, a digital literacy program for women. In rural India, only 1 ou to f 10 internet users is a woman.  By learning how to access and use the internet, they in turn impart training to their community and neighbouring villages.  

  • Google.org is supporting many nonprofit organizations closing the educational gap. One of them is Learning Equality, a nonprofit organization building educational software for communities with low internet connectivity.
  • Google recently launched Google for Jobs, designed to help better connect people to jobs, and Google Grow, free material to build digital skills and careers.

GET INVOLVED !

Work for Google

Google.org is probably one of the most sought-after after teams to join at Google. But if you have skills that they are looking for, you might be lucky !

Duolinguo

Duolinguo

Duolingo

SOLUTION

A platform (web and app) offering free language courses for all. 

The app uses game concepts like unlockable levels (lessons) and points and high scores to motivate you to learn a language. 

BUSINESS MODEL

There are two parts to Duolingo’s brilliant revenue model.

First, they make money by selling translations to companies like CNN and Buzzfeed. So, for example, they write their news in English, and send it to Duoligo. Duolingo then give it to their students, who in order to practice their English skills, help translate this news to their native language. 

The second and most important part is their new app, the Duolingo Test Center. Duolingo is giving everyone the chance to prove that they have language skills without having to pay the $250 normally charged by the existing proficiency tests such as the TOEFL or the IELTS.  Duolingo’s tests will cost $20 and will help their educational app stay afloat.

To get them started and scale, Duolingo has received many investments including a $20 million Series C round of investment led by Kleiner Caufield & Byers and a $45 million Series D round of investment led by Google Capital. 

IMPACT

Place: worldwide

Scale:  200 million people are using Duolingo around the world

Depth

  • Knowing English in non-English speaking countries increases job prospects. They can make 25 to 100% higher salary. 

ORIGINS

It  all started in 2000 when Luis von Ahn, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, invented the CAPTCHAs, those verification codes you have to enter on websites to prove that you are human. Around 2005/ 2006,  200 million CAPTCHAs had been used. “At first I was pretty excited, because look at the impact my work has had. But then I realised that this is not a good thing – because CAPTCHA is important, but it does waste 10 seconds of your time, and when you think of the millions of times it gets used, that adds up.

So that was when I created a new company and we invented reCAPTCHA that puts that time to good use, and helps to digitise books. I sold that to Google in 2009, but I wanted to do something else that would be meaningful.”

That’s when he teamed up with one of his PhD students (Severin Hacker) and in 2009, the two started Duolingo.

“I come from Guatemala and over there, you will see a lot of inequality,” he says, “because the people who are educated in English have more opportunities and can improve the quality of their lives and they rise, but the people who don’t have that advantage get fewer and fewer opportunities.” (Interview from Gadgets 360)

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Duolingo started its private beta on November 2011. 
  • In June 2012, it launched for the general public. . 
  • In November2012, Duolingo released its iOS app, and in May 2013 its Android app, which quickly became the #1 education app in the Google Play store. 
  • As of November 2017, Duolingo offered 77  different language courses, with 19 additional courses in development.
  • In 2017, it added Korean, Japanese, Korean, Czech and Swahili, the first African language on Duolingo.

GET INVOLVED !

Work for them

As a growing company, Duolingo  is constantly looking for new talents.  Help them build revolutionary new technology that empowers people. They have positions worldwide.