Tag Archives: Mobile

Assured Labor – creating a mobile marketplace for jobs in emerging markets

In the fall of 2007, a group of young potential entrepreneurs attending the course on Development Entrepreneurship at MIT struggled with a problem facing over half the developing world. As developing economies grew and provided new jobs, the infrastructure to communicate and broadcast the potential opportunities for employment was unable to keep up. The influx of migrant workers into urbanized centers provided a rich pool of available talent but the mechanisms for disseminating job needs were still rooted in the 19th century. Print advertising and, in extreme cases, roving cars with loudspeakers, were used in a scattershot manner hoping to attract potential candidates to interview for jobs. Online advertising wasn’t an option in most developing countries where internet connectivity was sporadic. The transient nature of most migrant and casual laborers made getting to the target audience even more difficult. Continue reading

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Mobile Solutions for the Masses

After the plenary session, ForSE 2008: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs will break into multiple tracks to maximize interaction between attendees. Within each track we will have:

  • An in-depth discussion with a panel of practitioners and experts in that field.
  • A case study discussion with an emerging social entrepreneur to review and provide feedback on their business challenges.
  • Additional “How to” workshops and panels.

The six tracks themes are:

  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Mobile Solutions for the Masses
  • Beyond Microfinance: Opportunities for change
  • Sustainable Ventures for non-profits
  • Building a Sustainable Food Supply
  • Cultivating a Generation -Engaging Young Entrepreneurs

Here is a description of one of the tracks.

Mobile Solutions for the Masses

The internet and personal computers have had a significant impact on the developing world. The advent of cell phones provided a cheap technology platform that has penetrated the farthest reaches of the world. No place better exemplifies this than India, with over 8.5 million additional subscribers in 2007, making it the country with the second largest wireless subscriber base. The cheap and pervasive technology platform has spawned a number of innovative solutions to address the social challenges at bottom of the pyramid, such as access to finance, illiteracy, and health care. This track will highlight some of these innovative solutions that have a significant potential for impact in the developing world.

Click here to register as only the first 180 registrants will get the discounted fees.

ForSE 2008 signups off to a great start

We finally opened registration for ForSE 2008:Forum for Social Entrepreneurs on Wednesday, September 10th. The response has been terrific!! We had over 60 people register within 48 hours. This is shaping up to be a great gathering of like minded people interested in social entrepreneurship.

Last year we had hoped to have 150 attendees, instead over 250 signed up and we had to shut down registration. At the rate we are going, it looks like we will quickly reach the registration limit for this year’s Forum also.

We have tried to keep ForSE very affordable for our attendees, many of whom are students or starting non-profits and social entrepreneurs. The registration fee for attendees is nominal ($20 for students /$35 for affiliates of BU and TIE /$/75 for all others) for a full day conference including meals. However these discounted fees will only be available for the first 180 registrants. If you are interested in attending I would encourage you to register soon. The fees will go up substantially after we have 180 attendees signed up.

To help encourage dialog and discussion among the conference attendees and to build a community around social entrepreneurship, we have added an interesting attendee email feature on our conference website. Registrants who opt in are listed on the “Participants page“. Attendees can contact others thru a blind email system to discuss issues, tracks themes or other conference topics prior to and after the conference. At no point is your email displayed to others on the website. When someone contacts you, the system forwards you their message with their email contact and it is up to you to choose to respond to the message. We hope this gets people talking to each other before we meet.

Registration Opens for ForSE 2008-Forum for Social Entrepreneurs

In 2007, I helped found an annual conference on Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with Boston University and the Deshpande Foundation called the Forum for Social Entrepreneurship or ForSE for short. ForSE brings together social innovators with leading business professionals, investors, donors, government officials, academics, and students to facilitate the sharing of new technology and business ideas along with hard-earned management learnings to foster informed discussion and action on new social venture concepts. Continue reading