Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Digital Workforce Development in LATAM

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One-line solution summary:

BT Lab is an app developed in partnership with USAID to empower at-risk populations to learn digital skills, unlock jobs, and launch SMBs.

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Pitch your solution.

Last year, Tesserakt launched a pilot program with USAID to train and employ 150 Hondurans to complete microwork through an app, BT Lab. We have a pipeline of machine learning, computer vision, and robotics startups that need an AI workforce of data labelers to train their algorithms. For example, one of our portfolio companies, Verdant Robotics, builds robots to help farms spray pesticides, growth hormones/regulators, and estimate crop yields. They have billions of data labels (pictures of plants) that need to be processed by humans to train their machine learning models. This partnership enabled Honduran citizens to earn immediate income by learning, then promptly applying, data labeling skills, using data sourced from Verdant Robotics. The pilot project enrolled over 8,000 citizens and we’re currently working towards scaling a robust marketplace that supports the creation of 50,000 jobs in other skillsets over the next 5 years across LATAM.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Honduras is on the edge of a new era. 

Tegucigalpa is a growing urban center that’s jumpstarting an economic revolution. Home to a budding tech hub and a concentration of major universities and technical institutes, this historic city is cultivating an entire generation of professionals who want to build the future in their backyard.

Startups are becoming globally competitive, more students are pursuing higher education and workforce training than ever before, nearly half of the national population has reliable internet access, 

In order to reverse the cycle of poverty, income inequality, and a lack of economic opportunities, we need to design effective programs that prepare Hondurans for entrepreneurship and employment in high-demand roles and industries. 

Global markets are desperate for digitally native, high-quality creative and technical talent. microwork has significant potential for reducing high unemployment and underemployment of youth and women due to its ease of entry, flexibility in skills requirements, and ability to overcome the movement and access restrictions in HN. Microwork can be a significant channel for youth empowerment through employment by providing a channel to earn and work as they prefer.

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What is your solution?

Users can learn a digital skills such as data labeling, unlock jobs by completing courses quizzes, and launch digital small businesses. It's an app built on Glide. 

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

We believe that microwork, and app-based employment more broadly, is an untapped opportunity for governments to promote economic prosperity for their citizens.

In Honduras, our goal is to reduce the economic push factors caused by the national COVID-19 shutdown, Hurricane Iota, and drug-related violence that are driving the forced migration of tens of thousands of Honduran citizens northward. 

This problem is not endemic to Honduras. Across the Northern Triangle and the rest of Latin America, forced migrants make the dangerous journey to the United States in hopes of finding work to send money back home. The United States, as an aid partner to these countries, has largely failed to create the conditions necessary to reverse this trend; to create enough economic opportunities to prevent migration from happening in the first place. 

A new global digital economy has the potential to be more inclusive and provide employees with much more dignified working conditions and returns. With it, we aim to rethink labor and create the future of work. These digital microwork jobs can stimulate economies, and alleviate symptoms of poverty (organized crime, mass migration, food insecurity) by stemming poverty itself.

For our pilot in Honduras with BT Labs, we used Facebook advertisements, which had the potential to reach 39% of the population. We ran a survey with a USAID partner to better understand the socioeconomic needs of each user. 


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Which dimension of the TPrize Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Offer training and flexible curriculum in hard (technical) and soft (social and interpersonal) skills, preparing people for the work of the future
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Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the TPrize Challenge.

We aim to solve the economic push factors that are driving migration. 

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Tegucigalpa, Honduras
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community.
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Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

We enrolled over 8,000 people and successfully employed 150. We are expanding nationally beginning in Fall 2021. 

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Christopher Medina

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Solution Team

 
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