Solution Overview

Solution Name:

CON-HECTOR

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One-line solution summary:

Systems-change approach to bridge the digital gap and boost local economies by connecting-creating opportunities in vulnerable communities

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Pitch your solution.

Con-Héctor an intelligent virtual assistant (deployed via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) that connects people at the base of the pyramid with curated and verified information, practical advice and a social marketplace with bespoken high-quality local products, services and opportunities, to help them make informed decisions and improve their quality of life. Con-Héctor has a user-friendly approach, a content strategy that provides context of these goods and services in an easy to understand way, all focused on promoting their economic citizenship highlighting those goods and services available at a local level. On a broader scale, Con-Héctor looks forward to creating a Community of Opportunities between end-users and partners to offer them a trustworthy platform to boost local economies in middle-income countries of Latin America and Africa.

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What specific problem are you solving?

People at the base of the pyramid are excluded from the benefits of the digital economy, with limited access to reliable information that could allow them to make better decisions, be part of a value chain with meaningful connections to opportunities that could lead them to improve their quality of life.  

The increase in Internet use has contributed to bridge the digital gap and grow the e-commerce industry, expanding global retail sales by 43.8% from 1.84 billion dollars in 2016 to 4.20 in 2020. Likewise, the mobile industry generates $3.9 trillion (4.6%) of global GDP. However, people living at the base of the pyramid have been mostly excluded from this growth.  A digital gap persists in terms of, 1) little use of the Internet; 2) lack of digital literacy and digital skills; 3) complexity in accessing reliable information, and 4) limited access to the digital economy. The pandemic stressed the need to bridge this digital gap (and the gender divide that is also part of it) by highlighting the importance and use of digital means and the digital economy.

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What is your solution?

Con-Héctor an intelligent virtual assistant that connects people at the base of the pyramid with curated and verified information, practical advice and a social marketplace with bespoken high-quality local products, services and opportunities, to help them make informed decisions and improve their quality of life. With a user-friendly approach that provides context of these goods and services, all focused on promoting their economic citizenship and available at a local level. It also includes social advertising that seeks not to stimulate the purchase of a product or service but rather to set non-commercial objectives, to produce an effect in society that reflects a change in attitude towards a social cause. It promotes business formalization as well as digital payments to encourage transparency within the business ecosystems. It also promotes the digital transformation of small businesses making it easier for them to market their products and to access new markets. Its recommendation system learns and evolves based on the users’ and partners' information and behaviour using ethical data analytics to provide a list of relevant topics, products and services tailored to suit people's needs with quick feature iteration and maximum user value with production-ready predictive analytics and machine learning methods.

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

This solution aims to serve for people between the ages of 18 and 64 years old, and it has been especially designed with those in vulnerability such as women, youth, LGBTIQ+, migrants, refugees, small traders and entrepreneurs, domestic workers, community workers, victims of conflict, people who find challenges to be part of the digital economy due to their income or their digital skills.

Con-Héctor will help them to become more aware about the digital ecosystem which means increasing their use of ICT and give them access to curated information related to digital citizenship, and also, bring them opportunities to be part of the digital economy using everyday apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

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

Equip everyone, regardless of age, gender, education, location, or ability, with culturally relevant digital literacy skills to enable participation in the digital economy.
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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 Challenge.

Con-Hector is specifically designed to bridge the digital gap of people at the base of the pyramid who are excluded from the benefits of the digital economy, with limited access to reliable information that could allow them to make better decisions, and become part of a value chain with meaningful connections to opportunities that could lead them to improve their quality of life. This intelligent virtual assistant (deployed via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) that connects people at the base of the pyramid with curated and verified information, practical advice and a social marketplace with bespoken high-quality local products, services and opportunities, to help them make informed decisions and improve their quality of life.

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

Bogotá, Colombia
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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.

After more than 18 months of operation, Con-Héctor has reached over 6,000 users (70% of them women) in ten (10) Latin American countries, most of them in Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico. During this period, we had over 50,000 interactions and over 6,000 direct end-user opinions and recommendations, that we have used to iterate and adjust based on our users needs and preferences. 

Over this time we have developed and deployed over 223 sets of topics (audio-visual and written) on education (formal, informal and complementary), finances (business and personal finance), income generation (employment and entrepreneurship), housing, health (physical and mental health), use of technology and sustainability-environmental care. In the following graphic the percentage of users accessing and interacting with these set of contents. 

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Con-Héctor's recommendation system learns and evolves based on the users’ and partners' information and behaviour using ethical data analytics to provide a list of relevant topics, products and services tailored to suit people's needs.

This ethical data-driven approach enables Con-Héctor to:

  1. Collect baseline user demographic data through the virtual assistant.  

  2. Collect additional data points as-needed based on users' interests in particular marketplace offerings

  3. Use a combination of utilization data, user surveys, and suggestion box feedback to rapidly iterate features.

  4. Track KPIs in real time, linking to user-friendly dashboards for interactive visualization.

  5. Dispose of a dashboard that shows KPIs in real-time.

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Nelly Ramírez, Vice President Fundacion Capital

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology
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What makes your solution innovative?

To maximize impact, Con-Héctor takes a “data first” approach to marketplace design,  development, and monitoring. Our significant investments in data analytics and visualization resources enable us to track user experiences and impact indicators in real time. Drawing on our growing resources in data science and our strategic partners, we will incorporate rapid A/B testing techniques into platform development to enable quick feature iteration and maximum user value. In addition, Con-Héctor will apply production-ready predictive analytics and machine learning methods to enable extensive personalization of the user experience and optimize marketplace recommendations on user profiles, geography, and preferences. As always, Fundación Capital is committed to ensuring the ethical application of pro-poor technologies, and data-driven insights allow us and our stakeholders to understand the differential impact of our services on marginalized and under-represented groups

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Software and Mobile Applications
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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • LGBTQ+
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10. Reduced Inequality
  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Mozambique
  • Nicaragua
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Since 2019 Con-Hector has impacted the lives of 8,557 people in urban and rural areas in 12 countries in Latin America, by the end of 2021, we expect to impact the lives of 30,688 people in vulnerable situations, likewise through a monthly growth of 12% we expect to have 2,121,382 users from all over the world registered in Con-Hector by 2026.

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Our significant investments in data analytics and visualization resources enable us to track user experiences and impact indicators in real time. 

We specifically follow up on: 

-Access to potential market and user acquisition 

-Number of entrepreneurs participated and receiving support 

-Registered and active users (monthly growth rate)

-Monthly activation rates

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Nonprofit

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How many people work on your solution team?

  • Con-Héctor Product Owner: Full time

  • Business Analyst: Full time

  • Operations Officer: Full time

  • ConHéctor LATAM Leader: Full time

  • Digital Marketing Leader: Full time

  • ConHéctor Multimedia: Part time Staff

  • Designer: Part time Staff

  • Chatbot Experiences & Market Research: Part time Staff

  • Data Dashboards: Part time Staff

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How long have you been working on your solution?

2 years

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Fundación Capital has over 11 years of experience working with people on the base of the pyramid with technology, promotive financial, productive and digital inclusion (more about our work here). Con-Héctor is an intra-preneurship initiative that has been operating for over two years and has a dedicated technology, operations and content team, which has successfully moved forward with it. This team has proven experience not only within FUndacion Capital but also as tech-entrepreneurs, public servants, marketing and content specialists, etc. 

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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

Fundacion Capital is intrinsically diverse, we have over 20 nationalities from all across the globe, we currently have operations in 12 countries and have professionals from a wide range of disciplines, interests and experiences. We have a proven record of being true believers and doers of the power of tech and data for good as well as knowledge and empathy with the people we serve. 

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Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

For years we have been admirers of Solve Challenge and have learned from the different awardees, their stories and impact: 

We specifically look forward to: 

  • Join a class of impressive peers that act as trusted support group, offering inspiration and guidance

  • Join a powerful network of impact-minded leaders across industries and sectors, with dedicated spaces to meet year-round and during Solve’s flagship events such as Solve at MIT.  

  • Access mentorship, coaching, and strategic advice from experts, as well as the Solve and MIT networks. 

  • Gaining exposure in the media and at conferences.


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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. expanding client base)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Please explain in more detail here.

We are still validating our business and user acquisition model, because of the vulnerability of the population we serve it has to be a deeply flexible model ready to adapt to the users needs and contexts. 

In the technology side, because our chatbot is integrated to messaging platforms, which are for now WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger we need to be careful and understand fully the terms of service of these platforms in order to fully protect our end-users. Moreover, we have a role in educating our end-users about how we collect and use their data when they agree to our product terms and conditions, since most of them are vulnerables and might lack digital literacy, so that there is no use of data against their will. We need the proper technology understanding to make sure we protect our users at all times. 

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

We consider that as part of the Solve awardees we could benefit from a huge and impressive network of tech entrepreneurs for social good as well as having the opportunity to share our lessons learned, working with people in extreme vulnerability in Latin America and Africa.

To power many of our solutions, we would also benefit to team up with:

- Data kind

- AWS
- Tableau

- Twilio 


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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The ASA Prize for Equitable Education? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity to advance your solution?

ConHector specifically targets digital equity to overcome the digital gap for people at the base of the pyramid. 

Con-Héctor an intelligent virtual assistant (deployed via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) that connects people at the base of the pyramid with curated and verified information, practical advice and a social marketplace with bespoken high-quality local products, services and opportunities, to help them make informed decisions and improve their quality of life. Con-Héctor has a user-friendly approach, a content strategy that provides context of these goods and services in an easy to understand way, all focused on promoting their economic citizenship highlighting those goods and services available at a local level. On a broader scale, Con-Héctor looks forward to creating a Community of Opportunities between end-users and partners to offer them a trustworthy platform to boost local economies in middle-income countries of Latin America and Africa

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The AI for Humanity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GSR Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Solution Team

  • NR NR
    Nelly Ramirez VP Advanced Digital Solutions, Fundacion Capital
 
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