One-line solution summary:
Empowering girls to work in Technology. Integral training programs for young girls in vulnerable communities in Colombia.
Pitch your solution.
Colombia is the third most unequal country in the world. 27% of its population lives in poverty, and 7% live with less than USD 1.25 per day. This condition of inequality limits the opportunities for our young girls to emerge economically and socially.
We have created the program Jóvenes creaTIvos to train young women in technology, providing tools for them to project a dignified future.
This program focuses in three areas:
Essential skills - leadership, teamwork, conflict resolution, and communication.
Entrepreneurial skills- ideation, validation and expansion of their business idea.
Software Development - training in front end, back end, test automatization.
With this program these young girls acquire experience and knowledge, projecting a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. They broaden their opportunities of studying a formal career in IT, satisfying the needs of a market that requires qualified manpower.
A win-win for the whole society.
Film your elevator pitch.
What specific problem are you solving?
Colombia is a country of great inequality, ranking very high in worldwide indicators. There is a great gap between the small percentage of people that hold the majority of the wealth, and the enormous base of the population living in poverty conditions. In our country almost 1 out of 3 people live in poverty. This contributes to other social problems such as violence, theft, drug trafficking, and other misdemeanors.
Unemployment for women in Colombia is double the rate of men. For young women this rate reaches almost 21%. To makes matter worse the salary gap between men and women is almost 20%. Both of these factors also have impact in the dramatic correlation between gender violence and economic autonomy.
By empowering girls and training them for work in technology (a sector desperately needing human talent) we believe we impact positively in the economic and social well being for young women in underprivileged conditions.
We promote IT as the career of choice for more people – making it more inclusive at all social levels, providing an alternative program to low-income groups to access IT training and identifying high talent to connect them to companies needing the resources.
What is your solution?
Our solution is an online searches to transfer the basic tools to close the gap of equality by helping them seize opportunities in a market that has insufficient human talent. We train them in basic areas of technology and programming, and serve as a bridge for them to connect with the enterprises that need qualified staff. We focus on promoting the participation of formal learning and training in IT field, complementing it with soft skills & entrepreneurship training.
Jóvenes creaTIvos focuses 100% on low income – economically depressed neighborhoods of Colombia, to youngsters that will have little or no chance to continue formal studies and will have to generate income through low-paid jobs.
One of the pillars of the program is to promote girls to enter into the IT industry, a sector where men are predominant. The ongoing 2020 program/generation has a 50% participation of girls and non-binary and transgender learners.
This IT program gives them the basics for a first job in IT company. We can mention that out of the first group 9 out of 25 were hired by IT company withind 3 months of ending the program.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
We identify talented students (16-18 years old) in low/depressed communities from public schools and include them in a 6 month training program that includes both virtual and interactive sessions. This program is intended to serve as the entry level for future studies in IT.
The beneficiaries are selected upon a 3phase selection process in which we assess their academic performance, family structure and income, ability in logic, etc. 86% of beneficiaries have income levels under USD200 per month (per family), and have low chance of continuing to receive higher education.
In 2020, we reviewed nearly 600 applications for 100 spots on the current program where they get a integral training in soft skills, preparing them to enter the labor force.
We train the beneficiaries in software development, providing them the basis for app / web development. Also, we provide training in starting their own businesses, in case they don´t find employment opportunities.
At the end of a 6 month program they are ready to join the workforce in a entry level position, more than doubling their family income, making it possible for them to study a professionar career whilst working and with projection to triple their income within 2 years.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Strengthen competencies, particularly in STEM and digital literacy, for girls and young women to effectively transition from education to employment
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.
The main objective of the program is to promote studies in IT and to provide basic elements for first time job to the participants.
Our solution aims to increase the participation of girls in formal training in IT field, complementing it with soft skills & entrepreneurship. We focus on low income – economically depressed neighborhoods, giving them the possibility to get a first time job.
One of the pillars of the program is to promote girls and women to enter into the IT industry. The 2020 program has a 50% participation of girls and non binary and transgender learners.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Bogotá, Colombia
What is your solution’s stage of development?Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth
Who is the primary delegate for your solution?
Ana Velasquez, Executive Director Fundación ROFÉ
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
We have two innovative components in our solution:
1. Our training program in short term - high impact. It is not only focused on the technical knowledge, but also in the internal growth of the participant and the training in entrepreneurial skills so they have a back up plan to their work goals.
2. We go further, not just providing training, but creating a network of enterprises that are hiring the girls coming out of our program. In a matter of 6-8 months they have the potential to duplicate their family income.
The income projection is to duplicate and triplicate their starting salary within 2 years, which already drives the whole household out of poverty.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
Our Theory of Change is quite simple.
The world is now moving with tremendous momentum towards the main goal of humanity in its history: to end poverty. Of course, we shall start by ending extreme poverty.
Despite the progress made in the past two decades, the numbers and indexes related to poverty remain alarmingly high.
- Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.
- 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
- 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
- 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day.
- Oxfam estimates that it would take $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty--that's less than 1/4 the income of the top 100 richest billionaires.
- The World Food Programme says, “The poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.” Hunger is the number one cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
The Relationship between poverty and education
Children in poverty often fail to receive proper education due to their daily stress, falling into a poverty trap in which their lack of education prevents any rise on the social scale.It is a strong conviction that “Education can combat the underlying structures of poverty”.
Given the access to develop skills in technology have a proven positive effect on marginalized populations’ incomes.
We intend to break the cycle of poverty as shown above through education. This will improve the income of the participants, hence allowing them to have better nutrition and better health, which in return will enhance their possibilities to receive better education.
Breaking this cycle is what will in the end assure poverty will be in a museum in the future, only as a bad memory of history of human kind.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
We started in 2019 with a group of 25 participants all from vulnerable communities, of which only 7 were girls. two girls dropped out before finishing the program to take duties at home.
In 2020 we increased the number of participants to 100, of which 46 were girls. We had conceived our program to be 100% in presence, but in 2020 turned to e-learning to reach more youngsters.
In one year we hope to have 5,000 girls in training, in the mixed (online and present format) expanding to intermediate cities in Colombia.
In five years, we expect to have at least 50,000 participants in at least 5 areas of the country.
What type of organization is your solution team?Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit
How many people work on your solution team?
The project team is made up of 12 people, distributed as follows:
(1) Project Director - full time staff
(1) IT Curriculum - full time staff
(1) Soft Skills Curriculum - part time contractor
(1) Entrepreneurship Curriculum - part time staff
(1) Communications - part time staff
(4) Course instructors - part time staff
(2) Course monitors - part-time contractors
(1) Technical Support - full time staff
How many years have you worked on your solution?
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
We consider our team to be well positioned to deliver this solution because we have ensured the different profiles to have the structure needed in order to plan, construct, and execute the necessary actions to fulfill our goals.
Our partnership with Sofka not only ensures participation of well trained staff in technology, but also the best practices in software programming and ample networking in the IT industry.
We have expertise in the areas we are training, and we have the support of the local government in order to reach more efficiently the target population.
Also, we have adapted to remote work, which is benefitial when considering expansion in other goegraphical areas. We can work at a national level with the team we currently have.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
We have partenered since the conception of this project with Sofka Technologies, a software factory in Colombia who provided the initial funding to launch the program, and furthermore provides all the support for the content related to technology, as well as networking to find additional funding for the programs through other potential allies. Sofka also has given first time job opportunities for our participants.
Our model of intervention always considers working in alliance with the local government, in order to ensure access to the target population fast and effectively. In this sense, we have already partenered with some city governments in the past two years.
This year a new company, Sistecredito, has joined as partner providing funding and also giving job opportunities for the participants.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
What is your path to financial sustainability?
Charge a basic fee for participants of better ecnomical conditions, and continue to waive participants with higher economic restraints.
Why are you applying to Solve?
The main reason we are applying to SOLVE is to have more visibility of the programs we are creating, and have the support in order to replicate and expand the programs nationwide in the first year and region wide in the upcoming future.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
- Ana Velasquez Executive Director, Fundación ROFÉ - Toca una Vida