Basic Information

Our Solution

AnnieCannons

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Our tagline:

Transforming survivors of human trafficking into software professionals to help them sustain a lifetime free from exploitation.
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Our pitch:

The International Labor Organization estimates that human trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry that affects over 20.9 million people worldwide. In the U.S. specifically, statistics on the number of victims and survivors vary widely: the Global Slavery Index estimates that over 57,000 people were trafficked in 2016, while the Institute of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault found that there are over 300,000 survivors of human trafficking in Texas alone. Ultimately, what we do know is that millions of people are exploited based on vulnerabilities caused by poverty. Poverty and discrimination affect countless individuals on a global scale, and play a fundamental role in increasing vulnerability to coercion, among other negative outcomes for families, communities, and the world at large.

At AnnieCannons, we believe that economic opportunity is the key to breaking the cycle of exploitation among vulnerable communities. After seeing countless survivors of human trafficking denied educational opportunities after fighting to secure their freedom, we created AnnieCannons in 2013 to connect human trafficking survivors with education and work opportunities in the technology industry. To accomplish this objective, AnnieCannons employs a phased educational strategy that empowers students to learn technology skills, apply these skills in student-led class projects, and earn incomes as subcontractors to AnnieCannons' growing client-base. These projects, which range from data entry to app development, generate modest commissions that allow the organization to support its operations and serve additional students.
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Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

San Francisco, United States of America
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The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:

  • Upskilling, Reskilling, and Job Matching
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About Your Solution

What makes our solution innovative:

We support and value the incredible initiatives that countless individuals and organizations have undertaken to serve survivors of human trafficking. Many nonprofits focus on training or employment as part of their solution. Training without placement fails because it ignores the systemic barriers that prevent skilled people from receiving jobs. Conversely, job placement without training fails because many members of the workforce lack the work history or formal education most employers require. AnnieCannons addresses both of these issues by providing opportunities for our students to earn money and build portfolios as they learn new skills.
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How technology is integral to our solution:

AnnieCannons harnesses the growth of the tech industry to help marginalized populations through:

Building Tech. To practice, each class builds an application that solves a problem they care about. For example, our pilot class built https://survivors.io. Our current class is now closing Phase II and is building an app that helps mothers with limited access to the internet receive text-based advice about motherhood and taking care of children.

Enabling Innovators. AnnieCannons deliver the product design and software programming skills necessary to design and build software solutions to those who have a lived experience with our world's most substantial social issues.
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Our solution goals over the next 12 months:

Over the next year, we aim to: (1) help 80% of our students to qualify for AnnieCannons-sourced data entry and/or software development work within a year of starting class, (2) match the market rate for their skills on projects offered, and (3) consistently exceed our clients' expectations.
We also strive to meet our students' expectations for both learning and earning. We solicit feedback by providing anonymous surveys on emotional wellness and academic achievement throughout our training program. To date, we have achieved a net-promoter-score of 100.
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Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:

In five years, we plan to scale operations to serve over 200 survivors while proving the viability of business model to bring economic opportunity to marginalized populations. Within five years we plan to sustain operations with client revenue alone. Currently, we retain a commission of up to 20% for complex client projects, though we pass 100% of our revenue to survivors for lower-paying projects. By 2022, with roughly 75 freelancers trained and working at least 30hours per week, we project our retained commission on client revenue sourced to help survivors rebuild their lives will cover 100% of our operating costs.
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http://anniecannons.org

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Our promotional video:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC9npsWijQE

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The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:

  • US and Canada
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How we will reach and retain our customers or beneficiaries:

Thousands of bright, capable individuals suffer from myriad injustices caused by systemic poverty and discrimination. Each year, the percentage of victims who are discovered are placed in shelters that house them but do not offer any type of job training. Left with no viable employment options, survivors may desperately return to traffickers as their only means of self-support.

The population that we work with has survived exploitation in the form of human trafficking and struggled to support themselves once outside of their situation of exploitation. Many of those we serve have been in foster-care, group-homes, neglected or abused by familial systems.
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How many people we are currently serving with our solution:

In the past three years, we have proven the success of our business model by consistently increasing the number of trafficking survivors we've trained and securing client-income. In 2017, we generated $68,151 in client revenue, increasing from $6,727 in 2017. These client-fees were passed along to our students and graduate contractors.
In 2018, we anticipate that client-revenue will triple. One of our graduates has already secured $40,000 in development contracts in 2018, and continues to pursue advanced learning opportunities through our programs. In January, we signed a $50,000 mobile app development project where she has built the entire frontend.
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About Your Team

How our solution team is organized:

Non-Profit
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The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:

The idea behind AnnieCannons was born during a conversation between founders and trafficking survivors in Myanmar in 2013. At the time, Jessica was conducting research for a book on tech solutions in trafficking, while Laura was doing field work for her Masters thesis. During their conversations, they both noticed survivors were exploited by someone promising economic opportunity.

A number of coding bootcamps were popping up in major U.S. cities; in a few short months, people could learn skills to gain access to high-paying jobs regardless of formal educational background. Jessica and Laura recognized this model as one that could help populations.
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Our revenue model:

AnnieCannons employs a phased educational strategy that empowers students to learn technology skills, apply these skills in student-led class projects, and earn incomes as subcontractors to AnnieCannons' growing client-base. After completion of Phase I of our training program, students can qualify to earn money from data entry and/or QA testing work we source for them. We currently have established partnerships with Palantir Technologies and Sequoia Capital to have our students complete this work at $20+ per hour. After completing Phase II, students begin building more advanced websites and web applications. In 2018, we estimate that our top graduate developer will make over $80,000 through these projects. While no student is ever required to work for AnnieCannons, our work environment is optimized to facilitate trauma recovery.
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Partnership Potential

Why we are applying to Solve:

Support from Solve would help us hire a full time technical Product Manager and graduate Instructor. A Product Manager would help AnnieCannons deliver consistent value to our clients and would also begin training a team member to supervise graduates who qualify to do Product Management work for us in the coming years. Hiring our graduate teaching assistant and lecturer as a full-time instructor would allow us to double the number of classes we can teach each year. Over time, this helps AnnieCannons develop its business as a mission-based development shop, secure additional client work for graduates, and train more students.
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The key barriers for our solution:

Over the past three years, we have developed techniques to mitigate our top risks, which include:

Partner/Housing Lapse.
Volunteer dependability.
Customer bias.
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The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers:

  • Other (Please Explain Below)
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Solution Team

  • Laura Hackney Executive Director, AnnieCannons
 
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