Something new about internet

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Something new about internet

Netherlands
Organization type: 
for profit
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

A community based internet provider in the Netherlands funding a volunteer project that teaches Africans key benefits of the internet.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

I’m trying to solve the problem of inequality of opportunities between developing country’s and the rest of the world. Internet penetration is shockingly low in a lot of Central African countries, which is an important reason for this inequality.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

My solution is to give the opportunities of the Internet to developing countries in Africa by setting up a volunteer project. I will pay for this project by setting up a unique Internet service provider in the Netherlands. A small part of the income from the Internet service provider will be used to fund the volunteer project that will provide equipment and education programs to teach the people of Africa about key benefits of the Internet, so that they can easily organize, educate and share knowledge. In this way the people of the Netherlands can provide the people of Africa with hope for a better future simply by browsing the web.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Every Internet service provider in the Netherlands competes with lower pricing and faster connections. Not one of them however communicates a friendly and social proposition in which service is just as important as a fast network. People of the Netherlands are completely fed up with Internet providers who won’t help them with their problems or make them pay way too much. So when I set up an ISP that has an excellent helpdesk service and has some very good causes it is to be expected a lot of people will be glad to make use of this and abandon their former Internet service provider. Some of the bigger Internet service providers may compose a threat, though. These companies have big budgets for advertising and customer relations, which makes it possible for them to establish strong brands.
About You
Organization:
Nowyou (concept)
Background Information
First Name

Joris

Last Name

de Kleer

The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you

Yes.

Country of residence of entrepreneur

The Netherlands

Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?

I study advanced business creation, a very new education that teaches concept creation by focusing on creative thinking, innovation and management. I chose this education because i love thinking of new innovative ideas and putting them in to practice. Meanwhile i'm very concerned about where we are going with the earth and it's people. So combining innovation, durability and social entrepreneurship was a chance to do something i love but also to do something that matters.

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Nowyou (concept)

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact

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Innovation
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

Internet is the driving force behind lots many opportunities for individuals or groups who want to learn new things and put their knowledge to use to improve their lives. In developed countries like the ones participating in this competition these opportunities come naturally, but in developing countries like Ethiopia people have yet to see the chances that the world wide web can provide.
I’m well aware that the first thing people need in developing countries is food and safety and that Internet doesn’t come first when people die of starvation. But consider this old cliché: when you give a man a fish he will be hungry again tomorrow. Teach the man how to fish and he has food for the rest of his life. With this in mind I became convinced that the only way for Africa to catch up with the western civilization is to make a radical jump forward. This jump couldn’t be made until now because the Internet wasn’t mature enough in the past. However, with the coming of social media, the ever increasing user friendliness of the web and the increased simplicity of tablets and other devices Africa is finally ready to embrace the full potential of the internet.
With Internet for Africa, people can learn from each other, organize and take action together or just take the opportunity to educate themselves beyond the level of primary school. These opportunities will facilitate the jump forward needed. And this jump forward will eventually create equal opportunities for all the people in the world.

My business model consists of two phases. Phase 1: Setting up a project to Teach people in Africa the beneficial use of Internet. Phase 2: setting up a unique Internet service provider that resolves around making profit in a social and durable way. I will use this space to elaborate on how I intend to execute those phases and, most importantly, connect the two in one brand.

First of all I need at least one month for research and networking to find out which country is best suited for the project. Looking into possible government support and the involvement of tribal elders will be an important part of the research. Next I will start my company as a community. I will start gathering people who want to join my cause via social media platforms like twitter and Facebook, also to create a positive buzz around the project. I want to be as open as possible and share everything about my business with these people. Once a trusted bond is created (This should be made easier with good interactive marketing) it becomes possible to ask for volunteers for setting up a volunteer project. The project will consist out of 10 – 20 volunteers who will travel to a developing country in Africa. There they will set up Wifi hotspots in schools and villages and educate schoolteachers on how to get the most out of the internet. The schoolteachers can then start spreading this knowledge to their pupils. The education will consist out of creating email addresses for the people, showing them reliable and useful websites and showing them the possibilities of social media. I will travel with the volunteers to follow the proceedings and to manage the project. Besides my attendance there an elaborate briefing will be given to the volunteers beforehand, so they’ll know exactly what to do once they arrive in Africa. I will pay for all the expenses of the volunteers. In the next paragraph I will explain how I plan to get enough budget to do so.
Once it becomes clear that the volunteer project is a success it is time to launch phase two of my business plan: selling internet to the Netherlands. I want to create a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) using open source collaboration with my online community. The ISP will offer fast Internet that can compete with speeds of other connections in the Netherlands and will target a group aged between 18 and 28. The Internet services will be sold to homes and businesses for a price that isn’t much higher or lower than those of the competitors. However, this price will be more compelling because a small part of the income from Internet services will be spent on the volunteer project in Africa. After all, people and especially companies are glad to do a little good if it doesn’t cost them extra. It will give them a good feeling and more importantly: it’s very good for a company’s image. The project can be scaled up big once a steady cash flow is established, so that more volunteers can be sent out to more than one country at the same time.
But not all of the income will be used to cover the costs of my business; a small part of it (or so I hope) will be profit. Now this isn’t something I want to hide from the public. I want it to be a very open business and this goes for the profit as well. So what I want to say to my community and the consumers of the Netherland is that my business sells Internet services as prior activity with the Africa project as a side project. If I state this well enough, people will see a commercial business that has some very good causes. What I don’t want is that people will see a foundation that keeps a lot of money to itself.
In order to set up a successful ISP a part of the cable network owned by ‘KPN Telecom’ must be bought using investments (KPN is forced by law to sell parts of its cable network). I would need a small office and hire people to pick up the phone, but with the open source collaboration I won’t need much more than that. There are a lot of examples that this works and that such companies can grow at least as fast as any ordinary company. And this is where my solution to the stated problem makes a difference. My business model won‘t be a case of a business selling a service to the consumers. It will be a case of consumers (my community) selling a service to consumers. This creates trust and the project for Africa will create a willingness to buy. Now add a good helpdesk service and you have a real people’s brand. A brand that is young, friendly, open, fair and above all focused on giving. Giving the opportunities of Internet to Africa simply by browsing the web.

Select the stage that best applies to your business

Operating for less than a year

Social Impact
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?

I had no social impact to date, for my business is still in the concept stage. However the social impact will be huge if my concept will be implemented. Think about what social media did for countries like Egypt and Tunisia. It brought people together so that they could strive to a better future. I am convinced that this social impact will be just as big in developing countries in central Africa. I will measure this by comparing the increase of Internet penetration between a developing country where the project is running and a country where it’s not.

What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?

People in Africa have no use for Internet when they can’t access it because of a lack of equipment. This problem is solvable by giving these people tablets for free with the help of 'One laptop per child'.

It may seem unfair to people in my community when some people earn profit and others don’t. To solve this problem I want to promise a share of the company to everybody who helps me with the ISP. Once (or if) it’s listed in the stock market the shares of the company will be divided evenly.

The only way to make the project work when money falls short is to ask volunteers to invest in parts of the project.

Sustainability
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?

All of the above contributes to a brand that will stand out from the competition and will be suitable for success. Costs will be relatively low because of high numbers of volunteers working in my business and small marketing budgets. These small marketing budgets will be spent on efficient online campaigns that make use of viral videos, social media, in game advertising, interactive marketing and guerrilla marketing. Meanwhile, if all goes well, steady incomes will be a certainty because their will always be a demand for Internet services. As a result my business will grow. The profits will remain small because of the project for Africa, but the business will be at least financial sustainable.

Now for social sustainability, I think this speaks for itself. There is a long way to go for Africa to embrace the full potential of the Internet. It will take patience and staying power to give the opportunities of Internet to the people of Africa, and there will be other parts of the world that need the opportunities of the World Wide Web as well.
Finally my business will do everything that lies in its power to save the earth from global warming. All networks and servers will run on green power and when we set up Wi-Fi hotspot’s in Africa we will make sure that they get power from solar panels so that there is no pollution whatsoever. Also we will educate teachers in Africa how to teach their pupils how to live green.

Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?

Social entrepreneurship is something that should have been started decades ago. The current morale of making as much profit as possible at the expense of the earth and its people is intolerable. For example: big manufacturers like Nike and Converse just close their eyes for the horrors of child labor in developing countries and just smile at the low costs that come with this kind of labor. I’m convinced that the fastest way for developing countries to become civilized is by social entrepreneurship of these big multinationals. But a country can’t develop on better work conditions alone. People in these counties need to wake up and start taking matters in their own hands. No schools? Educate yourself. No work? Start an innovative business. Bad government? Protest via social media and show the world you deserve better. I do know that ‘waking up’ is easier said than done. That’s why every existing company should think of ways to help them do this.

What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?

I think it will be very rewarding for me to go to Uganda and see how the people live there. It will be a huge contribution to the research I need to do in order to know how and where I will begin my volunteer project. A man can do much research from a distance, but it will always be subordinate to being in the field. I think the cultural differences will be a big challenge for me (I was in India for three months, but then I was 5 years old) but I’m eager to learn. Finally Uganda seems to be a beautiful country that will surely inspire and surprise me. Any unique and new experience in Uganda will be the most rewarding aspect to me.