Best Ideas 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solution or proposition for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category, click HERE
Ghoorni - An Online Marketplace for University Students
Explain your idea in details:
Internet penetration rate is on the rise in Bangladesh. Yet only 23% of the internet users shop online. Women's participation in digital marketplaces is even lower! In order to come up with a solution, we'll narrow our focus down to university students since online shopping is more popular among university students than the older population. We're currently in the process of building Ghoorni, an online marketplace for university students of Bangladesh where they can buy and sell on campus. On Ghoorni, only university students can signup, list their pre-owned items and search for items listed by other students. Students have lots of pre-owned items to get rid of, i.e. electronic products, fitness equipments, musical instruments, books, clothing items, accessories etc. Through Ghoorni, they can sell these items on campus to other students who may be looking to save money buying used items! It's not just pre-owned items, students can also buy brand new products directly from us at a cheaper price. We've already talked to wholesalers about selling their products at a slightly higher than the wholesale price and much lower than the retail price. On regular online marketplaces, users are concerned about: Lack of security, Risk of fraud, Fear of getting cyber-harassed, Losing their parcels and so on. Ghoorni is not open to everyone! All users are university students verified using their student ID cards. The users don't even have to buy and sell at a unknown place! Instead, they can meet on campus. We're going to come up with a live chatting system meaning the users don't have to share their phone numbers on the internet. This will benefit particularly our female users. We're also going to introduce user rating system to prevent online fraud. We'll have a delivery team to ensure an efficient delivery system.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
First, IMPROVE ONLINE MARKETPLACE EXPERIENCE FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: Ghoorni is going to provide university students with a more secure online marketplace that will minimise the risk of fraud and other cyber-crime that can take place through buying and selling online. We're going to use Artificial Intelligence to detect fraud. Besides, our delivery team will deliver the products on campus which will decrease the chance of losing parcels. Second, ENSURE GENDER EQUALITY IN CYBERSPACE: Ghoorni is concerned about women's presence in digital marketplace. We're going to build a more "women-friendly" online marketplace by introducing user verification, user rating and private messaging system. One of our objective is to help more women start using online marketplaces. Third, FINANCIALLY EMPOWER UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: Majority of university students in Bangladesh live on a budget! They need to save more, spend less and earn extra money. Ghoorni is going to help them make money by selling off the pre-owned items that they don't use anymore and save money by buying pre-owned items or new items at a much cheaper price. Finally, INSPIRE "ENTREPRENEURSHIP" IN BANGLADESH: In Bangladesh, we have a popular belief that a student needs to join a renowned company after he or she graduates. We've had incidents where students committed suicide simply because of not getting a job or failing in exam! Through Ghoorni, we're going to support "Student Entrepreneurship" by providing the students with a platform to start selling online. This will decrease the pressure on the job market and inspire more students to start a business even before they graduate.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
We'll have two types of listings: 1) STUDENT LISTING, 2) BUSINESS LISTING. A student can list an item for free. Another student can view the listing page and send private message to the student who listed the item. We'll keep this feature to both grow our user base and serve our cause. However, we're going to make money from students through featured listing feature and delivery service. But our key revenue stream will be business listings where a student can directly make a payment and purchase new products from us. We've already discussed with a number of wholesalers who agreed to let us sell their products at the wholesale price. We'll sell these products to the students at a slightly higher price than the wholesale price but much lower than the regular market price. We'll keep this feature to enrich our marketplace with listings even when there is no student seller on our platform. At first, student buyers will signup to buy from the business sellers. When we have a number of student buyers, a portion will turn into student sellers. This is our core implementation plan. For marketing our product, we'll use: 1) DIGITAL MARKETING: Facebook ad campaign, YouTube video marketing etc. 2) IN-PERSON EVENTS: We'll go to different universities and talk to students about different business listings and how Ghoorni is going to ensure their security and empower them financially. 3) CONTESTS/SWEEPSTAKES/GIVEAWAYS: We'll run sweepstakes every week to turn more student buyers into sellers. Every week, one lucky seller will get a prize. Every month, the person with the highest number of listing will get a prize. Every month, we're going to give free delivery and credits to student sellers for featured listing. At the moment, we're bootstrapping. But we're also actively looking to raise seed fund.
I'm Taeef Najib, 29 year old entrepreneur from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have graduated in Business Administration with Marketing as my main concentration. In 2013, I started my career as a Digital Marketer which allowed me to create and manage digital marketing campaigns for one of the biggest online marketplaces in Bangladesh. Later on, I joined a Bangladesh tech startup in Business Development. I also have experience in User Interface design. Even though I'm a business major, I've always been fascinated about technology which made me start Ghoorni, a technology based startup. As a child, I wanted to make a difference in the society I grew up in. By the time I started going to university, I've fallen victim of a popular mindset in Bangladesh that a person needs to work 9 to 5 at a renowned company. I didn't want to choose a 9 to 5 lifestyle and instead wanted to start my own business. This is what motivated me to start Ghoorni that will provide university students of Bangladesh with a platform to start selling even before they graduate. I'm one of the finalists of GIST Tech-I 2018 competition, jointly organised by U.S. Department of State and AAAS. GIST has given me an opportunity to get trainings and mentorship from a lot of renowned entrepreneurship trainers and consultants, including Elizabeth Gore, Jeff Engell, Eli Velasquez, Sanem Yalçnta Gülba, Lucie Newcomb etc. Besides, our team has a web developer experienced in PHP (Laravel framework) and a rockstar sales person.