Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Explain your project in details:
"Online Sohopathi" is a free of cost question answer based educational platform dedicated for all academic students of Bangladesh. The objective is to ensure quality education for all students of Bangladesh through the power of crowdsourcing and group study. Our developed website features an interactive academic question forum with over 3000 questions asked by users, a resourceful and informative blog section with more than 100 blogs, an enriched free online library(first of its kind in Bangladesh) comprising of more than 500 books of different categories that can be downloaded for free and a complete online exam system for students. There are many popular websites (i.e.- Quora, StackOverflow, Piazza) that are developed based on same ideology. However, they do not serve the purpose of students of Bangladesh as these forums are not in Bengali and the structure of these websites are not totally compatible with the problems that students of our country face. So, in the context of Bangladesh, this initiative is completely a new one. The most unique part of our initiative is that, this creates a virtual group study platform from all age groups. Prior to this, there was no way for a student from a rural area of our country to communicate with an university topper/top quality teachers for guidance, personal problem solving and motivation. There was no easy access to information about board exams, exam routines and circulars. Access to quality study materials was also a great hindrance. Our initiative was launched with a plan to tackle these issues with the help of modern technology. Internet is now accessible in all corners of our country and the active internet users are increasing very much rapidly. We have come up with an efficient solution that solves the problem via direct engagement of users through internet.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The website of "Online Sohopathi" was launched on December 21,2017. Our website as the main platform for service. According to Google Analytics data, our website has been visited by more than 30,000 unique visitors. Around 600-700 users visit our website on a regular basis. Our social media publicity platfoms( facebook, twitter page and group) are also very active comprising of more than 25000 members. All the contents of our website are basically crowdsourced. So, the response of our users are a a huge parameter of evaluating success. So far, more than 3000 questions have been uploaded in our website by different users. Users have also contributed with more than 100 blogs on different academic topics/personal experience/motivation. Our online library is formed completely by the help of our users. Already 500 books have been collected from users and more are coming as we speak. We have spoken to more than 100 users personally. The groundbreaking impact was pretty evidently visible after talking with the users. There are quite a lot of small yet encouraging success stories. Shraban Zobayer, a boy studying in class 12, told us that he had totally lost all his interest in his studies after being unable to take part in an annual public exam. He regained his interest and passion for studies after being attached with "Online Sohopathi". Faiza Amir Juthi, a university admission seeker, mentioned that she always faces a lot of problems while studying. As she did not have provision of a private tutor, most of her problems remained unsolved. But after getting connected with "Online Sohopathi" website, she is getting the solution to almost all of her problems, that too from quality teachers and university toppers. All these stories bear testimony to the impact "Online Sohopathi" is making in everyday life.
Sustainability and future plans
The business model of our project is mainly based on advertisement and partnership with private educational institutions(School, College, University) and book publishers. The theme is quite similar to the business model of print media. The question-answer forum and blog section attracts students from versatile levels. So, the website can be utilized as a relevant platform for advertising for private educational institutions. As the "Online Library" section is also a salient feature, book publishers should also be interested to put their advertisement in our website. We have also been looking for potential investors. So far, we have been able to establish a partnership with 2 renowned Book publishers company of Bangladesh. The ICT Division of Bangladesh is also interested to provide us monetary support. Besides that, we are taking workshops on basic skills(e.g.- Programming, Graphics Designing, Leadership) for students on monthly basis, which has also been a consistent financial source over the last 6 months. Our main plan for future is to link this website in all the computer labs of all schools/colleges in Bangladesh through the help of the education ministry of Bangladesh by the year 2022, so that even rural and underprivileged students can use our website from their schools. We are targeting to reach the 1 million user landmark by 2020. In order to reach the target, our development team is working on developing an Android App with the same set of features that is going to be deployed by 2019. Finally, as this initiative is not only unique for Bangladesh, but rather for whole South Asia, we want to take this beyond the borders of Bangladesh and reach out the neighboring countries after 2023.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am one of the 11 co-founders of "Online Sohopathi". I am 24 years old and am currently studying in 4th year in Environment, Water and Coastal Engineering in MIST, Bangladesh. I have been part of quite a few education based NGo's i.e.- SAVE the Children, Teach for Bangladesh. Being a teacher myself, I was motivated to create a sustainable crowdsourced educational platform for Bangladesh when I realized that the main problem that students of our country face, is the difficulty they face to solve personal problems. The main strength of me and my team is that we are a very passionate, focused and dedicated group of people. As a person, I am never afraid to make experiments to scale up growth of my startup. I also enjoy leading a team towards a big goal. I believe these are the greatest keys to my success. I was a member of "Team RMS" which won the prestigious "mBillionth South Asian Awards-2017" for an Android App named "Help and Click". Our current project "Online Sohopathi" also received recognition in national level, being shortlisted in the top 30 startups in "Grameenphone Accelerator" program, which is the largest accelerator program in Bangladesh.