Best Projects 2022 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs, or informal programs.
Explain your project in details:
In 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic continued to impact small businesses across the world and necessitated such businesses to have an online presence. However, an online presence wasn't accessible to all small business owners due to the high costs, which is what Visard.org works towards addressing. Additionally, as a youth-run organization, it prepares the youth for their future by giving them a chance to work in real business situations with clients, in different departments, and in a professional environment with reporting, and approval processes. In this way, the youth themselves benefit while benefitting small business owners. The organization is currently in the process of getting registered as a section 8 nonprofit with the Government. Vision: Empower and enable the global youth community to create a sustainable future Mission: 1.To empower small businesses with technology 2.To prepare the youth for the future Initiatives: 1. Web connect:Small business owners take orders through messaging which is inefficient and hampers the customer experience. Helping such businesses establish a fully functioning, eCommerce website with end-to-end support ranging from integration of payment gateways to content writing is what this initiative covers. 2. Customer connect:For smaller businesses with no website, responding to redundant queries like "what is the payment method?" is extremely time-consuming. Under this initiative, AI-powered chatbots that can respond to such queries automatically are developed and deployed 3. Influencer connect:For small businesses, Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful but inaccessible tool due to the high cost. Under this initiative, the organization has partnered with micro influencers that will promote products of small businesses on social media for free 4. Expressions d'artisans:Artists, bakers, and other artisans who need a platform to display their work are helped with single-page websites under this initiative. Contact details are displayed so potential customers can get in touch with the artisan.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
With a vision of enabling the youth to create a sustainable future, the organization actively works towards the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations: SDG 8, Decent work and economic growth - By supporting local, small businesses and helping them expand with technology, this SDG is supported. SDG 10, Reduced inequalities - By making technology affordable and ensuring it is accessible to all, the inequality between lower-middle-income business owners and high-income business owners is reduced. The amount delivered in cost savings is used as a metric to measure the impact created. Currently, this number stands at almost 100,000 Indian rupees which means to date, the organization has helped small business owners save 100,000 rupees. In addition, the youth that have been a part of the core team is another metric considered due to the mission that involves the youth. To date, over 25 youth under the age of 18 have contributed to the core team. In recognition of the impact created, the organization has been selected for a 3-month incubator program by Clever Harvey India where it will receive a grant worth over 2,000 USD in addition to mentorship and support to scale impact.
Sustainability and future plans
To expand the scale and pace of the impact, the organization will start empowering other youth to carry out the four initiatives mentioned above. This will be done through 3 main programs that will be executed in the future - Immersive experience - A two-week experience program where students will undergo training and simultaneously complete tasks in groups of 5. The tasks and training would take them through the entire process of running an NGO, starting with raising funds, followed by creating impact, and lastly recording the impact created. Each team would support 1 business owner in their area and would build a website under the web connect initiative. Each two week batch will have a set of teams to create a collective impact. Global Chapters - Independently functioning chapters of the organization would be set up in different geographies across the country and the world. These chapters would replicate the activities and initiatives of the main organization and would help in creating a hyper-local impact. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnerships - The organization would partner with corporations looking to conduct CSR activities for their employees. Each employee will be paired with one youth and one business owner, together, the youth and the employee would be trained to carry out the Customer connect or Expressions d'artisans initiative for the business owner. Operational costs would be covered from the funds generated by the Immersive experience program and the CSR partnerships with corporations. In addition, the organisation is working towards getting additional grants to work towards their vision and mission.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Varun is a 17-year-old student from Bangalore, India deeply involved in technology and entrepreneurship. His passion for enterprising can be traced all the way back to Grade one when he had an origami venture. He was introduced to AI in 2019 when he was among the 100 selected from the nation to take part in Intel's AI for Youth program. Since then, he's presented social impact AI projects at national & international level events, worked with clients across 15+ countries as a AI/Automation freelancer and has gained recognition in publications including Times, Disrupt and YourStory. Currently, he is serving as the Founder and CEO at Visard.org.