In case you’ve been wondering, a lot of things have been happening at Opportunity Labs in the last few months! Our team has been working tirelessly on building, refining and iterating our engageSPARK solution, as we continue to get invaluable internal and external feedback. Our goal is to make it simple and easy to use – for anyone (especially non-technical people), anywhere. At the same time, we’re establishing relationships with telecoms around the world to expand SMS and Voice connectivity.
We appreciate the many emails from people around the world that are interested in what we’re doing. It has been great motivation for us to learn about different projects around the world that are eagerly anticipating using engageSPARK to help interact with their staff and communities in new and innovative ways that have been prohibitively expensive in the past.
As we gear up for launch, we’re rapidly expanding our organization. We’ve started setting up our global headquarters in Cebu City, Philippines. We’re recruiting to expand our team – we’re especially seeking talented people who are passionate and ready to step up to make change in our world – to help us tackle global poverty at scale by building new businesses around the world.
About Opportunity Labs
Imagine a world where a large conglomerate like General Electric (GE) focuses 100% of its profits on improving the lives of the poor around the world, instead of its biggest shareholders. We think it’s time to reimagine our existing economic models and tweak them slightly to tackle today’s biggest global issues. At Opportunity Labs, we’re building a conglomerate of not-for-profit social businesses that are pro-poor in social and economic impact either through the impact of our products or by creating jobs at scale – with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of millions of poor people worldwide. We operate just like a business: we aim to maximize profit through excellent execution and a focus on satisfying customer needs. The only difference between us and a typical business is that all of our profits are used to continually increase impact around the world.
Our first product, engageSPARK, empowers organizations to dramatically extend the reach and impact of their pro-poor programs. engageSPARK, a social business, is the first self-service solution to enable organizations to easily and quickly launch comprehensive messaging, surveying, curriculum, reminder, and decision tree programs focused on developing countries via SMS, USSD, and Voice Calls (roughly half of the world’s poor are illiterate) in 200+ countries. engageSPARK will also be the first platform custom built for software developers in developing countries – they will utilize APIs to easily and quickly integrate into multiple telecoms across multiple countries for basic building blocks such as SMS, USSD, Voice, and Mobile Money. To understand the problems we’re solving, please read http://engagespark.com/blog/is-sms-really-solution-change-voice-calls-are-for-most-poor-people/ .
Become an Opportunity Labs Fellow
We are building a rigorous, fun, and meaningful fellowship program in Cebu City, Philippines. This is an unpaid volunteer position that offers the unique opportunity to contribute to and learn about building social businesses while working with a distinguished and diverse team.
Fellows should be fluent in English, motivated, strong leaders, good communicators, and have a keen, developed interest in teaching and working with people, especially in an international environment.
While helping with the execution of building the business, one of your key responsibilities will be teaching and training our talented Filipino team. As part of our work to also give back to the local community, you will also be involved in the local community by sharing your skills and experiences with local entrepreneurs.
Fellowships are a 6 to 12 month commitment to live and work in Cebu City, Philippines. This is an unpaid volunteer position, but includes comfortable, free housing.
What You Gain as a Fellow
- Invaluable work & life experience in an entrepreneurial organization working on innovative business models to tackle global poverty alleviation
- Learn about social entrepreneurship and social enterprises in developing countries
- Learn about the technology and startup ecosystems in Southeast Asia
- International work experience
- Teaching experience
- A chance to make a significant impact through transfer of knowledge and skills to our talented local team
We’re looking for Fellows in the following areas of expertise:
- Business Fellow: help us develop partnerships with telecommunications companies around the world to carry our traffic and to distribute our services, especially in developing markets where finding reliable telephony routes can be a challenge.
- Marketing Fellow: help us build on our global online and offline marketing strategy while building a local team to leverage the best and latest marketing tactics. You must have experience with offline and online marketing, ideally for an online product.
- Software & Technology Fellow: help us with our innovative cloud platform by teaching and training young Filipino software developers on the latest cloud technologies: Python, Django, Java, PostgreSQL, CouchDB, Nginx, Apache Tomcat, Freeswitch, and ActiveMQ. You must have programming proficiency in object oriented design in C, C++, C#, Go, Java or Python, and experience in working with cloud stacks.
About Cebu City, Philippines
Located on the eastern shore of Cebu island, Cebu City is the second largest city in the Philippines. It’s a safe place to live with a variety of malls, restaurants, shops, beaches, and activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling. It has a busy international airport with cheap flights to domestic and regional destinations. It’s cheap and easy to explore other beautiful islands such as Bohol via ferries. More info: http://wikitravel.org/en/Cebu_(city) .
To learn more about the Opportunity Labs Fellowships, including requirements and eligibility, go to: http://www.opplabs.org/#be-a-fellow or read the pdf: http://www.opplabs.org/jd-fellows-tech.pdf .