Empowering sexual violence survivors through innovative skills-training to achieve employability and become champions of our generation.

Connecting young professionals via a unique employee engagement program to upskill survivors of sexual violence in India.

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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Net Supatravanij

Initiative's representative date of birth

December 5th 1993

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Woman

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • UK

Where are you making a difference?

Mumbai, India

Website or social media url(s)

www.ilageneration.com https://www.instagram.com/ilageneration/ https://www.facebook.com/ilageneration/?modal=admin_todo_tour https://www.linkedin.com/company/13060575/admin/

When was your organisation founded?

10/2018

Focus areas

  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Pilot (have done first proof of concept)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $50k - $100k

Organisation Type

  • Hybrid

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

Net was climbing the corporate ladder in the cutthroat world of advertising when a client wanted to promote skin whitening for women. She turned to find more meaning in her job, starting the company’s first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. This is where she saw the potential of what happens when you combine professional skills with passionate causes. Julie grew her interest for gender equality when studying Philosophy & Ethics in Paris. But it’s working in Mumbai for an anti-trafficking organization when she identified a need for better skills-training programs that would provide survivors with skills up to market standards & truly value their specific needs and individuality. Both met at LSE studying social innovation.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

In Mumbai, the cycle of gender-based violence is due to lack of education or skills to meet market demands to achieve financial independence. A lot of women who are rescued from brothels or leave domestic violence in their households usually get trained by NGOs with basic skills such as tailoring or jewellery making. Statistically, more than half these women return to brothels or are unable to be financially independent with those skills.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

In India, equal participation in the workforce would add 2.9 trillion USD to India’s annual GDP by 2025 - right now they only contribute to 17%. ila has developed a unique and innovative 360 degree approach to skills-training that provides trainees with everything they need to heal and grow from mental health support and mentorship to advanced skills, exposure and internship placement. Our approach is holistic, long-term, and aspirational in the sense that we encourage our trainees to aim for formal sector employment while making their own life choices and equip them with the necessary tools to achieve this. Within this 360 approach, we bring in the help of private sectors by engaging employees in a unique, socially impactful employee engagement program in the form a skills-based volunteering. Employees teach soft-skills needed to meet market demands to survivors, all the while developing their own soft-skills and finding meaning in their work.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Our social enterprise is a B2B model. Our unique approach tackles not just a societal problem but a business problem at the same time. We help companies stretch beyond India’s CSR commitment into creating shared value. Our curriculum gives employees tools to develop soft-skills training for our survivors while also developing their own soft-skills for business outputs such as leadership development, diversity & inclusion, gender sensitization, job satisfaction, employee loyalty, etc. In India, 8 in 10 are unsatisfied with their jobs. Studies show that external CSR is positively related to organizational commitment and that the contribution of CSR to organizational commitment is at least as great as job satisfaction.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

Our model relies on strategic & innovative partnerships with key stakeholders. We’ve been developing our training program by approaching expert organizations & trainers to develop soft skills and hard skills that meet market demands. Additionally, mental health is key to progress for survivors and we have been recruiting therapists to help structure the program. Next we focus on connecting the dots by giving trainees formal sector exposure. We turn corporate professionals into soft skills trainers inside our partner co-working spaces to get trainees used to being in a professional environment. Finally, the program includes real applications of the lessons taught when trainees get placed into internships (with mentorship support).

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

We have identified three main hard skills training paths that we would like to implement over time: Hospitality, Coding & Design, Social Innovation. Starting with hospitality. Our training also has a strong emphasis on soft skills and mental health that are key for anybody to be competitive and flexible at work. We measure impact according to three principles: 1. Know where our trainees are starting from (skills evaluation when recruiting). 2. Measure evolution (graded assignments, team reports, self & peer evaluation). 3. Keep track of our alumni.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

From the social problem: some trainings are not up to market standards (Rescue Foundation) others are not scalable as they have no timeframe for trainees to graduate & achieve independence (International Sanctuary). ila aims for trainees to work and be financially independent after 12 months of training after a thorough screening. From the business problem: Taproot & Goodera are independent NGOs facilitating volunteering for companies with different charities. ila's all-in-one enterprise connects the beneficiaries to the clients directly, being transparent with our impact and revenue.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Our MVP with a group of 11 survivors and 2 clients (Unilever & UN Women) gave us extremely positive feedback. The trainees felt the skills they had learned were new and helpful for their job search. They reported feeling empowered and valued. The clients felt fulfilled by the interaction with survivors & the gain of soft-skills. We hold ilaX events (inspired by TedX but focused on gender), to raise awareness and momentum for ila. In 9 months, we’ve held 2 events in UK & Thailand. The events garnered an audience of over 150 people and had 15 brands sponsoring & championing our cause, including WeWork & The London School of Economics. This has added to our global network who we call the ‘ila Generation’ which has now grown to over 600 young, socially conscious millennials in just 1 year since launching our website.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

All our funds will go towards the main costs for ila, which is human resources. We need to hire a team including: 2 therapists for the survivors, 1 country lead to coordinate local logistics and 1 associate to help develop the employee engagement curriculum. Smaller funds will be allocated to the overhead for the survivors such as transportation to the training sites. Once the program starts, we can begin to have clients (corporations) who will pay a fee for the employee engagement program. Within a year, we hope to be financially sustainable and no longer need to rely on external funds or donations.

10. Team

Net Supatravanij (Co-founder): BSc in Marketing, New York University (NYU),MSc in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, The London School of Economics (LSE), Global marketing experience & Founder of CSR Initiative at Ogilvy & Mather Julie Sané-Pezet (Co-founder): Bachelor & Masters in Philosophy (Paris Sorbonne University), MSc in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship from The London School of Economics (LSE), Researcher on Gender-Based Discrimination, Field experience with survivors in India

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Ethnic group
  • Gender

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

Julie is Mixed-Background with some African roots while being born and raised in France (Paris). Net is a from Bangkok, Thailand.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Other

11. Bring it to life: Please walk us through a concrete example of how your solution will solve the problem you’re trying to address

Najuka is 18 & the oldest of 3 girls. Abused as a child, she drops out of high-school & can’t access professional training. Once recruited by ila, she comes 5 days/week to a co-working space for training. There she interacts with young professionals & bonds with her cohort. Day 1: Meet Twinkle (therapist), & Reema (mentor) who will guide her throughout the program. 3 months in: she chooses the hospitality scheme. Month 4-6: she learns from working professionals, attends masterclasses led by inspiring individuals & grows her support network. Afternoons are for mental health activities & learning on ila’s platform where she sees her progress. Month 9: Najuka starts a 3 month internship at Marriott leading to a full time receptionist job & aims to be a manager in 2 years. Now financially independent, she funds her sisters’ education, mentors girls & ila trainees in her community.

12. Skills Matching: HSBC Employees will have the opportunity to offer skilled-volunteering. If matched, which of the following skills would you be most interested in receiving?

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Monitoring Impact
  • Project Management
  • Program Design
  • Research
  • Legal Services

13. Financial Sustainability – funding breakdown: please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating an estimated percentage that comes from each source.

Angel investors 50%

Crowdfunding 15%

Grants 20%

Individual donations 15%

14. Financial Sustainability – please tell us more about how you plan to fund and scale your project over the next 12 months.

Our breakdown is as follows: 65% HR, 13% Logistics, 16% Overheads, 4% Fees and 2% Activities for survivors. Most of our costs go towards ila team salaries and our partners as we rely on expertise to shape the curriculum for the trainees and employees. Once we have initial funds to hire our team, we’ll begin the training program (some funds go to survivors for mental health activities, food, transportation). Three months into their training, we engage corporate employees to take over part of the soft-skills training - here we charge a consultancy fee for development of our employee engagement program. Clients will be paying a fee depending on the package they choose (how long they wish to commit) and this money will come from their CSR or HR budget. Our packages range from 2500 USD to 35,000 USD. In 12 months, we aim to have 6 corporate clients bringing in total revenues of 100,000 USD

15. Growth Strategy: What are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

By 2025: Onboard 3500 trainees (offline & online); Engage a global network of 15,000 young professionals; Support female entrepreneurs & innovators via a global franchise system

Go-to-market strategy: Partner with organizations eg Pioneers Nation with corporate offerings & established client base; Create an online training module (adapting to Covid-19) for survivors to access learning content. In talks with Microsoft & Eko to create secure platforms for database of engagement during training & progress after; Certify employee engagement program by a leading HR firm - talks with Korn Ferry

16. Activating changemakers: How are you giving people the power to control their own destiny and support other people to become changemakers in their communities?

Survivors are equipped with tools & confidence to achieve their goals & lead by example. We select young women who want to have an impact on their communities. Our alumni will be financially independent, have the support system & awareness they need to trigger real change.

Employees gain gender sensitivity toolkits, leadership skills & social awareness to become social intrapraneurs within their business communities & agents of change.

ila Generation meet at ilaX events where Passion & Profession merge. We give networking time for meaningful connections to be formed & new projects to be born.

17. Awards & Recognitions: What awards or recognitions, if any, has the project received so far?

ila has been collaborating with brands like Unilever, WeWork and the London School of Economics. We are partners with the London Google Academy and UN Women.

Featured in:

UN Women Beijing+25 Exhibition at UN HQ in Bangkok

UN Women Speaker for International Women’s Day

BK Magazine

Expat Magazine

We Hate Pink

London School of Economics

Awards:

LSE Generate Funding competition 2020. 

18. Tell us about how collaborations and partnerships would enhance the scalability and impact of your project

Partnerships make our value chain: 4 NGOs to recruit survivors, specialized trauma therapists, 3 social enterprises to outsource hard-skills, 3 Co-working spaces for training & workshops, UN Women (knowledge partner) & Corporations for soft-skills training & internships.


Our partnerships with tech firms enable more survivors to safely participate in the training program online. To scale, we have a social franchise system that partners with existing programs globally to open new hubs.

Finally - Your Selfie Elevator Pitch: Share a 1-minute video that shares a quick summary of the problem you would like to solve, how you’ve chosen to solve it, and the impact you hope to see.

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation:

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 25%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 25%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 25%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 25%

3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

Yes, absolutely! - 75%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 25%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

Yes, absolutely! - 25%

Yes/maybe - 25%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

5. Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

Yes, absolutely! - 50%

Yes/maybe - 25%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 25%

No - 0%

6. FEEDBACK: Highlights

IMPACT POTENTIAL: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) – and you have a concrete plan for future impact. You have specific tools for measuring impact. - 100%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful solutions - 33.3%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work operationally and financially in the present and future; your plan is specific and you value sustainability. - 33.3%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You have a good plan on how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 33.3%

Other option - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: Areas for Improvement

IMPACT POTENTIAL: make sure to provide specific instances of your social impact (or how you plan to measure impact) – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, the main activities/products, and provide evidence of (or plan for) impact evaluation - 0%

QUALITY OF INNOVATION: make sure to describe how your solution is unique and innovative – it is helpful to include the research you have done on past solutions and how your solution is different from (and/or builds upon) these. - 100%

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY: make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: make sure you describe your plan for how to empower others to become changemakers through your programming, service, or product - 50%

WRITING STYLE. Try to be concise, descriptive, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

Other option - 0%

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Basic skills such as tailoring or jewellery making is not neccesarily a viable life course from women who are victims of gender-based violence. I really loved the holistic, long-term, and aspirational goals you have and that you encourage your trainees to aim for formal sector employment.