We are providing free-of-charge tech education for youth to upskill themselves and find decent employment in changing economy.
Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.
Initiative's representative name
Initiative's representative date of birth
Initiative’s representative gender
Which eligible market are you based in?
Where are you making a difference?
Kodluyoruz is based in Istanbul, with operations throughout Turkey.
Website or social media url(s)
When was your organisation founded?
Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)
Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?
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
I and my two sisters were born into a worker family. The first fight I witnessed in my life was fight for education: No other girl in the neighbourhood was continuing their education; so why whould my sisters do so? I have witnessed endless fights, but my sisters, in the end, became the first-generation high school students in our family. Then, I had a similar fight when I wanted to attend my dream university. I worked very hard for earning scholarships beyond my dreams to enter my dream university. On that day, I knew this fact: If I could achieve what I dreamed of, any other young person could do it too if given an opportunity. Kodluyoruz is a product of this belief: My way of making opportunity available for other young people.
2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?
Youth unemployment is one of the biggest factors undermining one’s potential, reducing the wellbeing, leading to isolation and poverty. Only in Turkey, 25% of the youth are unemployed. Kodluyoruz works to address the root cause of this problem: Unsynchronized pace of job market and education systems. It is the role of education systems to help people gain these skills required by the changing economy; but schools are lagging behind.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Kodluyoruz provides the most demanded technology and soft skills to youth who need this education the most; and helps youth become the center of their own learning. We focus on tech sector because of two main reasons: Algorithmic thinking and coding are among the most demanded skills in Industry 4.0, and tech sector is growing fast providing high-value employment: On average, 1 job in tech creates 4 more jobs because of its ripple effect. We need to make sure that underserved youth, especially women, take their part in this sector.
To realize these ideas, we provide free of charge bootcamps (3-4 month intense training) and blended learning opportunities for unemployed/underemployed young people to become programmers; and then support them with job placement and a lifelong, peer to peer learning community to create a multiplier effect. We build flexible and modular programs based on local market needs that youth anywhere can follow on their own speed and with the support of our peer based community. Many times, our graduates told us that ‘our 4-month bootcamp provided more skills than their university degree’.
4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?
Our approach is innovative because we combine low cost, scalable operations with a top-quality skills development program and a peer to peer learning ecosystem. We are the first program in Turkey understanding and adapting itself to the needs of local market and attract the best developers to become our trainers. This data-driven approach maximizes employment opportunities for youth. Furthermore, keeping our operations lean help us keep the cost per beneficiary at less than $200 level - so, we and other stakeholders can replicate the desired impact anywhere. Finally, our peer based community is unique in the sense that our graduates help other youth to get skills through our online content, creating a ripple effect.
(Instructions for questions 5 and 6, no answer required) Please only answer the question (5 - “employability” or 6 - “financial capability”) that applies to your organization’s topic of work (see below for definitions)
5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?
1. Kodluyoruz Academy: Provides bootcamps (3-4 month technical and soft skills trainings held in a physical classroom) that prepare driven, unemployed/underemployed young people, especially women, ages 18-29, for employment in high-value technology fields. This skills-focused, modular education system allows youth to manage their own learning and create their own diplomas in a flexible, demand-driven content. We currently work in 8 cities, and aim to train 2,500 youth in 2020.
2. Alumni Club: A lifelong learning community for our graduates, bringing youth together to find solutions to their own problems. Apart from organizing sector talks and hackathons, our bootcamp graduates share their learnings with other youth through online or in-person study groups, creating a multiplier impact.
5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress
On the technical side, we provide web development, mobile development, and data science & machine learning tracks. We also continuously follow the sector and plan to add new tracks in the future such as AR/VR, IoT, and cloud computing. On the soft skills side, we equip youth with skills needed by employers such as business emails, communication, teamwork, and presentation.
We closely monitor the number and diversity of people we train, graduation rate, employment rate, and change in income through attendance sheets; pre- and post-tests; feedback forms; and 3- and 6-month follow up surveys.
7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
Re:Coded: Focuses on conflict-affected youth with narrow reach: 2 bootcamps for 60 people in 2019 (Kodluyoruz: 600+ youth, 23 bootcamps). Cost per beneficiary is $2,000 (10xKodluyoruz)
Paid bootcamps: Target group is people who can afford the bootcamp. Training is mostly focused on technical skills. There is minimal interest in making systemic change. Kodluyoruz is different since it provides lifelong learning opportunities, a community and bootcamps for free.
Online programs: Completion rates are very low if they are not supported by a peer to peer learning community as Kodluyoruz does.
8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Kodluyoruz provided bootcamps for 800 unemployed/underemployed young people in three years: 200 in the first two years and 600 only in 2019. The graduation rate from the bootcamps is 80%; and 60% of graduates found employment in tech in 3 months of graduation. 45% of our students are women. We have expanded into 5 cities in 2019, and expand into 12 cities in 2020.
Our bootcamps also created ripple effects because of the changemaker culture we created in Alumni Club: One of our students in Niğde realized a problem in the agriculture sector and developed a solution with the help of technology. He then mobilized his classmates and they are now starting the second software company in Niğde! Our approach also changes the mindset of the employers in time. Employers we work with have started to expect ‘skills’ rather than ‘good university degrees’ in their hiring practices.
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?
Besides funding from grants and long-term partnerships with private companies, Kodluyoruz has already established sustainable revenue streams. The share of earned revenue in our total income was 40% in 2019 and projected to be 54% in 2020. We aim to increase this share in time to make the organization and its impact even more sustainable.
Our three revenue streams are:
Job placement fees: We receive commission from tech companies when we place our graduates into their open positions.
Bootcamp sales: Companies and local public institutions pay us to train the talent they need and then directly hire from the bootcamps.
Kodluyoruz Enterprise: We provide upskilling training for employees of both private and public sector.
Our team consists of 7 full-time employees, 3 interns, 5 board members, 15 part-time bootcamp trainers, and 350 active members of Kodluyoruz Alumni Club who lead the peer to peer learning community.
Our alumni help grow our impact either by creating study groups, or becoming teaching assistants and then bootcamp trainers after they gain 4 years of work experience. As we expand our operations, this huge base of potential bootcamp trainers will help us expand our impact in Turkey and beyond.
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)
This does not apply to me
How did you hear about this challenge?
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
Cezanur is one of our graduates that we are proud of. She has an incomplete degree in programming from 2013. Then she got married and now has a baby. She lives in Aksaray, an underdeveloped city in Anatolia with limited job opportunities. Thinking that she probably won’t be able to find a programming job in Aksaray, she started a distance learning program in public relations with the hope that she may work in public service. But her life has changed after we launched the first-ever bootcamp in Aksaray.
We immediately admitted Cezanur into the bootcamp, because it is critical for women to return back to employment. She successfully graduated and now is working as a freelancer web developer from home, making the first income in her life. She is also an active member of our Alumni Club and planning to start study groups to teach programming and remote working to other women like herself.
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?
Marketing Strategy, Design
13. Financial Sustainability – funding breakdown: please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating an estimated percentage that comes from each source.
individual donations or gifts: 5%
foundation or NGO grants: 16%
bequests: 0 %
corporate contributions: 21%
grants or contracts: 17%
earned income (product or services sales, licensing, franchising, consulting, financing, etc.): 40%
14. Financial Sustainability – please tell us more about how you plan to fund and scale your project over the next 12 months.
Around 80% of our budget goes into our programs and 20% into G&A and operations. Besides funding from grants and long-term partnerships with private companies, Kodluyoruz has already established sustainable revenue streams. While 40% of our income came from earned revenue and the rest came from grants in 2019, we are increasing the share of earned revenue to 54% in 2020 to make Kodluyoruz more sustainable.
The cost per programmer we train is around $120. Most of this cost is the trainer cost and programs cost.
We generate earned revenue through 1) Job placement: We receive a fee of $1,200 from companies who hire our graduates, corresponding to 900% profit margin before tax. 2) Bootcamp sales: Companies and local public institutions pay us to train the youth / employees with the skills they need. We charge $166/programmer we train, corresponding to a 38% margin before tax.
15. Growth Strategy: What are your main strategies for scaling your impact?
We will grow geographically and with decentralization.
In 3 years, we will digitize our bootcamps and guide youth to join / start decentralized study groups in their own communities and create their own ‘dynamic diploma’ as they gain new skills. We will expand into 2 countries, training 100,000 youth in a year.
In 5 years, we will partner with universities / high schools to integrate our model into theirs, so that youth can receive course credits from our content. This will be revolutionary, providing flexibility to universities and helping us reach an exponentially higher number of youth.
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?
1) Giving back is a main theme for us: We give the tools to youth to conduct their own study groups and share learnings with others. In 2019, our graduates taught 1.000 other people. For example, two students joined our bootcamp in Ankara from Kırıkkale, and then created study groups in their university when they went back to Kırıkkale.
2) Our students start their companies that are conscious of social and environmental problems thanks to the learnings from Alumni Club. For instance, our graduates are starting the second tech company in Niğde that will address farmers’ problems!
17. Awards & Recognitions: What awards or recognitions, if any, has the project received so far?
Top Three Most Promising Social Startups in Europe Award by the PricewaterhouseCoopers Social Impact Lab
Ibrahim Bodur Social Entrepreneurship Award by Ashoka Turkey and Kale Group
Selected to the Youth Advisory Group of the Solutions for Youth Employment under the World Bank
A global finalist at the Lead2030 of the One Young World (waiting for the results)
18. Tell us about how collaborations and partnerships would enhance the scalability and impact of your project
We need collaborations and partnerships to make systemic impact in Turkey and beyond. Some of our partnerships include:
Harvard University and Prometheus (Coursera of Ukraine) to make CS50x course of Harvard available to all in Turkey and start decentralized study groups for 30.000 youth
Ministry of Industry and Technology to expand into five Anatolian cities, which are otherwise hard to reach areas
European Union and Microsoft to scale up our model based on skills demand of tech sector
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.