When it comes to starting up your own business, the idea is most important. Such is the story of the power team of MBA candidates from Hult International Business School, Duabi – Imran Jattala from Pakistan, Elham Al Murdaa from Palestine, Jashan Jot Singh from India, and George Baffour from Ghana.
If entrepreneurship is what you desire, then inspiration can be found in many places. In this case, all it took was one tweet to set the ball rolling.
UrbanBazaar is one such idea that is driven by scalability and sustainability. This adept initiative is targeted towards the people living in crowded urban spaces who run microbusinesses. Research suggests that the population in these regions is not poor due to incompetence, but merely due to lack of opportunity. UrbanBazaar can double the income of 10 million vendors, by better connecting people, goods, services and capital. It is a digital marketplace that connects Products & Services in dense urban areas to buyers, in the locality and beyond. This provides a vast majority of the global poor in urban slums with business opportunities and added exposure, so they can scale their businesses to the next level.
UrbanBazaar provides Digital Identity, links to Financial Inclusion & enables Digital Payments. UrbanBazaar is a digital marketplace that connects Products & Services (like Mom Pop shops, painter, plumber etc) in dense urban cities to buyers, in their localities and beyond, all transacted through mobile payment service like Easypaisa and M-pesa.
UrbanBazaar claims to be the world’s first Cognitive Microbusiness Platform and is powered by IBM Watson. This allows vendors to access vast amounts of unstructured data and better their businesses using key insights. Watson also helps by eliminating language barriers using natural language processing. It also gives vendors the ability to create more efficient business models for the future using Predictive Analytics.
To add to the effectiveness and convenience, UrbanBazaar allows all transactions to be held online via mobile money services like Easypaisa and M-pesa.
The pilot testing of UrbanBazaar platform has already been done in Karachi, Pakistan where buyers can pay for their services through the App via QR codes and Easypaisa. This initiative has been a great success and has already registered 1,023 businesses as of April 2016, and is growing rapidly. The team UrbanBazaar is currently working on expanding their platform in Pakistan and also introducing it to the emerging markets of India, Afghanistan, the UAE, Ghana and South Africa.
Headquatered in Dubai, UrbanBazaar is currently incubated at Astrolabs, the only Google Tech Hub in the MENA region. UrbanBazzar is IBM Global Entrepreneur Program member, receiving IBM Cloud-Credits at no cost and mentorship from IBM Subject Matter Experts for the duration of their membership.
This cutting-edge idea has the potential to raise millions out of poverty, by providing them with a digital identity, linking them to financial inclusion and enabling digital payments.
So while sparking up your startup, make sure you have the right business idea, backed by the right business tools to make it an effective and successful one.