The brainpower of the poorest 4 billion people in the world is without a doubt the world’s greatest underutilized resource. The rise of global online labor marketplaces presents an amazing opportunity to provide work and income to individuals in the most remote parts of the world. Millions of young people around the world cannot complete post-secondary education. This leaves valuable, income-generating skills unlearned, which means that years of higher wages will be permanently out of reach for these young people.
The demographics of this problem are chilling: most of the productive capacity of the next generation is being left undeveloped. An estimate proposes that 100 million youth worldwide lack the ability to pay for school.
Traditionally, job opportunities have strongly favoured those who lived in the right areas and knew the right people. New possibilities arise with online freelancing. The ability to work as an online freelancer has changed the rules dramatically; now, it is what you can do and how quickly and adeptly you can do it. With nothing but a computer and an internet connection, anyone anywhere can compete for jobs by applying their skills through online freelance jobs. Current Difficulty However, it remains difficult for companies and workers to find a good match when choosing a freelancer and for either party to know precisely what they are getting out of cooperating. Buyer/seller information asymmetries, when combined with opportunities for strategic behaviour, can impede markets; if sufficiently severe, they disrupt markets sometimes preventing them from existing. Secondly, labour is a service that is delivered over time, often accompanied by relationship-specific investments in human capital (e.g., learning a particular skill for a particular job). This creates a number of the incentive issues that make it hard for parties to fully cooperate. An Issue We Wish to Address Despite the rapid growth seen on the online marketplace, it is still a challenge to claim access to the vast possibilities. A person who does not have higher technical skills and technical education (often due to lack of financial resources) cannot take advantage of this trend.
This is one of the issues we wish to address with CodersTrust.: To provide accessibility to this market.
Access to this market is made possible because youth will be able to obtain an online education that is financed through microloans.
What is CodersTrust The CodersTrust project is a bold attempt to redefine the concept of virtual education and tie it directly to the online labor markets. The idea is not to create a small improvement in better and more learning material, methodologies, transparency or better learning management systems. The Project Idea Instead, CodersTrust wants to democratise and decentralise education by creating an entirely new education infrastructure to serve the demand of the online marketplaces. The idea is to monetize the service by taxing the users’ increased earnings and actually pay out the students loan instead of charging a member fee or charging for content. In the future, content will be abundant and instantly accessible online with websites such as Wikipedia and Quora. Institutional certification will be replaced by community driven reputation on linkedIn or online marketplaces.
Already today a great github profile or "10 five star ratings" for HTML5 projects on Odesk are way more valuable than a Computer Science degree at any University on this planet.
Overall Business IdeaThe concept - CodersTrust - is based on an online educational system for students in developing countries that expediently combines online education with assignments from online freelancing marketplaces. This model allows students to obtain: Standard professional training and exposure with the necessary practical experience. Professional references and reviews from clients (that will add value to their web profiles and professional resume.
Asian youth currently lacks relevant education and thus cannot fully realize their potential. As a result, there is a pressing need to give bright kids the education which can help them strive for better future.
The brainpower of young generation simply shouldn’t be wasted as the technology market is growing at a fast pace today and it needs bright people to keep evolving. Everyday more and more newly created businesses emerge in the technology sector which extends the online workplace arena. That’s why the importance of relevant education cannot be neglected in any way. Bright kids should be inspired to move forward on their career path, enhance their qualification and skills as well as acquire new ones. However, for smart kids willing to get worthy education, initial investment often poses a serious problem as they are forced to live for less than 3 USD per day and therefore cannot afford to invest into their future. That’s why CodersTrust offers a solution that allows students to repay their financial study aid only after they start earning money from the jobs they receive on online labor markets.
Proper advice and guidance are the key factors that can inspire young generation to strive for realizing their highest potential. It is thus vital to give kids all the necessary assistance to get their talents uncovered and potential released
Ganhuyag Ch. Hutagt from a Mongolian microfinance lender company is convinced that “Lending to get a student through college is a far better way to fight poverty than making small-business loans”. Rising talents is a worthy investment as the wages of a skilled and trained worker is a few times higher compared to that of an inexperienced worker. However, millions of bright kids are blocked from the access to proper education because of the relatively high initial investment in it.
Therefore, funding poor students could solve two major problems the world is facing today. On the one hand, it makes a perfect choice for companies and individuals who are looking for a perfect investment opportunity. On the other hand, it fills the educational gap and thus helps to fight poverty in some Asian regions and all over the world.
Not a long time ago, local job opportunities were the only opportunities to build a career. Now, on the contrary, just a few clicks separate job seekers from earning money. The so called “talent exchanges” allow companies and individuals to hire freelancers from all over the world and moreover choose the most attractive payment offer. The notion of “talent exchanges” contributes to the growth of a number of people who work from home on a freelance basis or on temporary contracts.
Online labor marketplace is growing at a fast pace and doing work online is gradually becoming a mainstream. It is expected that by the year 2020, 1 of 2 businesses will hire online freelancers and up to 20% of all the work will be done online. Therefore, everyday more and more new members join the online workplace communities and start working on a freelance basis.
When taking a closer look at the statistics that shows the analysis of 4 popular online workplaces such as oDesk, Elance, Freelancer and 99Design, we see that Elance received the highest funding which equals $78 million. However, the number of freelancers doing job through Elance is relatively lower than the number oDesk freelancers. But even the number of oDeskers cannot be compared to about 7 million freelancers who prefer to work through Freelancer. Those looking to hire a contractor prefer Freelancer and the total number of jobs posted reaches 4.4 million. oDesk and Enance are slightly behind with 3.6 million and 2.9 million jobs posted. However, the total number of earnings through Freelancer which reaches only $150 is far behind the numbers reached at oDesk and Elance that are $920 million and $739 million respectively.
All in all, 12.3 million people work as freelancers, either on a full-time or part-time basis. 35% of them have always worked as freelancers. As statistics reveals, 59% of freelancers have earned a Bachelor’s degree. 78% of freelancers claim they are happier working in such a way, while only 4% are happier as full-time employees. Among the major reasons why people switch to a freelance model of working are the ability to choose projects to work on, controlling their work schedule, and working from wherever they want.
Online labor marketplaces have seen a dramatic rise in the past few years. It is thus an excellent opportunity for remote and poor parts of the world to reach immense income growth. Workers from all over the world can sell their labor to a global pool of buyers. As statistics reveals, in 2012 online workplaces spent over $251 billion on digital services In the developing countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, people are often forced to live for less than 3 USD a day due to low local wages rates or the lack of job opportunities that match their skills and expertise. It thus blocks people from realizing their highest potential and striving for better future.
Bangladesh is a nation with one of the highest number of freelancers. Due to rather poor local job opportunities, people switch to online marketplaces to build their careers more successfully. Today, over 12% of all the jobs on oDesk are done by Bangladesh contractors. In addition, freelancers boost Bangladesh’s reputation as an IT nation and make it up-to-date with the market demands.
As technology market is mostly based online today, there is a pressing need for countries with poor local job opportunities to promote online labor workplaces. By escaping local markets, people will acquire freedom to choose the projects to work on, increase entrepreneurship, and grow local economies. In addition, the average earnings tend to grow with every year. It is expected that by the year 2020, up to 20% of all the work will be done on the web which will make online job opportunities even more attractive.
When a freelancer joins an online labor market, severe competition and demanding projects often become a challenge. For this reason, the hourly wages of beginners is relatively lower than that of experienced contractors.
There are in fact a few factors which influence the hourly wages of contractors. Strong and reputable profile is the key factor that determines the price. Acquired experience and reputation estimate given by previous clients also contribute to freelancer’s hourly wages. We are now facing the era when a shiny profile with a 10-star rating for HTM5 project on oDesk is far more valuable than any university degree.
The division of skills on online labor marketplaces is also a major factor that determines freelancer’s hourly wages. IT & Programming and Design occupy the leading positions in the list of average hourly wages. Freelancers are able to post a portfolio of recently completed projects to demonstrate their skills and the level of expertise. Online labor workplaces also give contractors a chance to pass the tests that evaluate their skills and efficiency.
According to the survey conducted among freelancers, 84% of them expect their income to increase. Thus, they mostly feel enthusiastic about their future freelancing career.
Today, when the tech world is expanding so widely, training of young generation is a wise thing to do. That’s why IT field of study is in a great demand now. People from undeveloped countries who live for less than 3 USD per day have to acquire IT skills to reach better future.
However, it is a common problem for people from undeveloped countries to refuse from higher education or getting scholarship due to poor living conditions they find themselves in. That’s why CodersTrust enables backers to invest in the IT training of students from poor regions.
By offering microfinance to students, entrepreneurs help them upgrade their skills, enhance qualification and get higher wages, economic growth, better health, democracy and political stability. Just a small investment can solve the problem of poverty in a family with low income.
Such online labor markets as oDesk and Elance offer lucrative job opportunities for those who have the necessary skills. When backers invest in IT training, they help students acquire the technology skills, win jobs on freelance portals and make their hourly wages rise. After the students get their first jobs, they repay a loan to the backer and move forward on their career path.
Microfinance for students aims at bringing the concept of virtual education into online labor markets. The program’s task is to create a new educational infrastructure that is capable of serving the demand of online labor marketplaces.
When students join a CodersTrust IT training program, they are given an access to a user-friendly dashboard that allows them to control their work&study process from one place. In this all-in-one dashboard, students get funded by the backers and receive appropriate e-learning tools to start their online training. CodersTrust sends all the training materials through the dashboard and students learn to code in one of the educational institutions.
After the students acquire enough skills and successfully pass the qualification tests, they are ready to move on to the next stage of their training. To test their skills, they get real world tasks from such online labor marketplaces as oDesk, Elance, and Freelancer. With minimum hourly wages, students proceed with their training and upgrading their qualification to move forward with their career development.
With the help of the all-in-one IT training dashboard, students can also get recruited through such labor platforms as LinkedIn and GitHub. One more valuable feature of the CodersTrust dashboard is that it shows the statistics about hourly wages rise that students will find useful for tracking their growth.
Speaking in general, all-in-one dashboard created by CodersTrust considerably facilitates the learning process of students. They don’t have to log in to multiple accounts to have an access to all the study tools they need.
CodersTrust aims at facilitating the way students learn and get funded. Thus, every student has their own dashboard where it is possible to link all the online labor accounts to CodersTrust, import all the data from them and display it.
In this dashboard, students can simultaneously use all the online learning tools given by the trainers as well as get funded. They will easily manage all their work assignments and combine it with the learning process.
The IT training process at CodersTrust encompasses a few strategies to reach maximum efficiency of study. Students follow their learning procedure through the access to various e-tools, reading manuals and watching video tutorials. To retain the acquired knowledge, students are subjected to a row of tests and examinations.
Upon their successful completion, students are ready to get real tasks from such online workplaces as Elance, oDesk, etc. CodersTrust trainers also assist them in creating online profiles able to get better visibility from potential customers.
If students have any questions related to the study process, coding or online profile building issues, they may consult with online tutors who are ready to give them all the necessary assistance.
Why does education matter? Income is one way in which education helps individuals improve their social outcomes. Evidence generally supports the income effects of education on social outcomes. However, education’s effects on social outcomes generally remain after accounting for income. Hence, education may help individuals to develop skills, improve their social status and gain access to networks that could lead to enhanced social outcomes, independently from the effect of education on income. Emerging research suggests the significant role cognitive, social and emotional skills play in explaining the effects of education on economic and social outcomes (OECD, 2010).
Longitudinal and experimental studies can help clarify the causal status of the associations between education and social outcomes as well as the pathways in which education impacts on such outcomes. Yet, the evidence makes already the case for education policies to complement social policies aimed at tackling health, crime and social cohesion. It would be important to take into account educational approaches to social challenges when evaluating cost-effective policy levers.
CodersTrust is a global framework for democratizing access to tech-based education and entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
Both companies and individuals can offer financial assistance to bright kids who are thrilled to further their IT skills. Just a small investment can contribute into the technology-based economic growth in the developing countries.
Among the benefits of backing are:
Brand differentiation – CSR profile
This investment will later be repaid by the student through their earnings on the online labor marketplaces. The role of the backer is to provide the funds for the investment and then select a student or students to back with the financial study aid.
IT companies that are looking for efficient workforce can invest in a class of 10 coders for one year and then meet a team of skilled coders ready to work for them. However, by investing in education, companies do not only earn money, but also improve the economy of developing countries and benefit the underprivileged.
Conversations with microfinance institution CEOs, finance managers and lending directors highlights that limited capital and concerns about repayments were significant deterrents to starting a student loan program. However, the primary reason for not launching a student loan program was uncertainty about student demand and the complexity of student lending.
Some of the more common aversions were:
Student loans are longer-term compared to the traditional one-year maximum business loans that were normally provided by MFI’s.
The students aren’t embedded in a tightknit community where strong communal peer pressure can be exerted on them to repay the loans.
Students don’t have any credit history; they won’t want to borrow in their own names.
Students don’t have any income while they’re in school, so they can’t make payments while studying.
CodersTrust is confident that these issues can be addressed and solved.
The CodersTrust model does is not designed to put students through college instead aiming instead to give them directly transferable skills that can be put to practice on online freelance assignments. The students can immediately start to use their newly acquired skills and as they earn money on freelance assignments 20 percent of the earnings go to repaying CodersTrust. By taking this active involvement in the students and combining education and practical work all of the aversions are addressed:
The student has an income while getting an education, so they can make payments.
They put their reputation as a freelancer up as collateral thereby increasing the likelihood of loan repayment.
Technology market continues to grow at a furious pace and the wages for highly technical skills is rising. As the enormous percentage of activities become automated, the demand in coders is growing.
It is expected that by the year 2020, the technology market will create a $500 billion opportunity for coders. Despite a big number of computer science students, the number of computer jobs will reach 1.4 million, as forecast reveals.
Fast-pace technology world creates the opportunities for online work to become a mainstream. According to the forecasts, by 2020, 1 of 2 businesses will hire freelancers online instead of full-time office workers and up to 20% of all work will be done online.
In addition, online job marketplaces create more opportunities for people from undeveloped and remote areas. It is a winning solution for both companies and freelancers as it enables talents exchange on a global scale.
The freelancer market in Bangladesh Bangladesh is, with its population of 154.7 million, a prolific supplier of freelancers. This statement is backed by data from the online workplace Elance that can document a total of 54.605 registered Bangladeshi freelancers at the outset of 2013. This was a growth of 83% compared to 2012 where 24.697 freelancers were registered.
Out of the 1.15 million jobs posted on Elance in 2013, 22.069 were awarded to Bangladeshi freelancers with an average salary of $10.5 per hour.
Who then hires the Bangladeshi freelancers?
The top 10 countries hiring Bangladeshi freelancers:
USA Australia United Kingdom Canada Singapore Thailand Switzerland Germany Denmark Netherlands
There were 1.15 million jobs posted on Elance in 2013. Of these 22.069 were awarded to Bangladeshi freelancers with an average salary of $10.5 per hour. The industry distribution for these jobs were as follow:
IT & Programming: 7713 jobs - 35% of total Average rate: $ 12.3 / hour
Design and Multimedia: 5172 jobs - 23% of total Average rate: $ 11.19 / hour
Sales and Marketing: 4613 jobs - 21% of total Average rate: $ 8.43 / hour
Admin Support: 3153 jobs - 14% of total Average rate: $ 4.94 / hour
Writing and Translation: 1078 jobs - 5% of total Average rate: $ 7.98 / hour
Engineering and Manufacturing 194 jobs - 1% of total Average rate: $ 12.5 / hour
Finance and Management 146 jobs - 1% of total Average rate: $ 16.21 / hour
What can be deduced from these statistics is, first and foremost, that the amount of jobs awarded to Bangladeshi freelancers is far lower than their respective numbers. However, if we look at IT & Programming where the majority of jobs are awarded to Bangladeshi freelancers, the ones that do get jobs are given an hourly pay far better than the ~$4 (307 BDT) minimum hourly wage normally awarded in this job sector in Bangladesh. A similar development can be seen in the other industries.
Further, there is a clear indicator that far too few jobs are awarded to the Bangladeshi freelancers compared to their presence. This can be contributed to a number of factors: Inactive or unfinished profiles, abandoned accounts, and, most importantly, a lack of general experience or knowledge of the available jobs.
At CodersTrust we are very fortunate to have a highly motivated and talented team. They are:
Ferdinand Kjærulff Ferdinand is a political science major and former reconstruction officer in the Danish Armed Forces and has, for the last four years, been involved in several entrepeneuring business. He draws upon this diverse background in his responsibilities as the managing director of CodersTrust.
Asser Smidt Asser is co-founder of CoderTrust and the resident web-developer. He has experience from several start-ups and business ventures.
Morten Lund Morten is a Danish-based serial investor who has backed such diverse and succesful ventures as Skype and Tradeshift. He functions as a board member and advisor to the CodersTrust management team.
Thor Angelo Thor Angelo is a business angel and investor. He supports CodersTrust as an investor and provides invaluable advise on operations.
CodersTrust Pitch Deck
Bangladesh Association of
Software & Information Services
An initiative backed by
A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
But A Wonderful Thing to Invest In
The brainpower of 200 million young people worldwide is tragically being wasted
80% of youth worldwide live for less than $10 a day. This limits them from getting
an education and pursuing a better life
There are 200 million
young people in
They live for less than 3 USD/day,
limiting their access to education
Combines online learning and microtasks
from online workplaces to guide talents in
emerging markest towards a better future
200 million jobs are created
on freelance portals in 2020
Earning 20 USD/day creates
opportunities for their
families and communities
What is CodersTrust?
WHAT WE DO
Help smart kids get
the education they
Inspire the next generation to
realize their highest potential
Funding poor students could be the
next big thing in microfinance
“Talent exchanges” on the web are
starting to transform the world of
Spending on online workplaces like oDesk and freelancer.com will be a $5
billion market by 2018 with $1 billion already spent on oDesk alone
Online job opportunities are fast becoming more attractive
compared to local job opportunities
Local job opportunity
Online job opportunity
Online profile, skills, experience and reputation all impact the
average hourly wage on online workplaces.
3 years additional education36 %
3 years on online workspaces190 %
Microfinance for students to upgrade their skills
and earn more money on freelance portals
Fund your education. The most important investment
you can make in yourself.
Get real task
Learn to code
All-in-one dashboard to build your profile on the online job market
1. Students register and link up all their online profiles to CodersTrust
HOW IT WORKS
2. Students follow basic e-learning courses with tutorials and videos
Tests & examinations
HOW IT WORKS
3. Tasks from online workplaces are assigned to the student
Bid and work
HOW IT WORKS
4. The best performing students and users are featured for backers
HOW IT WORKS
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the
– Nelson Mandela
Education has the potential to bring significant benefits to individuals and society.
For instance, more educated people…
…tend to live longer1
…have a higher income2
…have an improved social
…engage more in civic activities4
…and tend to feel happier5
HOW IT WORKS
SOLVING THE PROBLEM
IN MICRO FINANCE
Microloans are high-risk. Traditional microentrepeneurs come from families that
are embedded in communities that can exert a strong peer pressure to repay
the loan. Students, however, have little to lose and may come from an
environment where a strong peer pressure can not be exerted.
CodersTrust solve this problem by recruiting among freelancers, that already
have a presence, and holding their “reputation” as collateral. Their profiles are
linked to a central site where they are subjected to an online rating and review
system. This provides the necessary incentive for the student to maintain his or
her reputation by learning and working hard to repay the loan.
Problems Our solution
Student loans are longer-term compared to the traditional one-year maximum
microfinance business loans
Typical micro financing only involves offering financial loans. CodersTrust
takes an active part in the students work and education, helping them upgrade
their skills and guiding their work. This active role lowers the risk involved with
There is no guarantee of jobs in the developing world, student loans are
therefore not a viable product.
CodersTrust focus on small online freelance jobs instead of targeting the
traditional job market with higher barriers to entry.
Students gradually ramp up work hours compared to
When students don’t study, they work online and get
experience and earnings.
As students develop their skills, online profile and
reputation, their hourly wage rises.
Expectations of pilot classes/students. 1 year study course - 2014.
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Study hours Work hours Hourly wage
The need for coders is growing! And the job market is moving online!
From 2% - 10% of total work hours on the largest online
workspaces. Estimated to be the third leading country in
IT outsourcing in 3 years.*
56M under the age of 18. 46% use mobile phones – a
young educated workforce, eager for economic growth.*
Per capita gross national income
≈ $700 – huge potential financial upside to working
online compared to local opportunities.*
Launching with a pilot class from Bangladesh in 2014
BANGLADESH |Moving into Online Work | STATISTICS FROM ELANCE
January – September 2012
First Time Hired
Top 5 Countries Hiring Bangladeshi Freelancer
The most common business area skills revolve around
information technology and development with
programming topping the list with 22%.
SKILLS IN DEMAND
Fig x - Skills in demand, Percentage of jobs posted on
category Elance numbers
Fig x - IT & Programming job value on Elance
Source: Elance trends, Jobs
Finance & Management
Writing & Translation
Sales & Marketing
Engineering & Manufacturing
Design & Multimedia
IT & Programming
Mar May Jul Sep Nov Jan Mar May Jul Sep
Lifetime Value of Jobs Posted (in USD)
Increasing demand and job value for IT and programming skills
Behind CodersTrust is a
team of several serial
specialists that are
determined to make a
difference in the world.
linkedin linkedin linkedin
linkedin linkedin linkedin
consists of a team of highly
and industry specialists
who contribute with their
extensive knowledge and
experience to help
Senior Strategic Advisor
Visit us on