Hunarmund Returns from UNCTAD and Alibaba eFounders Fellowship Programme
Hunarmund returned in November 2018 after having successfully completing the eFounders Fellowship, a joint initiative by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Alibaba Business School. The Fellowship aims to help bridge the digital gap and enable young entrepreneurs and small businesses with the right skills for their businesses, and encourages them to share their knowledge from this programme with the communities they work in.Hunarmund returned in November 2018 after having successfully completing the eFounders Fellowship, a joint initiative by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Alibaba Business School. The Fellowship aims to help bridge the digital gap and enable young entrepreneurs and small businesses with the right skills for their businesses, and encourages them to share their knowledge from this programme with the communities they work in.
The Fellowship Pogramme started with giving the 38 entrepreneurs from 11 different countries an exposure to Double 11, Global Shopping Festival which takes place every year on 11th November. During Double 11 event in 2017 Alibaba successfully reached a GMV of $25 billion and in the year 2018 they managed to increase this number to $30.8 billion. This year, they were also celebrating 10 successful years of the Global Shopping Festival.
In order to create hype and keep the audience thoroughly engaged for the Global Shopping Festival, there was a Double 11 Gala celebrated at Mercedes Benz Arena, Shanghai on 10th November, till midnight, after the Global Shopping Festival was announced. During the Gala, the offline audience was given a perfect experience of getting engaged online through various online games and promotional offers on Tmall and Taobao platforms. The Gala celebrations were also screened on local Chinese channels to keep the offline audience engaged and maximizing their reach.
After being part of the Gala, the Fellows were taken to the media centre where they experienced live screening of the global sales happening on Alibaba’s platforms. It was an exhilarating moment to see how rapidly the sales started to pick up during the first minute of the sale, soaring to GMV 1 million Yuan.
Alibaba Conglomerate – Digital Ecosystem
Fellows had a chance to understand the entrepreneurship spirit at the core of Alibaba since it was founded, the integrated ecosystem of platforms including Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, Alibaba.com, Ali Express, Cainiao Network, Fliggy, in addition to relevant industry trends and developments such as New Retail, Hema and the impact of e-Commerce in rural areas.
The participants were taken on a field visist to Bainiou, village in China to give an exposure of the impact Alibaba is creating in Rural development using e-Commerce solutions. Through Rural Taobao, Alibaba has enabled the walnut farmers in this village to start selling online and earn sustainable incomes for a better living. Alibaba’s digital centre was also shown where each of the online shop owners had placed their shop QR codes there for the buyers to easily access their online stores for a quick and easy buy.
The participants were made to create their very own bank accounts in China and link it up to their AliPay accounts to be able to experience the “Cashless” city of Hangzhou. One of the best experiences of going cashless was the use of QR codes to pay through AliPay during the visit to Bainiou. AliPay has enabled the digital payment system to become seamless for the online store owners in Rural China as well where they get payed instantly by using unique QR Codes.
Hunarmund’s Mission and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
Hunarmund’s core mission is strongly connected with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Reduced Inequalities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Gender Equality and No Poverty. Hunarmund is working towards developing a strong digital ecosystem supporting the entrepreneurs in Urban and Rural areas of Pakistan, giving them direct online market access. In order to really make this happen there are challenges such as poor or no internet connectivity in some of the big villages of Sindh, Pakistan and some villages don’t even have mobile networks, which has completely disconnected people living in those areas from the rest of the country.
Hunarmund is in a constant struggle for 3 years now, to get basic technological facilities to individuals who can make best use of digital support to sell their products and earn sustainable incomes. These products include traditional handmade products including craft products and also agri-products such as dry fruits, honey, indigo dye and other natural dyes. Hunarmund supports the producers of these products to develop a brand and do basic packaging of their products and also promotes their products in order to give them a higher customer reach.
Going above a beyond, Hunarmund is providing business knowledge and basic adult literacy to the people who have little or no access to primary education and also, gives them training for developing innovative products which would sell best internationally, giving them higher rate of return, thus better living standards in the long-run.