Janet Longmore

Organization: 
Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)
Year founded: 
2002
Country: 
Canada
Website: 

Leveraging technology, DOT provides marginalized young people with market-relevant skills and self-confidence to find jobs and start businesses.

Focus: Technology, Education
Geographic Area of Impact: Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, USA
Model: Leveraged-Not-for-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 210,000 (2012)
Annual Budget: US$ 6.2 million (2012)
Percent Earned Revenue: 6%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013

Background
Youth unemployment has become a global crisis. Formal education systems are failing to prepare young graduates with the 21st century skills needed to engage in the modern workforce resulting in a critical mismatch between the skills required by employers and those of youth seeking employment. To find employment, create jobs, achieve greater self-reliance and economic security, youth need the skills and the self-confidence to harness new information and communication infrastructures. Properly equipped to meet the challenges of today, youth can contribute their creativity, energy and drive to the development of their countries.

Innovation and Activities
DOT is an innovator in enabling people to access and apply information and communications technologies to create economic, education, and entrepreneurial opportunities. DOT’s unique youth-led model mobilizes young university and college graduates providing them with the training and support to become leaders of change and role models in their communities and schools. With a cost-effective multiplier effect, they will each train hundreds of their peers and community members in the effective application of ICT and business skills for entrepreneurial, economic and social advancement.

To achieve its mission DOT works at three levels. At the micro level, young women and men are trained and supported as DOT Interns. Interns utilize innovative online and mobile learning technology to engage DOT participants and deliver programming. One DOT Intern will train and impact the lives of 200 members of their community and peers during her/his time with DOT. Globally, DOT Interns have reached over 800,000 direct beneficiaries. At the meso level, DOT invests in the countries where economic and education programming is being delivered. DOT establishes a sustainable local social enterprise to deliver DOT programming; the local DOT office develops a network of local community-based organizations that participate in program delivery, while improving their capacities – creating a long-term community-based response to local challenges. At the macro level, DOT global manages a network of national and international stakeholders who support the DOT model. DOT country offices assemble a network of local decision makers to influence policy and programs based on demonstrated best practice.

DOT offers economic and education programming in Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. The core Intern-led programs include: