While working on his degree dissertation on social entrepreneurship, Fairlink founder Stephan got an email from Cameroon where he had previously worked with an NGO. Neba, one of his former students, wrote that he had recently graduated school but was unable to find a proper job. He said that he was working for less than 2 USD per day on a construction site and that – more often than not – he was not even given the little he was promised.
Inspired by the principles Stephan saw in the work of social entrepreneurs he was looking for an economically sustainable and scalable solution to solve Neba’s problem. Neba was educated and computer literate. Stephan could use some transcription help for his dissertation. This seemed obvious, sustainable and scalable. The idea to set up a system to empower people in low income countries to develop, market and sell services in the western world emerged. Initial tests were started on that same weekend.
A team of volunteers, supporters, advisors and interns gathered around the vision and we further developed and systematically tested the idea under the name Transfair. Berlin, and particularly the Social Impact Lab was a great environment to incubate the idea. After initial experiments it became clear that the development of a powerful quality management system was essential for the idea to succeed.
The high retention and customer satisfaction rate we were able to achieve over the last months was reason enough for us to build a simple product to test our solution on scale. For this we incorporated Fairlink UG (haftungsbeschränkt) in Berlin, Germany and are relaunching our service with this website.
At the same time we were selected to participate in Startup Chile, which for the first time also gives us financial resources to further develop the vision.