Toward A Value Proposition of Digital Opportunity Trust
Shah, Muhammad Umair
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This study aims to advance the understanding of Digital Opportunity Trust’s (DOT) value proposition by characterizing the ‘modus operandi’ and to develop a method to explore the impact of entrepreneurship in the developing (or under-developed) regions of the world undertaken by Digital Opportunity Trust. DOT is an initiative to help reduce poverty, and to achieve greater social and economic stability by empowering people with skills and knowledge by utilizing new technologies in their communities. Prior research suggests the adaptation of ‘Information and Communication Technology’(ICT) and technological advancement as a means of addressing 500 million people worldwide, those residing at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ (Prahalad, 2005) for an effective social transformation. “Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)” is one of the not-for-profit (NFP) / non-governmental organizations (NGO), which strives to accomplish this goal by blending ‘entrepreneurial’ education with ‘corporate social responsibility’ to foster new ventures that use digital communications technology. DOT is operating in eleven (11) countries for more than eight (8) years now, rendering it important to validate and evaluate the extent to which Information and Communication Technology ICT allows people in poor communities to exchange knowledge, and to compete with new enterprise. Personal interviews (Case Study Methodology) with DOT’s executives, staff, interns and contractors were arranged to gather insightful information and to characterize the value proposition. The aim is to gather estimates of achievement for each of the defining attributes (‘as things are’ to reflect present achievement and ‘as things could be’ to reflect how far the attribute might be ‘pushed’). While it must be the responsibility of DOT’s leaders to articulate formally its value proposition, evidence gathered in this case study points in possible directions. For example, DOT’s value proposition is based on a humanitarian goal and a win-win situation that benefits the people of underdeveloped regions as well as DOT itself. DOT does not merely advance monetary aid to the poor regions of the world; rather it creates a model of economical sustainability. It empowers people by imparting technical prowess and training to them. This not only keeps them abreast of the whole world, but also helps improve their quality of life. DOT provides technological initiatives and programs in developing areas, while adhering effectively to accountability structure. Multinational companies and not-for-profit organizations can gain useful and practical knowledge from DOT’s experience. DOT brings an edge to entrepreneurship by advocating productivity and skill, especially in technological fields. The poor man’s plight turns into a healthy, industrious skill. An emerging paradigm for creating shared value suggests that this is precisely the model worldwide corporations should invest in and apply in these ever-challenging economic times.