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CodersTrust: Microfinance for young programmers
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CodersTrust: Microfinance for young programmers 

But what if there is an entity which fills this void? Would it make life easier for future generations of online learners?

CodersTrust seeks to provide these individuals with microfinancing to boost their IT talents and groom talented programmers to find meaningful employment in developing countries.

The company believes that democratizing the infrastructure will redefine the education concept and channel young peoples’ talent, This would enable budding IT pros to get in contact with employers across the planet.

The youth in developing countries need more training in order to become better candidates for employment. CodersTrust selects the best candidates and provides them with a microloan, which can aid them to juggle between providing for their family, work and business.

CodersTrust plans to train 100,000 new IT workers within three years. The company believes these freelance portals will create more than 150 million new jobs globally by 2025.

In an exclusive interview with IT in Canada, Ferdinand Kjærulff, founder and CEO of CodersTrust, shared the vision and mission of the company.

IT in Canada: How does the microfinancing program work?
Kjærulff: We help select freelancers and IT programmers from the freelance marketplace and provide them with microfinance. We give them a six-month program where the goal is to upgrade their skills so that they can take on more advanced tasks and thereby increase their earnings and based on their increased earnings they can repay the loan. At the end of the program, they optimize their profile, after which they become geared up for the next job and climb to a higher earning point compared to when they started the program.

ITIC: What are the different stages of the program?
Kjærulff: We target the freelancers who already have some experience, customers, ratings and reviews, and have proven that they can generate some revenue on the freelance sites. We give them a bridge course into programming combined with some instrumentation and communication training. With this approach, even the best programmers can improve their profile and bring in new customers and projects. So we have few steps not only for technical skills but also for soft skills. And then we have different tests that they have to pass in order to get to the next level.

ITIC: What do the candidates learn in each level of the program?
Kjærulff: In the technical level, we start with some introductory courses into web programming, like preliminarily courses about how the course works. Over time, they will take advantage of advanced skill training, such as PHP combined with some basic web test programming. From there, they can go into advanced coding and languages.

ITIC: Does this program have any qualification criteria?
Kjærulff: Right now, we target the freelancers. So that is one criterion in our model. Essentially, what we are doing is we are pulling in data as soon as the freelancer applies to us. The applicant connects with our service and we thereby import all his filled-in data and then based on that data we start to evaluate. Basically, what we are looking for is positive variant of use. We are looking for hourly wage and a certain level of available hours.

We need to get a good picture of the student. Then, we give them one month as trial period where we monitor their accuracy and their learning activity based on free educational content and based on the information they provide. So we have a really clear profile of the individual student before we fund their education.

ITIC: What is the selection process like?
Kjærulff: Essentially, what we are looking for in our selection process are people that we believe would be able to increase their earnings and thereby repay the loan. We are looking for freelancers who may have been doing data entry, content writing, or something basic. They have to prove that they are not only able to create a profile, but also try and get different projects and essentially be customer friendly. That is one very important criterion that we are looking for.

Then we have the different recruiting tests, and then we come out with the strong model that we relate to the overall market trends in the market place. So we look at what are the different potential, funding this person’s education after the level where he or she could take on PHP tasks. And then we translate that application into a small business plan or career plan, and that is essentially what we then deliver behind the scenes to microfinance institutions. They then approve the loan, and then we are able to fund the applicant’s education where he or she can pursue our learning curriculum.

Within our curriculum, we take advantage of a lot of available educational content, such as codec editing and several other sources. And we (provide) all available content so that the freelancer does not have to go out and rely on random links. We have a (process) that will actually make them good enough to take on those higher-paid tasks.

Moreover, we source small free-link pops from the website that are then provided to the individual students in a customized feed based on the individual’s profile. So instead of having the freelancers going out to several different websites to fetch different processes, we make sure that they get a recommended list of processes not only for learning track but also for paths to increase his earning. This provides the individual more time to constantly improve his job.

ITIC: What goals does this program hope to attain?
Kjærulff: What we are really interested in here is the potential impact not just on the freelancers but beyond the freelance market. This would help people anywhere in the world with access to the Internet to actually start working in the freelance marketplace and get the funding and later on be able to qualify to take on higher-paid jobs over time. I think is the only sustainable way to boost the well-being and welfare in the emerging markets in countries that are not as fortunate as we are.

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