Up Close with Team… Ulula

This post is part of a special “Up Close with Team…” series, featuring Q&As with the five finalists of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge.

Ulula_Logo (1)Ulula proposes a mobile payment and feedback service for migrant workers to increase transparency and accountability in the recruitment process. The team is one of five Rethink Supply Chains finalists competing for a $250,000 grand prize. Stay tuned for the winner announcement in April!

Why is this Challenge important to you? What do you hope your solution will achieve?
Partnership for Freedom is a unique opportunity for Ulula to integrate mobile money into its information platform to create a win-win for migrant workers and employers to combat labor trafficking. With Spartacus, workers will receive critical information about their rights and get paid by their employers through their mobile phones. Mobile money creates transparency and limits leakages to improve workers’ incomes. Employers benefit from a simple system that automates payments and generate automatic payroll for their operations.

What inspired your solution?
For a decade Antoine, Founder & CEO, worked in countries rich with oil, gas and minerals to combat corruption and mismanagement. He saw communities in Nigeria and Peru losing their livelihoods with the development of large natural resource projects. He also witnessed the rising conflicts between communities and mining companies. Antoine saw the potential of simple mobile phones to give a voice to communities – particularly the poor and more vulnerable groups – and foster a new social compact with governments and companies.

Your team has entered the Finalist Accelerator phase, which includes expert mentorship and participation in a live boot camp. What do you hope to learn through the process?
We want to take advantage of the presence of experts with practical experience of labor trafficking to build a prototype that can make a difference for over 200 million migrant workers around the world. We want to learn the details of the migrant workers’ recruitment process and journey, the role of recruitment agencies and the companies to design a product that can align them to create more transparent recruitment practices and more effective systems to get paid and send money back home.