Many parts of the Middle East are years behind the rest of the world in terms of technological advancements. Mike Dawson, CEO and co-founder of Ustad Mobile, saw that gap and decided it was time to do something about it. Part of the difficulty of creating software that is accessible and available to parts of the Middle East is that much of the technology still being used is antiquated or obsolete. Because technology plays such a pivotal role in development and education, Mike saw that a lack of accessibility and sustainability only worsened the problem.
Founded as a company officially in 2014, Ustad Mobile offers educational software that does not need smart phones, new tablet devices, laptops or even a mobile signal to function. Ustad works to supply the software, open source, to anyone who wishes to download it and create their own course — in the language of their choice. Much of Ustad’s software is sold to non-governmental organizations in the Middle East who focus on developing educational platforms for local communities. Once the software has been downloaded, the Ustad team works together with the NGOs to create a streamlined process for those who use it. Innovative in it’s approach, the Ustad Mobile team hopes to break down the barriers to bringing education to the region, and ensure that the learning process is sustainable. This year, the Ustad Mobile team aims to create Arabic content that can be useful to refugees from Syria and Palestine, in addition to working with Silatech to bring job-assistance, budgeting and finance advice applications and software to Iraq.
For more information: Read more about what Ustad Mobile is doing in the region on their official site, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter @UstadMobile. If you’re interested in becoming a social entrepreneur like Mike Dawson, visit Consult and Coach for a Cause, an organization that provides social entrepreneurs in the Middle East with platforms for success through professional business guidance.