One Young World celebrates the young entrepreneur empowering migrant workers
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One Young World celebrates the young entrepreneur empowering migrant workers

Young people around the world are launching start-ups with the aim of combining purpose and profit. In Dubai, Lead 2030 winner, a One Young World initiative sponsored by Credit Suisse, Spandana Palaypu established the recruitment platform ZoEasy to provide fairer employment conditions for migrants.

Migrant workers in search of dream jobs

More than 80 percent of Dubai's three million inhabitants are foreigners. While Western expats on generous salaries tend to spend a few years in the Emirate, millions of migrant workers from developing nations who come to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carry out simpler tasks for lower levels of pay.

Taxi drivers from India, housemaids from the Philippines and mechanics from Ethiopia– many of these people often work for less than 1,000 US dollars a month. For a lot of them, their experience of Dubai begins with a broken dream. Back in their homeland, recruitment agents promise them a dream job with good wages. Once they arrive in Dubai, they discover that they are in debt and have to drive a taxi or do other work for which they are overqualified.

Cutting out the middleman

That is the reason why Spandana established ZoEasy in mid-2016. The start-up educates and matches jobseekers with validated employers using ethical and transparent processes. Most online talent platforms focus on the already educated white-collar community, with very few solutions catering to the migrant workforce. ZoEasy moves away from this model and strictly observes the principle of cutting out the middleman.

Getting rich is not the goal

ZoEasy has so far been able to arrange employment for around 100 people – but its potential is enormous. ZoEasy earns money from the placement fees paid by companies when they hire an employee through the platform. For Spandana, this is not necessarily the most important thing. "I think that when you do the right thing, you will eventually earn. Getting rich was never important to me. I always wanted to create an impact first," she says.

"Our goal is to ethically employ 100,000 jobseekers within the next three to five years" – says Spandana. That is ambitious – like so many things in Dubai.

"Lead2030," an initiative of One Young World and nine leading businesses, including Credit Suisse, recognizes the most impactful youth-led solutions for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Credit Suisse's Impact Advisory and Finance department sponsored SDG number four: quality education with a specific focus on for-profit business models.

Spandana Palaypu, founder and CEO of ZoEasy, won in the respective category. Spandana's vision, purpose-driven motivation and aspiration won over the judging panel made up of Credit Suisse clients, partners and employees. As a result, Spandana will receive financial and non-financial support from Credit Suisse for ZoEasy.

One Young World is a global forum that gathers, debates, and shares innovative solutions to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The speakers are drawn from business, politics, and policy, and include global entrepreneurs and humanitarian leaders.