Thursday, July 07, 2016
Founded in 2016, Skill Bear ‘Skills Beyond Barriers’ – an online e-learning marketplace was the brainchild of Malaysian entrepreneurs Suja Krishnan and Prem Kumar
The concept came to them as they travelled across the globe in their work as technical trainers. They spent time training teams to rebuild infrastructure in post war Afghanistan and Iraq as well as upskilling teams in other developing nations.
Having a technical background as an Engineer, Suja was able to see that businesses in these nations needed to grow their technical infrastructure. Skill Bear believed they could achieve this through the development and distribution of essential skills, whether it be business, technical, commercial or personal.
Although these nations were developing rapidly, in most of these markets the training costs were inhibitive to both individuals and companies. In these regions with such a great need for knowledge and development, the founders of Skill Bear saw that there was a massive gap in the technical training space.
Of course they could see a commercial opportunity here, but at heart Skill Bear was more about empowering those less fortunate by creating an agile market where the knowledge of essential skills can be spread throughout the community at a relatively low cost.
So what does ‘Skills Beyond Barriers’ actually mean?
Around the globe most nations have identified the growing gap in inequality. The more fortunate parts of society manipulate resources and IP creating greater wealth, while those who are unable to access these resources fall further behind. What Skill Bear aims to do in a practical sense, is give those that are less fortunate the ability to better their lives and change their environment through education thus decreasing the knowledge gap, creating a more balanced playing field in terms of employment and opportunities.
Aspirations aside, they knew they had to appeal to the many organisations and connections that they had made while travelling around the world. Their vision was to reach out to these professional institutes and ask them to provide e-learning courses on subjects like: Website Creation, Accounting and Financial Management, Marketing and Sales, Public Speaking, Computer Programming etc. Thankfully, through the great work they had done around the world, many organisations were more than happy to provide Skill Bear the course material they needed to get started.
Next Skill Bear set about building a platform where the courses could be published, accessed, transacted and interacted with. After a few challenges outsourcing the concept build, the Skill Bear team bit the bullet and funded in-house developers to create the platform and get the website up and running. They accomplished this at the beginning of 2016.
What makes Skill Bear different to other e-learning portals, is the access to high quality content at low cost to the end user. Keeping in line with the Skill Bear vision.
As the site launched, more and more course providers saw the great work the Skill Bear team were doing and began enquiring on how they could upload their own courses onto the portal.
Skill Bear are fair and competitive with the rates they are able to offer their course providers, as they realise it is a fantastic avenue to aid in sharing valuable learning material. Thus creating a functional and fair e-learning marketplace.
News of Skill Bear has spread throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Likeminded entrepreneurs whose aspirations align with Skill Bear’s started to take notice. Spectral Solutions, a New Zealand based tech firm in the midst of developing a world class Project Management and Workflow tool, have begun a professional partnership with Skill Bear.
Spectral Solutions will be looking to provide courses on ‘best in class’ Project Management and Workflow practices, including efficient methodologies such as AGILE and LEAN. Bringing these methodologies to a larger and developing sector of the global economy is the aim of Spectral Solutions.
Skill Bear has gained momentum and continues to build networks and change lives. As the world develops and knowledge becomes the new economy, Skill Bear along with other likeminded organisations will be at the forefront of change.
For more on Skill Bear, check out www.skillbear.com
For more on Spectral Solutions, check out www.spectralelement.com
By Dinesh Kumar