AAL Challenge Prize winners continue their journey to reach customers

It has already been a little more than a year since the AAL-organized contest Challenge Prize revealed its winners. AAL Challenge Prize is a bi-annual competition targeting innovators with new and perspective ideas. With more than 35 entries, our last Challenge Prize focused on an emerging theme that is bound to become more relevant as our societies age, namely, Senior Entrepreneurship. The competition, although impacted by the COVID pandemic, was a great success with 85% of semi-finalists agreeing that the Prize had improved the capabilities of their team throughout their journey through the different stages of our competition.

Who where our finalists?

Challenge Prize Winner: Diaspo

Diaspo set to increase the confidence of older adults, give them economic opportunities and help change the narrative around ageism through cooking classes. 

With the help of  Diaspo, these older adults can be quipped with new digital skills that have a wider impact on their personal lives. They gain new professional skills, learning how to teach online, share their story and cater to different audiences e.g corporates. Diaspo has provided these home cooks with new economic opportunities. Through teaching, they have earned additional income through public cooking classes, corporate classes, and courses!

Diaspo in 2022

By using the prize, the Diaspo team has managed to increase their revenue, and used funds to invest in the training of home cooks through training, support and equipment. Diaspo has also managed to increase the visibility and recognition of their brand through press on BBC, ITV, TimeOut and more niche media, they have been able to extend our reach to highlight the experience, skills and knowledge of older adults through their newsletter, social media channels and website.

The Diaspo team also worked with freelancers and agencies to accelerate the technology development of the Diaspo product. This has enabled for launching and test subscriptions, courses, private classes, and now a platform offering hometown delights. The older adults have also built meaningful connections. In a WhatsApp group, home cooks connect every single day, online, talking about their lives, culture, and food. They have also met up in real life multiple times and created real friendships.  

Second runner-up Parlangi

Parlangi connects elderly people with language learners to solve several issues, among of which are social isolation and loneliness, lack of interaction with native speakers in language education. It is a platform where elderly mentors video chat in their native language with language learners or they can learn a new language themselves ! Via the clever matching system of Parlangi you can search for interesting people to get in contact with, schedule a video call or chat right away.

Parlangi in 2022

In the Parlangi network currently around 600 people are using our services to learn a language or to help others learn a language. With the Challenge Prize grant, the Parlangi team set up a marketing campaign and a volunteer rewarding program and to do some additional developments in their application.

We have been able to improve the end user experience thanks to the additional developments, and we have increased the number of participants (both juniors and mentors) thanks to the financial support by AAL.

First runner-up GrandNanny

GrandNanny is a social enterprise supporting midlife+ people (50+) into rewarding, paid part-time childcare employment in their local area. They are the first intergenerational childcare programme in the UK. Since October 2020, they have piloted in Haringey, Islington and Lewisham boroughs in London.  Grandnanny promotes new jobs using a skill-set many older people have not considered monetising and rewards intergenerational social connections – preventing loneliness and promoting Purpose In Life.

GrandNanny in 2022

To date GrandNanny have pre-vetted increasing number of GrandNannies, created more jobs and provided positive intergenerational experiences for GrandNannies, parents and children. They also currently facilitate ongoing childcare matches between local families and midlife+ neighbours. Grandnanny supported employment of their customer service and sales executive and hired support in digital marketing to increases revenue and awareness.

I am able to work with a wonderful family who appreciate and enjoy being with me and letting me be part of their family. At 62 and feeling quite despondent with everything that was happening, being able to secure a job has made me feel confident about the future again.

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