Kanika Gupta, founder of SoJo, works on the company’s website in the DMZ. Photo: Kelsey Kaupp

Digital world change

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By Nuruddin Qorane

Activists for social change now have an online resource to help put their ideas in motion.

Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) recently brought in SoJo, a tool for young entrepreneurs seeking to better the world around them.

Currently in the beta stage of its development, SoJo connects young entrepreneurs to advice for beginning a venture, building a network and finding funding, among other educational resources to help throughout the process.

“We’re creating an online learning tool that walks people through the process of developing their ideas, developing themselves and executing on their projects,” said SoJo’s founder and CEO Kanika Gupta.

SoJo exists as a guide for social entrepreneurs to hone in on a refined and realistic idea while the site adapts to the unique questions each entrepreneur will ask. Gupta herself comes from a social change background.

She has been involved in charitable initiatives since high school and went on to found Nukoko, an organization focused on making universal primary school education accessible to young girls.

It was through creating Nukoko that Gupta found that resources were not there for people who wanted to create organizations for social change. That’s when she had the idea of a social journal that would guide young entrepreneurs to reach their goals.

At the DMZ, SoJo will have the opportunity to grow with other companies that are creating similar projects. Gupta says that opportunity is invaluable. SoJo will soon be filled with thousands of articles on topics ranging from developing yourself as an entrepreneur to how to pitch your idea.

Using reference systems such as the ones found on Amazon and Netflix, SoJo will help direct its users to the information they need.

“We’re trying to create a system that’s smart enough to recognize what [the user will need], even if they don’t know what they’re looking for,” said Gupta.

Though SoJo is still in a developmental stage, it’s functional on the web as a strategy to allow users to help in the building process.

“Our goal was to have the people who were going to be using the tool build it with us,” said Gupta.

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