Gamification for good: Lebanese app counts steps in exchange for donations
Never stop, always move forward, and you've got this!
Amidst the crippling economic crisis in Lebanon, Yasmine Darwich, a passionate impact entrepreneur, has unified the need for more NGO funding, whilst also motivating people to lead healthier lives. Driven by these dual challenges, Yasmine has created a platform called DonaLeb.
DonaLeb is run by Yasmine, an experienced professional in HR and data analytics, who assembled a team of like-minded individuals: Zahra, Layan, Ali, and Alex. Each bringing unique expertise in data analytics and together they have set out to develop the innovative app that connects businesses with nonprofits, uniting people through virtual running races based on their daily steps.
The concept behind DonaLeb was simple but profoundly impactful. Users download the app and participate in virtual races, engaging in gamified, friendly competitions with others based on their step count. The more steps participants walk, the more coins they earn. These coins can then be redeemed for prizes or donated to charitable causes. DonaLeb motivates people to lead healthier lifestyles while simultaneously raising funds for NGO causes they care about.
In Lebanon’s challenging context, Yasmine and her team have encountered two significant challenges when launching their startup. Firstly, finding companies willing to onboard their employees onto the platform, even when budgetary constraints loomed large. Secondly, the DonaLeb team required investment to expand their vision.
Joining SPARK’s Tech for Inclusivity programme in partnership with Startups Without Borders, financed by Google.org, they have received invaluable mentorship, which proved transformative. Mentors guided Yasmine and her team in validating their business model and identifying target customers. With their support, DonaLeb managed to expand its reach to Europe, specifically in The Netherlands, where Yasmine was one of ten finalists pitching her business during SPARK’s annual IGNITE conference in Amsterdam in 2022.
“When we actually joined the programme, we were not generating any revenue at all,” explains Yasmine. “But now, we have started to generate revenue, with three companies onboard on the app.”
This exciting development marked a turning point for DonaLeb. As the three companies embraced the platform, seamlessly integrating it into their employee engagement initiatives, Yasmine witnessed the impact of their efforts firsthand. DonaLeb has blossomed into a global impact platform, fostering collaborations between businesses and nonprofits, and transforming the way people engage in fundraising efforts.
Yasmine’s story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and the belief that even in the face of adversity, positive change can be attained. DonaLeb continues to inspire individuals worldwide to never stop, always move forward, and make a lasting impact on the world around them.