Throughout the pandemic, small business owners have been one of the most worst-hit personas in the world. They have been put at an extreme disadvantage due to limited government intervention. 48% of the American labor force work for small local businesses. With 60, 000 local businesses closing due to COVID-19, it is estimated that at least 32.7 million jobs will be at risk - creating more structural inequality worldwide.
Parta is a mobile application that helps people connect to small businesses in their area they can love. With the number of consumers looking to support local businesses ever-growing, our platform makes it easier than ever to discover small business owners and make an impact in their community.
What is Parta & What it does
As a platform, Parta provides a way to connect consumers and local businesses, supporting the growth of small businesses to decrease the impact of Covid-19. We have directed our attention to the inequality in local areas as they can generate substantial ripples in the local economy, and thus have the ability to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. In particular, we aim to support those affected by discrimination, such as racism.
Our mobile application will help direct consumers to their nearest businesses by displaying a brief summary of the shop and the current owner on the map. A filtering system will be used to search the database based on the desired products of the customer.
How was Parta created?
Parta was built by a group consisting of 75% first-time hackers from all over the world. We used Figma as well as Wix to create a prototype of our product.
We used Figma to develop a prototype of our desired app. As well as Wix to assist our app and give customers more information on Parta and a link to access the prototype of the app.
Step By Step
1. The user will enter a filler page whilst the app is loading.
2. The user will then be shown a map of all local businesses near them that they can purchase from.
3. After clicking on the page they want to go to they will be shown reviews and given an option to order from the shop.
How are we providing a solution to economic structural inequality?
"Structural inequality occurs when the fabric of organizations, institutions, governments or social networks contains an embedded bias that provides advantages for some members and marginalizes or produces disadvantages for other members."
During the pandemic, the world has witnessed the vulnerability of small businesses around the globe. Unable to harness the mass marketing machines used by large corporations, small businesses have struggled to stay afloat due to harsh competition and little support from the government, leaving jobs at risk.
With fewer and fewer small business owners being able to gain competitive advantages over larger chains and corporations in terms of cost and efficiency, they have been left to rely on local customers who purchase for the sole purpose of supporting local business owners.
This year, the world shifted significantly further into the digital realm. Large companies didn’t struggle to fill the gap left by small businesses, and small businesses were left unable to retain their customer bases previously maintained by personal relationships. Nevertheless, this shift has left many people looking for ways to support small businesses in their area, but left mostly to their devices looking for how to do so.
Why does this help small businesses?
Parta is a mobile platform that helps users connect with small businesses in their area, creating a greater impact in their community with every dollar spent. It’s a simple, smart, secure, and reliable solution that harnesses the power of hyper-local communities.
Furthermore, Parta is an easy way for small businesses to increase their online presence without spending a penny. It allows the user to search and filter businesses by category and distance, providing a comprehensive platform that benefits both the user and drives natural traffic to the business.
Parta allows small businesses to register, add personal details, and be quickly found by users eager to shop from them. On the user’s side, they are able to create an account and start searching within minutes. They can search from any industry, for both online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores based in their area.
Parta aims to bridge the gap between the digital world and the traditional small business shopping experience by allowing users to see owners’ photos and names when they search. While this may seem minor, it is the lost interpersonal connection that Parta aims to restore to the everyday shopping experience.
Moreover, Parta intends to create a positive feedback loop between consumers and businesses by allowing users to leave reviews and push well-received businesses to the top of search results.
By directing eager consumers to local businesses, we deliver a platform helpful to both.
Our Key Takeaways
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As the majority of our group are first-time hackers, we extremely proud of the progress we have been able to make over the last 24 hours - all with a completed product and prototype! We have had a lot of fun designing project and utilizing our community skills, which we hope to expand more of in the future.
What we learned
We learned how to work as a team to reach an end goal as well as working collaboratively online. In addition to this we learned more about presenting our project effectively.
Challenges we ran into
We found time zones to be a bit of a challenge as we are not located in the same countries. This meant that sometimes some team members had to stay up later or wake up earlier than others. Initially we wanted to develop the website ourselves using css and HTML however, we soon found out in the time frame given it would not have been possible to do so and make it look professional which is why we went for the Wix option. A photo of our original website is shown below.
What's next for Parta
Our project has a lot versatility and potential however in the future we plan to take Parta into the real world and produce our aims onto local businesses and communities.