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  • Writer's pictureNathan Temeyer

Unlocking the Potential of the Cyborg Coach

Empower MSMEs with AI-driven coaching: Discover our prototype that enhances mentorship and scales support.

As we continue to explore the opportunities to leverage AI in MSME mentorship and coaching, we're in search of opportunities to use AI to empower, rather than replace the valuable human connection. Our previous discussions highlighted the immense potential of AI-powered business advice, like Ironman's JARVIS, which seamlessly integrates into the coaching process, enhancing both efficiency and effectiveness.

Over the last few months, we've developed a live data prototype to start to get feedback from real business coaches and users. It's not complete or ready for a full-launch, but it works and we're excited to share the progress. We think that technologies like this can empower mentors with hyper-personalized and valuable background to support MSMEs, which will improve their businesses and communities.

*A mentor can prepare for a session with pre-populated suggestions, use the Q&A feature to go in-depth on any topic with personalized details to the individual, and create notes and goals that are dynamically and automatically incorporated into the dataset for future sessions. All this happens in a single, user-friendly window with minimal to no training needed.

Our Experimental Prototype

Building on the foundation of our cyborg coach concept, the prototype empowers coaches with AI-driven tools and traditional task and program management abilities. This innovative prototype provides personalized suggestions for coaching calls and simplifies task and profile management through natural language processing. Many CRM-like tools require extensive data management professionals to create tailored automations and flows. This in turn requires complicated user interfaces and training to make sure users enter data in the right place. However, with the power of large-language-models (LLMs), we can rethink the whole experience and make a more powerful and seamless experience that better fits the complexities and dynamic system of an entrepreneur in a developing country.

*Business profiles are dynamically created by an AI that scans a variety of data for specific fields like 'goals' or 'difficulties'. This creates dynamic profiles that encapsulate a snapshot in a familiar, but antifragile format for mentors to begin offering higher valuable services at much greater scales.

Enhanced Functionality: AI-Driven Insights and Task Management

The core functionalities of the prototype are designed to support mentors with suggestions and summarizations that extract the valuable action steps from the potential noise of entrepreneurial data:

  • AI-Powered Coaching Suggestions: Data from any source can be added to MSME profiles. This creates a valuable foundation for the AI to provide insightful, personalized recommendations for mentorship sessions. These suggestions can be tuned for organizational goals so that mentors are guided along a common path of goals such as increasing profitability or directing through a pre-specified program. To be clear, this functionality is not intended to replace the coach, but it can improve mentorship quality and greatly reduce preparation time.

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): By leveraging NLP and text embedding, the tool allows coaches to interact in simple ways - creating tasks, managing profiles, and generating reports simply by using everyday language without needing to remember which tab or input box to use.

  • Comprehensive Task and Profile Management: The integration of traditional tools for task creation, management, and profile organization ensures that coaches can efficiently track and organize their interactions and do it all from one application.

*While AI features represent the key breakthrough in this prototype, it's important to offer more traditional features like easy-to-use task management for mentors and coaches to incorporate this into daily routines.

Beyond Traditional Program Management: Flexibility and Personalization

In our experience with entrepreneurial coaching, we have often relied on structured programs and knowledge transfer around a pre-determined curriculum. While useful for some things, there's a natural completion or graduation day without clear next steps on how to continue guiding a business. The entrepreneurial environment is always complex and changing, and we wanted a solution that allowed us to maintain a more natural connection as businesses began to splinter beyond the bounds of the program.

Additionally, we wanted a solution that captures unstructured interactions like coaching call notes. These are not tied to specific survey questions, quizzes, or program learning objectives - but they provide incredibly valuable insights that are meaningful to the unique situations of each business.

To account for these desires, we sought a solution that included:

  • Dynamic Support: Where the AI continuously learns and incorporates new interactions that could come in a variety of formats and types, updating its suggestions to provide the most relevant and timely support.

  • Scalable Solutions: Coaches and mentors are often managing hundreds of potential relationships, and we needed a solution to help them acclimate to each client in a fast, yet personalized way to offer high-quality support at scale. This not only reduces costs but also makes coaching services more accessible and affordable for micro-businesses. Grant-funded mentorship services are great, but they cannot reach the scale needed to meet the needs of the over 300-Million MSMEs worldwide.

Impact and Scalability: Transforming Micro-Businesses

By providing coaches and mentors with easy-to-use, and flexible tools, we can increase the value of mentorship so that it begins to approximate the value of highly-expensive consulting services to date. And we're seeing that AI is starting to unlock opportunities to do this at a fraction of the cost of previous methodologies.

This has potentially massive, market-altering opportunities, and we believe it can unlock new opportunities for mentors to begin providing a service of sufficient value where MSMEs are willing to pay money for the support. And by transitioning from grant-funded programs, to market-led mentorship, we can begin to scale support to millions more.

Why You Should Get Involved

If you're still reading, you obviously care about helping MSMEs and/or the intersection of AI to meet those needs. This point in time represents a unique opportunity to be part of a transformative movement in the world of business coaching. At ONOW AI, we're deploying new approaches everyday that seek to follow the following principles:

  • Innovative Approach: The integration of AI into coaching services is a groundbreaking approach that addresses the limitations of traditional methods.

  • Economic Viability: By reducing the costs associated with personalized coaching, and increasing value, the tool makes it economically viable for coaches to charge for their services while providing a means for micro-businesses to begin paying for these services at greater scales.

  • Testing Early and Often: We're committed to continuing to release our work as soon as possible, share all the ugly details, and use pilot projects with real users to test these new tools in real-world scenarios.

  • Partnerships: There are millions of underserved and unserved small businesses around the world, and we're looking for like-minded organizations to improve the value of the services we offer. While there are similarities in many developing countries, there are also many important differences, and local partners with an intimate knowledge of the culture are imperative to achieving our big goals.

Conclusion: Join the Revolution

Our prototype is early, and incomplete, but it's ready to try and use for yourself. By combining AI-driven capabilities with traditional coaching tools, it offers flexible, guided support that addresses the dynamic needs of entrepreneurs in developing countries - and it does this without requiring an expensive data engineer to maintain the system. We know that non-profits and other business support organizations don't want to spend their limited time on data management and debugging. AI and LLMs provide us an incredible opoprtunity to avoid all that while still making data-driven decisions at an individual business level that can drive new economic growth and create a sustainable future for micro-businesses.

Support the growth and success of micro-businesses by investing in a tool that empowers coaches and entrepreneurs alike. Join our newsletter to be updated of new updates, or reach out for more details on how you can try this for yourself.

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