Aiming to provide a life-transforming and affordable learning experience for Filipinos who lost their jobs during the pandemic, 24-year old entrepreneur Paolo Isyasa founded Course Belt—an online learning platform that provides comprehensive and flexible access to quality education.
Founded in 2020, Course Belt is an innovative response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector. According to the International Labor Organization, the economic recession has led to 10.9 million unemployed Filipinos.
Starting at 16, Isyasa has gained eight years of experience on creating websites and doing digital marketing for local and international businesses. He is a graduate of BS Marketing Management, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Makati. He’s now a freelance digital marketing consultant, a public speaker and the CEO and founder of Course Belt Learning Inc.
By leveraging technological and digital opportunities, the company, which was born at the beginning of the community quarantine, has been offering job-relevant courses and resources to fuel Filipino’s budding freelance careers as well as provide newly unemployed Filipinos with alternative sources of income.
The company attracted 21,000 paying students and upskilled them in areas of copywriting, digital marketing, web development, SEO writing, Facebook ads, graphic design, social media management, among others.
Since its inception, the company has generated over P5 million in revenues, banking on Filipino workforce’s demand to learn and upskill themselves to eventually land a job in the digital space.
“Eight months ago, I was severely burdened to see some of my friends lose their jobs because of the pandemic. So I asked myself, how can I help? And that’s how the Course Belt was born. It’s a platform for learning new skills at one’s own pace. Filipinos have the guts and skills, we just need to empower them” Isyasa said.
The courses are offered from an affordable price of P199 to P499. “The main reason we are offering it at a very affordable rate is because we basically just want to help people earn for a living during this tough time,” he said.
Course Belt delivers expert instruction through online tutoring and comprehensive training manuals. Students also have Facebook groups to connect to the Course Belt team for clarifications and questions they have.
“We maintain an active community of learners where they can interact with one another and we provide localized and bite-sized content from local instructors, local examples, even local jokes,” Isyasa said.
Course Belt seeks to easily provide all the benefits of an effective learning platform from the comfort of one’s own environment and schedule. Its online classes make it simple to dive right in and interact with the tutors and course materials and receive instant feedback. The platform is designed for students to get the most out of their training and develop themselves from it.
“We are continually reviewing and adapting our programs to create a learning platform that is interactive, and hassle-free yet affordable and easily accessible. Going forth, we aspire to help unlock opportunities for people from all walks of life to realize their career objectives,” Isyasa said.
CIIT College of Arts and Technology earlier placed bets on the young company as an investor. On top of that, Course Belt recently won Draper Startup House Manila Pitch Perfect Competition, bagging the prize of Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship Program from Silicon Valley-based Draper University.
The pitch competition is sponsored by QBO Innovation Hub, the country’s premier startup accelerator and incubation hub.
Course Belt looks forward to offering programming courses for kids.