To further their mission of helping small businesses succeed, the Small Business Administration (SBA) needed a learning platform focused on female entrepreneurs. As a subcontractor to Fearless, we were brought in to deliver a technical solution that maximizes the use of an existing open-source-software product without limiting the flexibility needed to deliver a unique user experience.
Female entrepreneurs start and own nearly half of all businesses in the U.S., employ 9.4 million workers, generate $1.9 trillion in revenue, and represent all industries. To help elevate their success, the SBA launched Ascent, a free online learning platform based on an existing open-source content management system (CMS) called Brightspot. A critical challenge was leveraging Brightspot in such a way as to not only avoid constraining the design of the user experience to what’s available “out-of-the-box,” but also to avoid the nightmare of having to maintain a “custom-off-the-shelf-software” product.
As a subcontractor to Fearless, our team provided additional technical leadership around how best to address this challenge. In particular, we helped architect and engineer a custom API wrapper that programmatically makes calls into Brightspot, thereby leveraging its full feature set in an independent way. This approach gave them the power to create a curated learning experience for female entrepreneurs.
- Demonstrated via a spike solution that a customized API would not only work with Brightspot, but would also provide a robust front-end development resource for the SBA
- Delivered 11 modules of working content, including video, audio, downloadable worksheets, interactive self-assessments, and more
- Released to the public in January 2021