HP LIFE goes mobile to reach even more learners

The free, online training program is designed to help people all over the world gain the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy.

By Sarah Murry — May 1, 2023

Like a lot of young people, 22-year-old Danayit Zegeye Yemanebirhan was forced to rethink her career plans in 2020. The Addis Ababa native had recently finished school for graphic design and wanted to start her own business. Then the pandemic struck and Ethiopia was facing severe economic upheavals. With the country battling record inflation, massive debt, and a soaring unemployment rate, she realized that she’d have to gain in-demand skills that would help ensure stability in her future. 

“I stopped and thought about how I wanted to lead my life,” Yemanebirhan says. “I decided to pause my business [plans] and look for a stable job.”  


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Yemanebirhan started at her local YMCA, where she was able to access courses from HP LIFE, a program of the HP Foundation that offers free, online training in digital skills, entrepreneurship, marketing, personal development, and more. She took four HP LIFE courses — Social Media Marketing, Selling Online, Your Target Audience, and Success Mindset — which helped bolster her skills and ultimately, she found work as a digital marketer for an e-commerce company. 

HP LIFE goes mobile

This year, HP LIFE is set to reach an even wider audience of learners as it goes mobile with a new app: Download at the Apple Store here, and the Google Store here. The expansion will help HP make progress towards its pledge to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people and its goal of enrolling 1.5 million HP LIFE users by 2030. 

The digital platform, started in 2016, offers courses in topics ranging from building a business website to giving effective presentations, available in eight languages (Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish). Since its launch, some 848,000 learners from more than 200 countries and territories have taken nearly two million courses. Last year, a record 198,200 new users were registered on HP LIFE, its largest jump ever and a 21% increase over 2021 new enrollments.  

The new app will make it even easier for teachers, trainers, mentors, and programs that serve youth, such as World YMCA, to incorporate HP LIFE into their own classrooms and curriculum for remote learning. 

“Covid forced the world to think about education — and the barriers to education — in a new way,” says Stephanie Bormann, deputy director of the HP Foundation. “Digital resources like HP LIFE are more important than ever to ensure people all over the word have access to education and economic opportunity.” 

Mobile-first markets

In fast-growing smartphone markets such as China and India, users are most likely to have mobile devices as their primary way to access the internet. The new HP LIFE app aims to serve people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect. 

“This app is a great opportunity for us to connect with new learners around the world, specifically in emerging countries or in underserved communities,” says Melanie Sandoval, HP LIFE program manager. “For many in these communities, a smartphone is their only device and the way they are able to access education, amongst other services.” 

One of the primary enhancements this year for the app is to launch offline capabilities for learners with low-bandwidth or limited internet connection. A learner would be able to download a course while they have access to the internet and then take the course while offline. 

Seamless learning experience

The mobile app was developed to offer a seamless learning experience within the HP LIFE platform, whether courses are accessed via a  browser on a PC or the app on a mobile device. The goal is to ensure it’s as convenient as possible for a learner to pick up right where they left off across multiple devices. 

Next on tap for HP LIFE: Four new courses in development, including business email, resume writing/interviewing skills, digital business skills, and the future of work.  

There are plans for continued enhancements to the app, including notifications and alerts, and digital badges for those who complete coursework and want to share their achievements on social media.  

For Yemanebirhan, her coursework on HP LIFE enabled her to gain the skills to boost her employer’s business by polishing the company’s presence on social media. “As my networking and writing skills improved, I’ve used them in the real world,” she says. “That has helped me with my work and life.”  


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