Design Expo 2014: Online Discussion - ICT and Social Impact

This online panel discussion at 3.30 UK time on Wednesday 11 June will explore the following questions:

  1. What are some of the ways in which the huge growth in mobile phones is benefitting people at the BoP?
  2. What are some of key challenges and success factors in rolling out ICT innovations among low-income consumers?
  3. Looking ahead, what are some of big opportunties for large scale impact through ICT?

Panelists include: Paulo Mele, Esoko; Michael Nique and Kai-lik Foh, GSMA; Anna Levy, Frontline SMS; Mike Quinn, ZOONA; Doug Ricket, SVTP.

Editor's Note:

This is a text-only, written discussion.  To post comments you will need to sign in / sign up to Business Fights Poverty. A list of recent comments is shown in the right-hand side bar and will refresh every 5 minutes. To refresh more often, please click on the refresh icon in your browser.

This event is part of the Business Fights Poverty Design Expo 2014. Running from 9 to 13 June,  the Design Expo is an online celebration of products, services and business models transforming the lives of poor people.  The Design Expo is a collaboration with iDE UK and is being supported by the UK's Department for International Development.

The Expo will include a vibrant mix of blogs, Google Hangouts, online panel discussions, a Twitter Jam and a virtual exhibition zone. Each day we will focus on a different sector: Energy (9 June), Health (10 June), Communications (11 June), Livelihoods (including enterprise, finance and agriculture) (12 June) and Water & Sanitation (13 June).

From Monday 9 June, you will be able to access all the activities via the Design Expo landing page,  Participation in the Design Expo is free.  You will simply need to sign in (or sign up for free) to Business Fights Poverty.


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I think Cignifi and First Access use this kind of big data to unlock further financial services for tradtionally unbanked population. M-Shwari, a microcredit product, from Safaricom also leverages customer M-PESA payment history  

To me the informal economy is weighed down by the high costs of the formal economy, looking at mobile money for example people at the BoP have potentially cheaper services to participate in the formal economy

Hi Paolo, I don't entirely agree that rapid increase of agents is the key. In Zambia, we have built the largest mobile money business with just 350 agents that are now turning over $1 million per day. We have found the key is quality over quantity because 1 good agent is better than 10 bad ones. And critically, the agents need to make money, which they don't when MNOs saturate the market as quickly as possible. 

Zoona is also doing this for MSMEs in Zambia who can't access any kind of formal working capital finance, as is KopoKopo in Kenya. 

We're in the process of structuring a partnership now between a big insurer, an mHealth service provider and a mobile network operator.  An instance of big data coming together providing value for everyone.

Doug I totally agree with you, we work in areas were a bank is none existant but some of the transactions go up to 1,000 - 2,000 US dollars, mobile banking is a helpful way out for these small scale farmers.

That brings us to the end of this live session. Thanks so much to our panellists, and to all those who joined the discussion! We'll leave this discussion open, so please do continue to post your comments!

Be sure to check out the ICT products and blogs in the Design Expo here:

And join the Google Hangout happening right now on last mile distribution!

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