KNOW-HOW – IT-enabled solutions
Innovation and information technology are creating new opportunities for inclusive business across many sectors. Mobile penetration is now so high in low income economies that the phone network has become a major distribution channel. Entrepreneurs are selling information-based services to people at the base of the pyramid, or using technology to make services to rural populations more viable.
Inclusive businesses are using Information Technology (IT) to:
- Provide services to consumers. iSchool is using computers and internet connectivity to deliver primary education to rural school children in Zambia. Provision of financial services via mobile phones have become success stories in several developing countries and IAP is supporting companies that replicate this success in other markets, such as FinAccess in Nepal. In Uganda and Tajikistan, Swedstream will make use of ICT to offer pregnancy check-ups in rural areas
- Provide information to producers. Ignitia aims to send 90,000 farmers in Ghana daily SMS weather forecasts and early warning information which could improve their yields by 40%. mKrishi‘s mobile platform in India gives farmers access to personalised agronomic information generated by experts using FAQs, videos and photos. Our Editor’s Choice for November 2011, which covered Vodafone’s report Connected Agriculture, also provides a good overview of how mobile technology can help farmers and agribusiness.
- Collect data on hard to reach groups. Text to Change uses SMS to provide market research on low-income groups to companies and NGOs that aim to serve them. Bonzun will provide vital health information to expectant mothers and the professionals who care for them, and also collect data that the health care industry will be keen to access.